If you are looking for a healthy and easy to digest soup for your baby, this is it! A Korean classic dish, this beef and radish soup is SUPER easy to make and is great to serve especially during times of illness, teething, constipation, and diarrhea.
Unlike many Korean soups which tend to be pretty spicy or salty, this Korean radish soup or Muguk is mild flavored, making it a perfect dish to enjoy with your baby, toddler or older child.
Beef - use any type of stewing meat, like brisket, chuck, or loin. You don't want to use a fatty cut of meat otherwise the soup will be very greasy.
Korean radish - I purposefully used daikon when developing this recipe because it's more readily available. It's a good substitute, BUT if you are able to get your hands on Korean radish at an Asian grocery store, you'll end up with a slightly sweeter, more flavorful soup.
You can also make kimchi with it! Here's a really really old post that I wrote during my young ‘un days..and the last days with my father in law.
Whether you're using daikon or Korean radish, look for one that is firm and heavy.
Shiitake mushroom - This is not included in this classic version of the soup, but I like to add it for more flavor and depth. If you can't find this variety, you can substitute with creminis, although won't taste as rich.
Soy sauce - Again, if you're able to find it, the best choice is one specifically for soups - guk ganjang. It's lighter in color (a distinctive feature of this dish) and less sweet. You can also control how much you want to use. See suggestions below.
How to cut Korean radish or daikon
Here's a super quick and easy way to cut it into uniform pieces. This is important for ensuring they all cook evenly.
- Peel the radish. Slice into 1 inch thick rounds
- Again, slice into 1 inch pieces
- Turn the pieces so the slices are horizontal to you
- Slice into ¼ inch thick pieces
Now you have radish/daikon slices that are 1 inch squares and ¼ inch thick.
A vegetarian version
Instead of meat, add 2 squares of dried kelp for more depth and that umami flavor. Cook radish in sesame oil for 1-2 minutes and in step 3, add the kelp to water along with garlic. After 10 minutes, remove the kelp and proceed with the rest of the instructions.
Number one tip!
Make this soup the day before! Trust me on this. It will taste SO much better, especially since this is a baby-friendly version with minimal soy sauce.
What to serve the soup with
As mentioned, this soup is mild in flavor so while rice will be most welcomed by adults, try serving with other grains - like barley, millet, kamut, and you may think this is weird but even oatmeal!
Lentils will also be great for babies.
Perhaps give this multigrain rice with beans a try!
How to serve to baby
Finely chop the beef and mushrooms. You can serve the radish as is as it will be perfectly soft. Start with a small portion of rice or other grain/legume of choice (can always serve more) and pour just enough of the liquid to coat everything.
Assemble 10 minutes or so prior to serving so the grains have a chance to soak up the liquid. They will also get softer and more flavorful.
I know so many people avoid offering thin soups to their babies because of the incredible mess that ensues. This is definitely the secret to minimizing the havoc, especially during the first months of starting solids.
And if you're looking for a toxin-free, easy to clean bowl with the most powerful suction, I highly recommend this one! We've been using their plate and bowl since day 1, and they're simply the best.
Other Korean recipes for babies to try!
Here's a round up of low sodium, no sugar added dishes to enjoy with your entire family!
Korean radish soup
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 6 ounces beef brisket or chuck, cut into bite sized pieces
- 400 grams Korean radish or daikon, cut into 1 inch squares and ¼ inch thick
- 5 cups water
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 6 ounces shiitake or cremini mushroom, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, sliced diagnoally
- 1-2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce for soups (see note)
- Heat sesame oil in a pot over medium heat. Add beef and cook until about 70% cooked.
- Add radish and stir for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add water and bring to a boil. Add garlic. Using a small fine mesh strainer, skim off the foam floating on top. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and green onion and cook for 2-3 additional minutes. Set aside portion for baby and add soy sauce You can add more to taste, if you wish.