Recipe: Maesaengi soup (Seoyoung’s style)

This seaweed soup is my take on a southern region favorite, using more water and a few more ingredients.

As I mentioned in the recipe for the local version of maesaengi soup, it’s traditionally made with lots of seaweed and little water. For city people unused to the mineral, sea flavors of maesaengi (seaweed fulvescens), a little more broth is a must. Some city folks even add just a pinch of maesaengi to their broth for a little color, but I still like the flavor so this is my take. This recipe serves 4.



1 bundle (400g) maesaengi

5 cups (1L) water

200g oysters, without shells

8 dried myeolchi (anchovies) for stock

1 piece dashima (dried kelp), 4×6 cm

1 1/2 tbsp Joseon ganjang

1 tbsp cham-gireum (sesame oil)

2 cloves garlic, minced


how to clean:

Maesaengi: It’s such a delicate and fine product, so make sure to use enough water to let the strands swirl loose. Gently swish in the water and strain through a fine sieve. Repeat two more times.

Oysters: Korean oysters are often sold pre-shucked. Sprinkle rough sea salt over them as in the photo. Scrub gently with the rough sea salt without tearing the flesh. Keep an eye out for bits of shell, and remove any you find. Rinse with cold water.


to make the soup:

1. Put cold water in a pot and add the anchovies and dashima. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes.

2. Strain the stock, discarding the anchovies and dashima, and set it aside. Use the same pot and sauté the garlic with sesame oil.

3. When the garlic starts smell good, add the oysters and sauté on high heat for 30 seconds.

4. Add the stock back into the pot. Once it comes to a boil, add the maesaengi.

5. Once the soup comes to a full boil, turn off the heat immediately. Otherwise it melts away (interesting, isn’t it?!?).

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