Out of many Korean soups, seaweed soup has to be the #1 favorite for my kids. For some people, seaweed might not sound attractive due to its slightly slimy texture, but once you get over it, seaweed soup can be one of the most comforting and delicious Korean soups you can have.

There are two traditions that involve this seaweed soup. One is that it is a birthday soup, which means everyone eats a bowl of seaweed soup on their birthday. The other is that women who have recently delivered a baby also eat seaweed soup for at least one month. Seaweed soup is known for its benefit of producing more breast milk. 

Although the tradition of eating seaweed soup as a birthday celebration has been taken over by the more western idea of birthday cake, seaweed soup as a postpartum meal is still going strong.

There are several kinds of seaweed soups. Beef seaweed soup is the most common, but the seafood version is also popular. Here is one very simple recipe that you can make using canned tuna. It is simply delicious and very quick to make. If you are well stocked with Korean condiments, all you need is some dried seaweed and canned tuna. 

For the canned tuna, you MUST get a solid tuna in water. I personally like Costco's canned tuna, but any solid tuna will work.

The dried seaweed needs to be soaked in water. You will only need about 10 minutes and they will triple or quadruple in volume in no time.  Once soaked, drain and chop them into chunks.

Heat a little amount of oil in a pot, and saute the seaweed for 2 minutes.

Add water and let them boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes, covered.

Add the canned tuna,

some minced garlic,

and season with Korean soy sauce for soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your taste. You can add some salt with the soy sauce.

That's it. A drop of sesame oil can bring a nutty fragrance if you like, but not too much.

Serve this soup with rice and kimchi, and enjoy the comfort that this soup brings to you. It is a healthy soup that makes you feel warm both inside and out. That is a kind of Korean comfort. Hope you can try it out.

~ Holly

Seaweed Soup with Canned Tuna

serves 4


  • 1 can (7 oz ) solid white tuna, drained
  • 1 oz dried seaweed (mi-yeok)
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinches of salt for taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


  1. Soak the dried seaweed in a bowl of water for 10 minutes or until they triple in volume. Drain and cut into big chunks.
  2. Heat oil in a soup pot and saute seaweed for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and bring to boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the tuna, Korean soy sauce for soup, and minced garlic. Taste and add season with salt according to your taste. 
  4. If you prefer, add a drop of sesame oil at last and stir. Serve the soup with rice and kimchi.

For more delicious Korean dishes, click the images below to get the recipes.

Beef Seaweed Soup Ox Tail Bone Soup Kimchi Spam Stew

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