Healthy Seaweed Egg Drop Soup Recipe
Seaweed egg drop soup made in Korean style is bright and flavorful and only needs a few ingredients. This nourishing low calorie soup is quick and easy to prepare, which makes a healthy breakfast soup. The addition of Korean soybean paste (doenjang) brings a deep umami flavor and pairs perfectly with rice.
I know it sounds very unusual to serve soup for breakfast, especially for those who are used to a Western style breakfast.
But a light soup with rice is a very common quick breakfast meal, particularly in Korea, Japan, and China. In fact, I grew up having grilled fish with light soup for breakfast and it is still my favorite thing to eat in the morning to charge myself for the day.
This seaweed egg drop soup is light, flavorful and nourishing. Thanks to the quick Korean dashi stock and Korean soybean paste (doenajng), this soup has deep umami flavor that pairs oh-so-well with seaweed and egg, making it a nutritionally well-balanced meal.
It is one of the simplest Korean soups you can make. Add it to your breakfast menu or even as a simple soup to serve with your lunch or dinner. It will become your routine.
Plus, it only takes about 15 minutes to cook from scratch. That is another good reason why this soup is so beloved in Korea.
Simple to make, convenient, nutritious, and tastes delicious! There is nothing but goodness in this seaweed egg drop soup recipe. And it it not overly complicated to make.
If you are interested in more Korean breakfast soups, my cookbook, Korean Cooking Favorites shares a few recipes that you might like.
Is seaweed egg drop soup healthy?
Seaweed is high in nutrients and low in calories. It is full of iodine, which supports thyroid function and hormone regulation. With a great source of vitamins (vitamin B1 & B3), minerals, calcium, iodine, omega acids, it is good for health.
Seaweed also has detoxing properties and helps with blood circulation, constipation relief, anti-aging etc. What a super food! The fiber in the seaweed also helps you feel fuller for longer and helps with metabolism so it can delay your hunger pain.
Plus, the addition of eggs in the soup provides protein making the soup nutritionally well balanced meal to serve.
What type of dried seaweed to use
There are a gazillion different types of dried seaweed to choose from when you go to Korean or Asian grocery store.
All of them can come packaged with different names like kelp (aka dashima or kombu), laver (miyeok), gim (nori), and so on. If you want to learn more about the types of seaweed and their usages, please check my Korean pantry to get more information.
For this recipe, I recommend using Korean miyeok (dried laver). It comes in a long ribbon-like thread and is feather light — almost airy when held. But once the dried seaweed gets soaked in water, they quickly rehydrate and quadruple in volume.
This Korean style dried seaweed is great for making seaweed soup, seaweed salad and other seaweed dishes. Produced in South Sea, Korea.
If you desire to consume more seaweed for the health benefits and are looking for recipe ideas, try these recipes below.
- Korean seaweed soup with canned tuna — another simple seaweed soup made with canned tuna
- cold seaweed cucumber soup — a refreshing soup with crunchy cucumber and great for hot summer days
- mini seaweed rice rolls — simple seaweed rolls with vegetables. Perfect vegetarian/vegan snack!
- kimbap — Labor intensive but well worth the effort
If you enjoy those individually packaged dried seaweed snacks that you can buy at the store, you should try making homemade roasted seaweed as a snack. It’s a far better and healthier option than store-bought.
Making it homemade is a lot easier than you think, too.
What goes in seaweed egg drop soup
- Seaweed — Use thin ribbon-like laver called miyeok (미역). It needs to be soaked before adding to the soup.
- Anchovy stock — It provides a foundation of flavor and adds umami to the soup. Plain water won’t work. Dried pollock fish adds deeper umami and flavor. If you can’t find it, use bonito flakes. Can’t have dried fish or anchovies? Try with no-sodium chicken stock instead.
- Korean soybean paste (doenjang, 된장) — It seasons the soup as well as adding another layer of umami. Goes well with anchovy stock.
- Egg — Adds protein
- Green onion — Savory addition and garnish
How to make seaweed egg drop soup
Step 1: Soak seaweed in cold water for 5-10 minutes. It should quadruple in volume. Drain the water and slice the seaweed in large chunks.
Step 2: Meanwhile simmer dried pollock fish (or bonito flakes) and anchovies with water in a soup pot to make quick soup stock. Add Korean soybean paste (doenjang) to flavor the soup base.
Step 3: Add the chopped seaweed and garlic to the soup base. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Step 4: Beat eggs with 2 tablespoons of water in a measuring cup. Pour the beaten eggs slowly to the soup in a swirling motion.
Recipe Note: Once the egg is added, do not stir — that way, it will stay in one piece and form its ‘flower-like’ shape. Otherwise, you will have lots of little egg bits floating around.
Step 5: Cover the soup with a lid and remove the pot from the heat. The remaining heat will cook the eggs. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning by adding salt if needed. Add chopped green onion at last.
Serve hot with rice. Grilled fish is a typical dish to make the meal more nutritious and whole hearted. However you can serve this soup with rice and kimchi without any meaty dish on the side.
How to store seaweed soup
Seaweed egg drop soup can be refrigerated for up to a week. If you want to store any leftover soup for a longer storage, you can freeze up to 3 months. To reheat, use a microwave or gently simmer over the stove until hot.
More breakfast ideas
If you are an adventurous breakfast person, try these Korean (Asian) breakfast recipes below. They are easy to prepare, healthy, and very satisfying.
- Korean Street Toast (Korean Breakfast)
- Stir-Fried Rice Cakes and Eggs (Gluten-Free)
- Korean Turnip Green Soup with Potato
- Spicy Tofu and Egg in a Skillet
Healthy Seaweed Egg Drop Soup Recipe
- Soak seaweed in a large bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes. It should quadruple in volume. Drain the water and slice the seaweed in large chunks.
- Meanwhile combine dried anchovies and shredded pollock fish with 4 1/2 cup of water in a soup pot. Bring the stock to boil, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the anchovies and fish and reserve the stock. Add Korean soybean paste (doenjang) to the stock.
- Add the chopped seaweed and garlic to the soup stock. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Beat eggs with 2 tablespoon of water in a measuring cup. Pour the beaten eggs slowly to the soup in swirling motion. Once the egg is added, do not stir.
- Cover the soup with a lid and remove the pot from the heat. The remaining heat will cook the eggs. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning by adding salt if needed. Add chopped green onion at last. Serve the soup hot with rice.
- Can’t have anchovies? Try with no-sodium chicken stock instead.