Pan-Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops in a Korean Seaweed Soup

미역국 korean seaweed soup, miyeok guk, miyuk guk
Pan-Seared Jumbo Sea Scallops in a Korean Seaweed Soup

Traditionally this satisfying soup is savored by Korean mothers who have just given birth as a restorative meal, to replenish vitamins and nutrients. Consequently, it is also enjoyed on one’s birthday, as a way to commemorate that special day.  Here, the addition of some gorgeous huge Atlantic Sea Scallops definitely adds to the celebration!

This soup, miyeok guk or miyuk guk, is simple but super-flavorful and the scallops add a luxurious component. It’s made with seaweed known as miyeok in Korean/wakame in Japanese, lots of garlic and ground pork  in an ocean-y broth. It is garnished with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, a sprinkling of crunchy sesame seeds, while a restrained amount of Korean red chile flakes called gochugaru adds a lively quality. The scallops are seasoned with Kosher salt and seared in a hot pan with just a bit of canola oil to let their natural flavor shine.

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New Korean Salad: Chrysanthemum Greens, Chestnut, Persimmon

korean salad, persimmon salad
Fresh Chrysanthemum Greens, Roasted Chestnut
Semi-Dried Hachiya Persimmon, Fresh Fuyu Persimmon Wedges
Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette
Pomegranate Arils, Toasted Pine Nuts, Roasted Laver

Inspiration from two separate dining experiences sparked the idea for creation of this delightful salad. First, an outstanding meal at Jun Won in LA, a gem of a restaurant that features regional Korean cooking from the province of Chungcheongnam-do. I was captivated by their salad of chrysanthemum greens (sukgat) with chestnut jelly. A week later we attended an event highlighting the “Tastes of the Korean Forest” including sanchae (wild vegetables grown in the mountains), oak mushroom, chestnut, and persimmon.

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Bejeweled Salmon

Fresh Wild Kenai River Sockeye Salmon
Roasted with Creme Fraiche
Over Emerald Seaweed Salad
Topped with Coral Ikura

Seaweed Salad: Mix bright green seaweed with a small amount of toasted sesame oil, seasoned rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.

Season both sides of the salmon with salt and pepper. To get the skin extra crispy, I put the salmon skin-side down over a sizzling hot teaspoon of olive oil in a ovenproof sauté pan and sear on the stove top over high heat for a few minutes.

Then top the salmon with crème fraîche and finish by roasting in a 400° oven. Serve over the seaweed salad, top with ikura (salmon roe). The terrific idea for roasting salmon with crème fraîche is not mine. I read Molly Wizenberg’s story of her father’s Alaskan fishing trips in Bon Appétit, and being a big fan of this French cultured cream, I thought I would try her method. The charming story can be found here.

Bejeweled Salmon: Coral & Emerald
Alaskan salmon, prepared French/Japanese fusion style, has bright clean flavors, a variety of interesting textures, and is a visual stunner!

Toasted Seaweed Crusted Salmon, Lemon Tamari

King Salmon, Crusted with Toasted Seaweed
Lemon Mirin Tamari Sauce, Wasabi Butter


Whisk together lemon juice, mirin, low-sodium Tamari and olive oil for the sauce.


Fresh Wild King Salmon from British Columbian waters is crusted with a mixture of ground toasted seaweed, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

The salmon is sautéed in olive oil over medium high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Place the salmon over the sauce and top with wasabi butter.

Does this sound familiar? In April we prepared a beef filet in a similar style, which was awesome. And it is equally good with salmon.

I recently received an email from Emily at Marx Foods. They’re hosting a salmon recipe contest: WIN A SUMMER OF WILD SALMON. The creator of the winning recipe will receive 15 lbs. of wild salmon – three 5 lb. shipments, once in July, August and September. Each shipment will contain a different type of wild salmon, varying by species and river origin. Doesn’t that sound like fun! Salmon should be the star of the dish, but the recipe can incorporate any variety of salmon-fresh, frozen, smoked, canned, pickled, etc. The contest deadline is June 20. There are about 100 recipes already submitted and posted on their website, and many of them sound terrific.