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Gamjatang (Pork Bone Soup)

This spicy Korean soup is warming and full of flavor.

Gamjatang (Pork Bone Soup)

Serves: 4 Prep time: 1h30 Total time: 3h


  • 3 lbs pork bones (give or take)
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 medium yellow potatoes, cut into chunks with skin removed
  • 8 cabbage leaves, preferably napa
  • hot peppers, diced, optional
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • A few white onions, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large tuber ginger, peeled
  • 1 T black pepper

add these separately, at the very last step * sprigs fresh basil, thinly sliced * sprigs perilla leaves, thinly sliced

SEASONING BASE INGREDIENTS * 1 T Korean fish sauce * 1 T minced ginger * 4 T gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) * 2 T doenjang (Korean soybean paste) * 3 T rice wine * 2 T minced garlic


  • In a large bowl or pot filled with cold water, soak pork bones for at least an hour.
  • Pour out water and refill. Place pot on stove burner on high heat, bring to a boil and boil for ten minutes with the lid tightly covered. Drain and rinse bones.
  • Return bones to same pot and fill with vegetable broth. Add vegetables except potatoes and simmer on medium heat for 90 minutes, covered.
  • Meanwhile, boil potatoes in a separate bowl until not quite tender.
  • Remove potatoes and set aside in a bowl.
  • In the same bowl you used for the potatoes, fill with water, bring to a boil, and quickly blanch napa cabbage. Drain, cool, and tear leaves into large strips.
  • Sieve the broth, catching it in a pot or bowl (keep the bones for decoration and flavor in the soup, but you can discard all the veggies at this point).
  • Pour back into the pot then add the pork bones, cabbage, potatoes, and various seasonings (from the seasoning ingredients list). Boil until potatoes are fully cooked, approximately 8 minutes.
  • Add perilla leaves and basil and boil additional 2 minutes. Serve hot.