|FYI, the pic was taken with the iPhone. My dad borrowed MY Canon for the week because he needed it.|
For Koreans, Miyeok Guk is associated with birth. We eat it on our birthday. And mothers eat Miyeok Guk for weeks after giving birth. It’s believed to revive and replenish the body after the labor of giving birth. But this also applies to miscarriages and abortions. I totally remember my mom eating Miyeok Guk after giving birth to my brothers. Memories of the youngest brother stands out the most because I was a little older then. My grandma made a huge pot of Miyuk Guk for my mom to eat. And it seems like she ate nothing but that for days, then weeks. And of course, it became what we (the family) ate at the time too. I am pretty sure the rest of us didn’t eat Miyeok Guk every single day like my mom did, but we certainly did have our share.
My mom makes Miyeok Guk for each of our birthdays. As much as I don’t like her cooking, I eat it anyways. I make my own every now and then. It’s rarely for a birthday, but just whenever I get the craving. I was browsing around Maangchi’s site last week and her video totally made me crave some Miyeok Guk. So I ended up making some the next morning. I didn’t have any mussels in house, so I just used whatever I had. I prefer beef. I only had some brisket, so that is what I ended up using.
It so hit the spot!! All those feelings I mentioned above, kicked in full swing! It’s one of those dishes that comforts and hugs you.
I told that story to my mom recently when she made Miyeok Guk on my brother’s birthday some months ago. She went on to say what horrible kids she’s got lol. “My kids don’t care enough about me that I went through carrying them for months, then giving birth to them, then raising them. They don’t care enough to ever make me Miyeok Guk, not once on my birthday.” I have cooked many things for my mom, but I guess I’ve never made Miyeok Guk on her birthday yet. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that she’s been making Miyeok Guk on everyone’s birthdays, including hers, since I can remember. Maybe this year!
I’ve seen on Korean dramas where the kids make Miyeok Guk for the moms when it’s their (the kids) birthdays. They feel that it’s the moms that should eat the Miyeok Guk because they are the ones that went through the pregnancy and childbirth. That makes total sense too! I even saw birthday cakes being presented to the mom instead of the kid whose birthday it was. Interesting! Moms deserve just as much celebration and congratulating on their kids’ birthdays.