Korean Pork Bone Soup with Potatoes (Gamjatang) is the perfect comforting dish. Full of rich, complex & authentic flavors – the best for warming up with on a cold day!
Nothing beats a steaming bowl of comforting soup once the weather cools down. Gamjatang or Korean Pork Bone Soup/Stew was one of our favorite soups we used to order out when we were living in a bigger city. We didn’t grow up eating Korean food but it immediately felt like comfort food to us the first time we tried it.
If you’ve never tried Korean Pork Bone Soup Gam ja tang before, you are in for a real treat. It is considered a traditional Korean dish with its distinct hearty and rich flavors.
Be sure to set aside an entire afternoon if you are following the recipe exactly – or split it up and start the prep work the day before – the results are amazing and will definitely satisfy your Gamjatang craving.
I’ll be honest, this soup does require some patience and tolerance and is a medium level of difficulty to cook but trust me when I say your efforts will be well worth the reward waiting for you.
If you have never tried Korean Pork Bone Soup, I urge you to either order it at a local Korean restaurant first to see if you like it (it used to cost around $6.99 where we lived) or set aside a day (4-5 hours) to make this delicious dish.
I now make large batches of the broth and freeze them flat in freezer bags so that we are able to enjoy this great comforting dish anytime we want.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You will need to purchase some of these ingredients at a Korean food mart or specialty Asian supermarket if you have one nearby.
Korean Pork Bone Potato Soup/Stew (Gamjatang)
For the Soup:
- 6-8 pieces pork neck bones about 1.4 kg
- 10 cups water
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 4-5 slices ginger to remove pork smell
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 dried red chili pepper remove seeds
- 2 tablespoons Korean soybean paste Doenjang (found in Korean or Asian supermarkets)
For the Sauce to add to the soup after simmered for 1.5 hours:
- 6-8 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons cooking wine
- 1 tablespoons Korean red pepper paste Gochujang (found in Korean or Asian supermarkets)
- 2 tablespoons Korean coarse red pepper powder Gochugaru (found in Korean or Asian supermarkets)
- 4 large white potatoes peeled, quartered
- 1/4-1/2 napa cabbage sliced in quarters blanched
- 2 stalks of green onions diced
- 1/2 cup Asian chives diced
Optional but enhances flavor:
- 10 Perilla leaves, sliced in thick strips (found in Korean or Asian supermarkets)
- Roasted sesame seeds
- Black pepper
- Soak the pork bones in a large bowl in cold water for 2 hours to remove any blood. Drain water and wash bones.
- Put the bones into a large stock pot and fill with enough water to cover the bones. Add 4-5 slices of sliced ginger (to remove the pork smell). Boil water and remove any scum that surfaces to top of water.
- Drain water, discard ginger slices and rinse the pork bones.
- Add 10 cups of new water to pork bones and boil again.
Add sliced onion, dried shitake mushrooms, minced ginger, soy bean paste and dried red chili pepper to pot. Boil the pot for 1-1/2 hours over medium heat.
About 1-1/2 hours later, take the red hot chili pepper and shiitake mushrooms out of the pot.
- Slice shiitake mushrooms into bite sized pieces.
- In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, fish sauce, cooking wine, Korean red pepper paste and Korean coarse red pepper powder in a bowl.
- Add the sauce, potatoes, Napa cabbage, green onions, asian chives, soy bean sprouts, Perilla leaves and the chopped shiitake mushrooms into the soup. Simmer on medium heat for another 30 minutes.
- minutes later, transfer the soup into a serving bowl or Korean earthenware, top with sesame seeds and/or black pepper.
- Serve with rice and/or Korean banchan (Korean side dishes).
This soup takes time and patience and requires some ingredients from a Korean or Asian supermarket but the flavorful broth combined with the fall of the bone pork will be well worth the effort. The total time from start to finish to complete will take around 4-5 hours.
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