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Korean pork bone soup with red spicy broth in white bowl from above.
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5 from 2 votes

korean pork bone soup - gamjatang

Don't let the long list of ingredients throw you. If you can make stock and you can make stew you can make Korean pork bone soup.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 6
Calories: 679kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


The stock

  • 3 lbs pork neck bones - cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (talk to your butcher). You need 3 lbs for the stock and 3 lbs for the soup.
  • 2 Tbsp doenjang
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 8 cups water

The spice mix

  • 2 Tbsp gochujang
  • 1 Tbsp gochugaru - plus 2 more teaspoons if you like spicy
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2-3 big cloves of garlic - crushed
  • 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp wild sesame seed powder - deulkkae-garu - this is not easy to find but you can leave it out

The soup

  • 3 lbs pork neck bones - cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (really, talk to your butcher), in all
  • 1 2 lb pork hock - cut in 6 pieces (again - your butcher is key)
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes - cut in quarters
  • 8 perilla leaves - roughly torn (you can substitute shiso leaves or just leave them out)
  • 1 lb young napa cabbage or the inner leaves of an bigger one
  • 6 green onions - cut into 2 inch pieces

Drizzling sauce

  • 3 Tbsp soy
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi
  • 1/2 tsp asian mustard - e.g. Japanese prepared mustard


Make the stock

  • You should have 6 or so lbs of pork neck bones in total. Some will be meatier than others. Keep those for the soup. You will need to blanch and rinse all the pork so you might as well do it all up front.
  • Put all the pork into a pot large enough to hold it all and cover with cold water.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 5 minutes. You will see a mess of scum form. Don't worry. Down the drain it goes.
  • Rinse the pork well with cold running water. Set 3 lbs of meaty pork bones aside.
  • Place 3 lbs of the pork neck bones (pick the ones with less meat) into a pot and add the water along with the green onion and 2 whole cloves of garlic.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover loosely and simmer for 4-5 hours. Longer is better if you have the time.
  • Strain the stock into a clean pot large enough to hold the remaining pork, potatoes and cabbage. You should have about 5-6 cups. If you have less, add water to get to 6 cups.

The spice mix

  • Combine all the ingredients listed in the spice mix section in the ingredients together. Set aside.

The drizzling sauce

  • Combine all the ingredients in the drizzling sauce ingredient list. Stir until the sugar dissolves and the mustard and wasabi are evenly distributed. Set aside.

The soup

  • Mix 2 Tbsp doenjang with a bit of stock to dilute. Add the reserved pork neck bones and pork hock along thinned doenjang to the pot.
  • Simmer 90 minutes.
  • While the soup simmers, bring a pot of water large enough to hold all the cabbage to boil. Blanch the cabbage for 90 seconds. Remove the cabbage from the pot (use tongs) and cool under cold running water. Cut the cabbage into large bite size pieces.
  • After 90 minutes, thin the spice mix with a bit of stock and add it to the soup.
  • Add the potatoes and cabbage, being careful to submerge the potatoes.
  • Simmer until the potatoes are tender, around 30-40 minutes.
  • Add the green onions and simmer 3-4 minutes more.
  • Serve in bowls with a couple teaspoons of the drizzling sauce overtop. Garnish with green onion and sliced red chilies.


Serving: 6servings | Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 1118mg | Potassium: 1321mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 865IU | Vitamin C: 36.5mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 6.6mg