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Gamjatang
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Gamjatang - Spicy Pork Bone Soup

We make a rich and umami stock using pork spine. Then add potatoes, veggies and Korean spices to make a hearty stew. For this stew, don't be afraid to get in there with your hands. 
Course: Medium
Servings: 3 people

Ingredients

Stew ingredients

  • Pork spine bones - 1.5 kg ~3 lbs
  • Potatoes - 4 medium-sized each, about the size of your palm
  • Bok choy - 6-10 stalks the more the better
  • Perilla leaves - 10 
  • Spring onions - 2 whole stalks leeks work well too
  • Onion - 1/2 a whole

Stew seasoning

  • Gochujang - 1 Tablespoon
  • Doenjang - 1 Tablespoon
  • Gochugaru - 3 Tablsepoons
  • Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
  • Soup soy sauce - 1/3 cup
  • Fish sauce - 3 Tablespoons 

Final Seasoning

  • Perilla Seeds Powder - 4 Tablespoons
  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon to taste

Instructions

Prep bones

  • There are a lot of impurities in the spine bones. Let's start by cleaning them: Take out your largest pot. Put the bones in. Pour enough cold water to cover the bones. Set aside for one hour. After one hour, change the water out with fresh new water. Then let it sit again for another hour. 
  • After a total of 2 hours, drain the water again. Then put bones in the pot. Refill with enough cold water to cover the bones. Now, we will give the bones a rapid boil: Put your pot on high heat and bring it up to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and drain the pot (be careful not to burn yourself). 
  • Wash each bone under cold running water. Shake off any visible impurities. Then place each cleaned bone back into the large pot. Fill the pot with 12 cups of water. Place on high heat and bring up to a boil.

Make Broth

  • Once the pot comes to a boil, add in 1 stalk of spring onion and the onion. Let it boil away on a high heat for 10 full minutes. 
  • After 10 minutes, reduce the heat down to a medium-low heat. Place the lid over the pot and let it gently simmer for another 50 minutes on medium-low. It should be a gentle boil. 

Prep vegetables & sauce

  • While you wait, let's prep the vegetables: Give each bokchoy stalk a thorough wash. Then chop the ends off each. Then, take out a small pot, pour some water in and bring it up to a boil. Then blanche the leaves for 1 minute. Drain and cool the leaves down under cold running water. Then, squeeze the water out of the leaves and set aside.
  • Use a peeler and take the skin off the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half. 
  • Cut spring onion stalk into smaller pieces. Then roll the perilla leafs and cut them into small strips.
  • Make marinade sauce: Thoroughly mix all of the listed ingredients under 'stew seasoning'. 
  • Take out a small mixing bowl. Drop in a few spoonfuls of the stew seasoning sauce and coat the blanched bok choy. Set aside.

Cook stew

  • After 50 minutes, take the lid off. Take out the spring onion and onion piece out of the broth.
  • Then add in the potatoes. And the seasoned bok choy. 
  • Finally, add in the remaining stew seasoning. 
  • Put the lid back on. Let everything boil together for another 15 more minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, take off the lid. Skim the surface with a ladle and scoop out any oils, impurities. Take a sip of the soup here. 
  • Add salt. Then the perilla seed powder. Then throw-in the sesame leaf and spring onion pieces. Let the soup boil for a final 2-3 minutes. 
  • Congrats! Your done! Pour a few ladle-full into a big bowl. Eat with hot rice. 

Notes

  • Soup will taste even better the next day - the more boils, the better it tastes! 
  • If you can not find pork spine bones, you can also use baby back pork ribs.
  • See video below for more details