Gamjatang (pork bone soup) is a Korean traditional nutritious dish. It’s usually made with pork spine bones and vegetables, but I use pork neck bones in this recipe.
Pork neck bones, onion, garlic, ginger, dried shiitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, potatoes, soy bean sprouts, Asian chives (buchu), green onions, perilla leaves, dried red chili pepper, soybean paste, hot pepper flakes, hot pepper paste, cooking wine, perilla seeds powder (deulkkae garu), fish sauce
- Soak 2.5 lb of pork neck bones in cold water for 2 hours.
- Boil water in a large pot.
- Put ¼ of a medium sized napa cabbage into the boiling water and blanch it for a minute.
- Rinse and drain the cabbage and put it in a bowl.
- Tear each leaf lengthwise once or twice to make it bite size and set it aside.
- Rinse pork neck bones in cold water and put them in boiling water with 4-5 slices of ginger. Cook for 7 minutes.
- Rinse and strain the pork neck bones and put them in a large pot.
- Pour 10 cups of water into the pot.
- Add 1 medium size sliced onion, 1 tbs of sliced ginger, 2 tbs of soy bean paste, 1 dried red chili pepper, and 2 dried shiitake mushrooms to the pot. Boil it for 1. 5 hours over medium high heat.
- Prepare a small bowl to make the sauce! In the bowl, put 6-8 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tbs of hot pepper flakes, 1 tbs of hot pepper paste, 3 tbs of cooking wine, 3 tbs of fish sauce, 3 tbs of perilla seeds powder and mix it all up.
- Prepare a large bowl for vegetables
- About 1½ hours later, take the red hot chilli pepper and shiitake mushrooms out of the pot.
- Slice shiitake mushrooms into bite sized pieces.
- Add your vegetables and your sauce and the chopped shiitake mushrooms into the soup. Cook for another 30 minutes.
- 30 minutes later, transfer the soup into a serving bowl and sprinkle some chopped green onions and ground pepper.
- Serve with rice and kimchi or some side dishes!
The soup is perfect for winter time, especially when you just walk in the house from a frozen land, this is the dish that not just feeds you but also keeps you alive during the darkest hour of our time.
The scent of chili and perilla gives it a unique flavour and taste, it is like walk through a field with wild flowers surrounding you. Butterflies and birds are flying above, across the field, you can hear the fish in the river is celebrating the coming spring, everyone is so happy and joyful. Sunshine upon the mountain, slowly melting the snow on the peak. You just feel your whole body has been refreshed by the warmth.
It is not just any soup, it is the soup of the day.