On Jasmine’s Birthday, aside from many other side events that we had with her friends and even that special day tour at MSC World Europa (cruise ship), we still made sure to keep our family tradition to have family dinner on special occasions like this. This is a family legacy that we want our kids to remember and observe as they grow old – much like the influence of our elders, which is also evident in many Asian cultures like Japan and Korea as well.
On the third installment of our series FEED YOUR S[e]OUL, we take this opportunity to learn about Korean Food served during birthdays. Unlike in the Philippines where birthdays are always a big celebration, birthdays in Korea seem more subtle and intimate. As we’ve featured more Korean food in the past, we want to highlight on a family tradition that we see in most K-dramas – BIRTHDAYS. Our main reference is from a community post at https://patch.com/
Korean Seaweed Soup
They said that there are a few things Koreans can’t go without on their birthdays. The birthday morning starts with a special soup called Miyeok Guk (Korean Seaweed Soup). It is a boiled seaweed soup with beef or seafood broth. Even if you don’t like the soup, you will be disappointed if someone forgets to prepare it for you. It has been a long tradition for most Koreans to have soup on their birthday to commemorate the pregnancy and labor of their mother and for the birthday boy or girl to have good luck throughout the year.
In some families, when a mother gives birth to her child, the Miyeok Guk is served for many days. It quickens recovery and encourages lactation for the mothers. The seaweed is rich in iodine, calcium, fat-burning protein, and fiber. It promotes circulation and purification of the blood, regeneration of organs and skin, and helps menstrual regularity.
Any type of noodle dish is acceptable. A noodle dish on a birthday bestows you with longevity. Noodles are served not only on birthdays but also at other special events like weddings and one’s 60th birthday. Noodles are not to be cut into shorter lengths. The dish is shared with friends. Noodle dishes accompany the best wishes.
This is Japchae, a popular Korean noodle dish made from potato starch, stir-fried with beef and vegetables. There are many other Korean noodle varieties including ramyeon which is an all-time favorite comfort food.
There are a number of different rice cakes that can be served on special occasions. One of the traditions is to have rice cake made out of glutinous kaoliang (liquor) and red beans until a child is 5 or 6 years old. It symbolizes repelling bad spirits and keeping the little ones healthy. Rice cakes are also shared with lots of people. It is known to bring more luck to a person if they are shared. A variety of western-style cakes are preferred over rice cakes these days. Rice cakes are transitioning to fit peoples’ taste buds while keeping our culinary traditions alive.
I had a special blog post about rice cakes that are often available in Qatar during big Korean celebrations like Chuseok: https://bestlifeqatar.com/2022/09/07/celebrate-chuseok-with-rice-cakes-from-korean-food-centre/
Since rice cakes are not available at that time, we had steamed dumplings and pa jeon instead. Pa Jeon is crispy Korean-style pancake loaded with spring onions.
Seaweed soup, noodle dishes, and rice cakes are the must-have items on your birthday.
“Have you had Miyeok Guk this morning?” or “Let’s have some noodle dish for lunch because it’s your birthday.” These are heartwarming greetings that will make someone happier on his or her birthday.
TOFU HOUSE RESTAURANT – Al Sadd
Some of you who might have visited this beautiful Korean restaurant in Al Kinana Street – Al Sadd are familiar with their menu. Here are some of the must-try that everyone will surely love and appreciate.
You can visit three different branches of Tofu House Qatar (click the hyperlinks for directions):
1- Al Kinana St/Al Sadd (Tel 74008678)
2- Tofu House Second Restaurant/Mansoura (Tel 74448678)
3- Tofu House Express Restaurant/City Center Mall (Tel 77488678)
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/tofuhouseqatar
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/tofuhousedoha/
KOREAN FOOD CENTER – Al Sadd
Some of the food items featured in this post are not available on the menu but may be purchased from their next-door grocery store. It offers a wide array of Korean food products that you can cook and serve at home.
Korean Food center also offers home delivery. You just need to from our website (ww.koreanfoodcentre.com) and have them delivered to your doorstep. For further inquiries, you can call: 4436-0316 / 3138-8678.
LOCATION: Al Kinana St., Doha, Qatar (click here for directions)
Sat – Thu, 8.30am – 10.30pm
Friday, 12.30pm – 10.30pm
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/koreanfoodcenterqatar
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/koreanfoodcentre/
FEED YOUR S[e]OUL is a special feature of Best Life Qatar in partnership with the Korean Embassy in Qatar for the promotion of Korean culture through social media. This will cover various topics of interest ranging from food, travel, music, traditions, and more.
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