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Korean beef seaweed soup

March 27, 2012

It’s been uncharacteristically rainy where I live, and with the weather still cold and my appetite hearty for warm, filling things (and the fact that I have to get rid of another 20lbs of my order of 40lbs of US Wellness Meat pet burgers), I decided to use up some ground beef to make Korean beef seaweed soup.

In my Chinese culture, we typically simmer wakame seaweed with pork bones and feed in some goji berries, ginger pieces and other herbal stuff. Apparently the Korean version is similar in taste, except more beefy instead of porky. Very easy to get my tastes acclimated.

First I had to get dried wakame seaweed from the Chinese store. It’s a lot easier to store than fresh or even frozen wakame, since frozen tends to hold a lot of salt that has to be washed off repeatedly, while the fresh version tends to be more expensive and needs to be used more quickly.

This stuff is really easy to reconstitute. I just add a handful of it to a large bowl and fill up with good water. Over time, the wakame absorbs the water and blows up to as large as the bowl. Sometimes if I am being impatient, I can even just let it absorb water for 5-10 min instead of the usual few hours, and it’s pretty good to go.

So where does the pet burger come in? I just browned it on the skillet before adding the wakame. Since the pet burger is 60% fat, I often have to drain it before adding in the wakame to finish off the stew. Good fats, but too much of it doesn’t do me good either.

At the very end, I have a very flavorful and delicious soup. This takes at most an hour to cook, depending on the preference for limp wakame. I like mine with a little hardness, so I typically cook for half an hour. Recipe below.

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 fistful of dried wakame (about 1oz)
salt to taste

Directions
(1) Reconstitute dried wakame in large bowl for at least 10 minutes by adding enough water to cover the seaweed in the bowl.
(2) Heat deep pan on medium high and brown beef until no longer pink. Drain if necessary. If desired, throw in some sliced ginger to stir fry before adding in the wakame.
(3) Add wakame to the mix and stir fry a bit. Add water in which the wakame was soaked, add the salt, and cover the pan while heated on high. Salt isn’t absolutely necessary at this point if the preferred amount is unknown, but it does mesh together with all the flavors better the sooner it is added.
(4) Turn heat to high until water is boiling. Then turn heat down to medium and simmer for half an hour to an hour. The longer the simmer, the limper and “slimier” the wakame will get. Taste in between if necessary. Serve hot!

Enjoy!

Dai Dai

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