Gamjatang (Korean Pork Bone Soup)

This is my first blog post after more than a year of hiatus. A lot of things has or has not happened. Our lives may feel that it has come to a standstill at times because of the pandemic but we still continue to move forward and find ways and things we need to be grateful for.

I chose to start writing again at an urging of a loyal reader. She recently saw a photo of a dish I made on my social media and asked if the recipe is up on this website. I regrettably said no and then decided there and then I should really start doing something about it. Believe or not I have several drafts of recipes written over the past year that remains unpublished. I will eventually get to that later. But for now I will just take this time to fulfill a promise I made.

Since the weather is starting to get chilly, I have been making soup dishes for dinner for the family. I wanted to try something new and this is what I decided on. My girls love Korean food and this seems to be up their alley.

Start by boiling about 1.5 – 2 lbs pork neck in a big stock pot. I used pork collar which has more meat but I believe pork neck bones would yield a more flavorful broth. Let this boil for a few minutes to remove scum. Then drain and wash your pot before putting back your meat (make sure to clean the pork bones in running water before throwing it back in the pot). Fill the pot with water until it fully covers your meat. Then add 1 whole onion peeled and chopped in half, 4-5 cloves peeled garlic, thumb sized ginger sliced, 2 stalks of green onion, and 1 tsp. peppercorns. Let this boil until meat in tender which could take 1- 1 1/2 hours.

While waiting for the meat to cook, prepare your vegetables. Peel and slice about 2-3 potatoes and parboil it then set aside. Clean and slice some Napa cabbage. I used some yuchoy and crown daisy leaves since I think bitter greens goes well will spicy soup.

For the seasoning, place in a bowl 1 Tbsp. gocharu (korean chili flakes), 2 Tbsp. doenjang (Korean soybean paste), 1 Tbsp. gochujang (Korean chili paste), 1 Tbsp. minced garlic, 3 Tbsp. Korean fish sauce or soup soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. water. Mix well and set aside. You can adjust proportion of chili flakes, chili paste and soybean to your liking. I believe that this is really a matter of personal taste.

When the meat is tender remove the meat and place in another pot. Strain the broth in a sieve. You should have at least 5 cups. Then place it in the pot with your meat. Add your potatoes and seasoning. Let this boil for 5-10 minutes until potatoes are done. Then add your greens and cook for a few minutes. I like to add the crown daisy at the last minute on top of my pot.

Serve with a cup of rice.