Adventures in Korean Cooking: Gamjatang

I really enjoy Korean food, and the soups are some of my favorite dishes. Of the soups, one of the ones I most like is Gamjatang – pork bone soup. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to find in restaurants. Very few have it at all, and there are many others that will only prepare it if you give them an advance request.

I made a batch, based on the recipe we saw on Manngchi’s Youtube channel. I had to make a few substitutions.

  • The store I went to didn’t have perilla leaves or seed powder, so I used Maangchi’s own advice and substituted basil leaves and sesame seed powder.
  • They didn’t have asian chives, so I doubled the number of green onions.
  • They also had run out of bean sprouts, so I just left them out entirely.
  • Two tablespoons of spicy pepper flakes seemed insane, so I reduced it to one tablespoon.

The soup turned out really well, although it was still much spicier than any gamjatang I’ve ever had in a restaurant. I found some of the cooking instructions interestingly different than what I’m used to; for example, it had me stewing the meat at a full boil for two hours without it turning tough and chewy.


Sarah and I are looking forward to trying out a number of new Korean recipes over the next few weeks/months.