The Haenyeo Diaries: Day 12

Here are a few more pictures that I found from the two-day miyeok (seaweed) marathon. As mentioned before, the Haenyeo Halmoni made two trips out in a single day collecting two bags full of miyeok, each bag weighing in excess of over 50kg. They told me that there was only a small window of time to collect the in-season miyeok, so for them, it was like working overtime with incentive. A vendor came and picked up all of their miyeok (roughly 600kg) at a base price of 10,000 won per 10 kg bag. Not too shabby for a day’s work. Also present in helping the Haenyeo was the youngest Haenyeo’s family and MJ (the girlfriend), making the work a little more fun and exciting. πŸ™‚

Since I grew up eating miyeok, I really never realized the importance of it until now. The benefits of consuming miyeok are endless, here are some interesting facts about this edible and delicious seaweed:

* Extremely high in potassium, calcium, and iodine, miyeok is known to clarify the bloodstream, improve the regulation of body temperature, and boost metabolism.

* Miyeok guk (seaweed soup) is traditionally the first meal that a new mother eats after giving birth and will continue to eat it regularly as it contains a high content of calcium and iodine, nutrients that are vital for nursing mothers.

* Miyeok guk is also regarded as a birthday soup, where most Koreans feel obligated through tradition to eat this soup prepared by your mother or a loved one.

* Miyeok is used whole in soups, the soft leaves and the more solid stems are separated to make banchan; either on its own or with other vegetables. Large leaves of fresh miyeok are also used as ssam (쌈), the vegetable wrapper used to eat grilled or BBQ meat.


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