I was first inspired to make this soup when I started watching Korean Dramas (my guilty pleasure!). I lost count of how many I have watched, but this soup must’ve made it into every drama I watched and stuck to me. I believe it is usually served on birthdays? And so, I looked up several recipes to see a commonality in ingredients: garlic, onion, seaweed, mushroom and pork bone or ribs, sesame oil, soy sauce and salt to taste. This soup has become a staple at our home. I usually don’t measure my proportions for ingredients, but I did yesterday morning to share with you! I like how it’s a complete meal all cooked in one pot. We serve it over white rice.


3-4 tbsp dried seaweed (not the instant one that’s ready to eat- this one reconstitutes in less than 5 minutes in water)

1/2 large onion or 1 small quartered

4 tbsp soy sauce

10 cups water

1.5lbs Pork bone or pork ribs

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 head of garlic minced

3 pieces of whole shiitake mushrooms (I throw them still in dry form, but rinsed)

Salt to taste

Optional: Chopped scallions upon serving

*Note: I occasionally had 1 quartered large carrot to up the veggies in this soup.

*Note: I first found the seaweed at my local health food store, but was happy to find it here on Amazon, now that I moved. I use it for this soup and also for Miso soup. It’s so easy to use, especially on days you feel you’ve been slacking on vegetables and haven’t done food shopping yet.


1- Throw in all the ingredients except seaweed.

2- Bring the pot to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes in medium low heat.

3- Add in the reconstituted seaweed and cook for another 5 minutes (I love how quickly this seaweed cooks).

*Note: Do NOT overcook the seaweed, or the soup may become too goopy or thick (a little gelatinous- sometime, I leave it on for a little too long and over cook it; I’m grateful my kids don’t usually mind the consistency)

4- Top with chopped scallions if you wish and serve over white rice!

Do you have any Birthday soups your country serves for birthdays? I recently made Wine Chicken Soup for Ayla’s past birthday. I’ve been consistent with it every time so far (just like my mother had done for me–though occasionally, I’ll do the Filipino noodles, Pancit instead if I don’t feel like a soup that day). I’ll be doing a post on the Chinese Wine Chicken Soup later on, so be sure to follow me here, on Instagram or subscribe to my email for my latest news!

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