Introducing our son, who was born five days late (taking care of some last minute business, perhaps), but entered this world with a thunderous roar on May 8th. I’ve never experienced this kind of joy and my heart is filled with so much love. If you’re wondering, I did shed a tear or two because I was overwhelmed with happiness (something I rarely do). After battling a weekend of inconsistent contractions, he finally arrived.. hungry and loud.
The birthing plans didn’t exactly go as planned. I wanted to do a completely natural birth, but that did not happen. Epidural is godsent drug – most likely invented by a woman whose gone through labor herself. We named him Noah, after the biblical figure and protector of the animals.
Here’s our natural survivor already half-smiling and trying his best to focus his wandering eyes in the same direction, towards the camera. I love you, my baby boy.
You’ll often hear Korean elders preach about the magical power of seaweed. This postpartum soup (consumed on birthdays as well) is traditionally believed to restore the blood loss from childbearing and aid in breastmilk production. The standard version calls for either shellfish or beef, but my friend created an alternative plant-based version using kidney beans. Start with simple, wholesome ingredients.
Organic Vegetable Stock
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Soak three shiitake mushrooms and a handful of seaweed (varies) in warm water for 15-minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Open package of kidney beans and rinse them until the water runs clear.
For the broth
Heat 2 cups of organic vegetable stock and add one cup of water to the stock. Add the soaked shiitake mushrooms to the stock. Heat on high heat until the stock boils, then turn down the heat to medium-low. Add half of the rinsed kidney beans to the stock.
For the seaweed
In a medium frying pan, heat three tablespoons of sesame oil on low-medium heat. When the sesame oil is hot (you can test this by tilting the pan to see how quickly the oil spreads), add two tablespoons of garlic powder and the soaked seaweed to the oil. Gently coat the seaweed with the oil, then add all the contents into the stock mix.
Add two tablespoons of soy sauce to the soup and stir occasionally. Heat for 30-minutes on low heat. Serve piping hot with kimchi or fermented kraut and brown rice on the side. Enjoy!