Whew, with hectic work schedule, daylight savings time starting, and desire (and only desire) to start working out again...whew..hope everyone still remembers our blog...sigh...I promise...I'll be better!
Miyuk Gook, Seaweed Soup, is known as the Birthday soup. Just like birthday cakes, it's a ritual most Koreans would follow. One would ask the birthday person if he/she ate Miyuk Gook that day.
Some actually skip a birthday cake, but still eat Miyuk Gook and the other way around...OR BOTH!
Recently it was my friend's, Gwen (Hi, Gwen!), Birthday. We happened to talk about Miyuk Gook and started to wonder about why Koreans actually eat Miyuk Gook. Why Miyuk Good for birthdays???
I guess I was very ignorant about it till now. So thanks to Gwen, I researched and is as follows:
Miyuk Gook is a birthday soup but also given to post-partum mothers who just had a child. This is where it was all connected. So let me explain about the new moms first.
I'm not sure about other countries but Koreans must have some time for SahnHoo-Jori. SahnHoo-Jori is a break/rest new mom MUST take to recover her health after a childbirth (if you are Korean that is...) especially for her joints. Koreans consider this a very crucial step of becoming a healthy mother. During this time, usually the new mom's mother (or Mother in Law...or hired housekeeper) stays with you for about a month and takes care of you and the baby.
While a new mom is in SahnHoo-Jori period, the new mom has to be extra careful of some things:
1. She has to minize her movements and don't lift anything heavy for the sake of fast recovery. Adults say that SahnHoo-Jori will determine the health of your joints, but you still will feed your baby!
2. She needs to stay warm and stay away from anything cold. Both the room temperature and food!
3. She needs to eat soft food and nothing too hard. Oh and nothing too spicy either. And this is the time when the new mom eats lots and lots of Miyuk Gook. People used to ONLY feed new moms with Miyuk Good but now they eat most stuff as long as it's not too hard to chew.
I might have missed some details but this is where Miyuk Gook comes during post-partum recovery period. Miyuk Gook is known to boost your metabolism, cleanse your blood, and has lots of Iodine which aids recovery of uterus (shrinking back) and stop bleeding. And since it's nutritious too, it will be also good for the infant too (getting some of this from breast milk.)
And so back to the original question...Why Miyuk Good for the birthdays?... The first thing moms ate was Miyuk Gook and the first thing WE ate through our own mom's breast milk was nutrition from Miyuk Gook. Therefore, not only are we celebrating our own birthday but this is the chance to commemorate our mom who brought us into this world!
Oh! One more thing. Miyuk Gook for the new moms are plain seaweed soup made with soysauce and salt while birthday Miyuk Gooks can be made from beef, mussels, or clam broth.
But you can always eat it whenever you feel like it too!
Click here for Miyuk Gook Recipe ...
(We were gonna post our Miyuk Gook Recipe together, but we just ran out of Miyuk (Seaweed).)