This may be a familiar dish name for many of you. Gamja=potato and tang=soup. Gamjatang is typically made with pork bone broth and big chunks of potatoes. The soup is known to be spicy with a nice hint of perilla seeds. Definitely a hearty meal that makes you crave for more and more!!
Where did gamjatang originate?
Gamjatang is actually an ancient food that’s been around since the Three Kingdoms of Korea. It actually originated in the southern Korean province called Jeolla. Because cows were vastly used as agriculture farm animals, hogs and pigs were much more affordable back then. This soup somehow migrated into the City of Incheon and after that, there was no going back! Koreans have loved Gamjatang for many years for it’s low in price, but high in nutrition and fat content that gave calories that they needed.
what if you don’t have the perilla seeds
I have made mine without the perilla seeds. However, I ended using my air dried perilla seeds with the stem from my summer garden. The perilla seeds will give that distinctive flavor that’s very refreshing and goes really nice with this pork stew. If you have hard time finding the perilla seeds, you can add lots of sesame seeds, but they are not the same!! The scent and taste is very different, perilla seeds being much more stronger in both areas.
Since pork bones naturally have a strong scent to them, using the perilla seeds will smooth most of that away. Trust me, once you try it, you will know the difference!! Also, adding fresh perilla leaves prior to serving can help minimize the pork bone scent too!
Now let me show you how you can make this delicious soup from home!! It’s a great family meal and taste even better the next day!! Just pair it with a bowl of hot sticky rice and a big soup spoon, and you are good to go!!
Gamjatang, Spicy Pork Bone Soup with Potatoes
- 1 lb pork neck bone
- 3 bay leaves whole
- 3 tbsp white wine or sake
- 8 cup water parboil, to discard
- 12 cup water for soup
- 6-8 garlic cloves whole
- 2 pc ginger thumb size
- 1/8 tsp black peppercorn whole
- 13 oz potatoes peeled, halved
- 1 med onion chopped
- 5-6 leaf napa cabbage chopped
- 4 oz thinly sliced beef/ bulgogi meat cut in half
- 1 handful dried perilla seed with stem sub: 1-2tbsp perilla seeds
Spicy Sauce Marinade
- 1/4 cup doeng jang (soybean paste)
- 1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp gochugaru, red chili pepper flake coarse
- 3 tbsp guk ganjang, soup soy sauce
- 1 pinch black pepper
- 2 bunch scallion chopped
- 1 serrano pepper sliced
- 1-2 tbsp perilla seeds
- 1 handful perilla leaves chopped
- Soak pork bone in cold water for 1-2hours. Rinse and Drain
- Bring 8 cups of water to boil then add pork bone with bay leaves and white wine. Boil for 6-7min, then rinse and drain.
- In a large stock pot, add 12 cups of water. Add bones, garlic, ginger and peppercorn. Bring to boil and simmer in medium heat for 45min.
- Prep and chop the veggies and make the spicy sauce. Marinate the beef in the spicy sauce and let it sit to marinate.
- When the 45min is done, skim the fat on top of the soup and take out aromatics.
- Add potatoes, onion, napa cabbage, marinated beef. Bring for boil and simmer in med heat for 30 min.
- Go to next step if using perilla seeds. Add the bag of perilla seed and stem and simmer for 5 min.
- Turn heat off and sprinkle scallion, and serrano pepper. Serve with plenty of perilla seeds and fresh chopped perilla leaf on top.