Pork bones stew with potatoes and vegetables

Gamjatang 감자탕

Makes 2-3 servings. Cooking time: 2 hours.

Gamjatang (pork bone soup) is another Korean traditional nutritious dish. It’s usually made with pork spine bones and vegetables, but I use pork neck bones in this recipe.



Pork neck bones, onion, garlic, ginger, dried shiitake mushrooms, napa cabbage, potatoes, soy bean sprouts, Asian chives (buchu), green onions, perilla leaves, dried red chili pepper, soybean paste, hot pepper flakes, hot pepper paste, cooking wine, perilla seeds powder (deulkkae garu), fish sauce


  1. Soak 2.5 lb (about 1 kg) of pork neck bones in cold water for 2 hours.
  2. Boil water in a large pot.
  3. Put ¼ of a medium sized napa cabbage (about 2-3 cups) into the boiling water and blanch it for a minute.
  4. Rinse and drain the cabbage and put it in a bowl.
  5. Tear each leaf lengthwise once or twice to make it bite size and set it aside.
  6. Rinse pork neck bones in cold water and put them in boiling water with 4-5 slices of ginger (1 tbs). Cook for 7 minutes.
  7. Rinse and strain the pork neck bones and put them in a large pot.
    *tip: when you rinse the pork bones, pick out any excessive fat
  8. Pour 10 cups of water into the pot.
  9. Add 1 medium size sliced onion, 1 tbs of sliced ginger, 2 tbs of soy bean paste, 1 dried red chili pepper (after removing the seeds), and 2 dried shiitake mushrooms to the pot. Boil it for 1. 5 hours over medium high heat.
  10. Prepare a small bowl to make the sauce! In the bowl, put 6-8 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tbs of hot pepper flakes, 1 tbs of hot pepper paste, 3 tbs of cooking wine, 3 tbs of fish sauce, 3 tbs of perilla seeds powder (deulkkae garu) and mix it all up.
  11. Prepare a large bowl for vegetables
    * Squeeze the cooked cabbage slightly to drain some of the water, and put it into the bowl.
    * Cut about 10 perilla leaves into bite sized pieces and put them into the bowl.
    * Cut 2 stalks of green onion and Asian chives (2-3 cups worth) into 7 cm long pieces and put them into the bowl.
    * Rinse and drain 2 cups of soy bean sprouts and put them into the bowl.
    * Peel 3 small potatoes and put them into the bowl.
    Now you made the sauce and prepared all the vegetables. All you can do is to wait until the pork neck bone soup is finished cooking.
  12. About 1½ hours later, take the red hot chilli pepper and shiitake mushrooms out of the pot.
  13. Slice shiitake mushrooms into bite sized pieces.
  14. Add your vegetables and your sauce and the chopped shiitake mushrooms into the soup. Cook for another 30 minutes.
  15. 30 minutes later, transfer the soup into a serving bowl and sprinkle some chopped green onions and ground pepper.
    *tip: If you have an earthenware bowl, put the soup into it and heat it up until it sizzles. Sprinkle some chopped green onions and ground pepper!
  16. Serve with rice and kimchi or some side dishes!




  1. HW My profile page joined 11/15
    Posted November 16th, 2015 at 5:35 pm | # |

    Nothing is better than this in a fall/winter time. Obsessed with Manngchi’s recipes.

    See full size image

  2. nrpharmd My profile page joined 11/15
    Posted November 13th, 2015 at 11:18 pm | # |

    Made my first Maangchi recipe tonight, the spicy pork neck stew. It was a big hit with my parents. And considering that my mom is one of the best cooks on earth (in my opinion), that is high praise indeed. Can’t wait to try some of the other recipes. Thanks!

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 14th, 2015 at 12:07 pm | # |

      This is such a great looking gamjatang photo! It looks very delicious. I’m happy to hear that it was a big hit!

  3. pp_123 Hong Kong My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted September 20th, 2015 at 9:27 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    Can you suggest any non-spicy version of this recipe? Thanks!

    • jubillante Vancouver, BC My profile page joined 1/16
      Posted January 17th, 2016 at 1:32 am | # |

      Hi stranger! I would say leave out the gochujang and gochu garu and it will still taste quite delicious and complex. The combo of ginger/shitaake/pork in the beginning smells and tastes really good to begin with and I don’t think too much flavour is lost in omitting the spicy ingredients. Happy cooking!

  4. afan toronto, ontario, canada My profile page joined 11/14
    Posted April 19th, 2015 at 12:40 pm | # |

    Hello again Maangchi! from Toronto,

    Today i took a quick trip to Galleria to pick up some Perilla seed powder and made this soup. SO DELISH!, outstanding recipe. I used up all my Nappa in my 2nd batch of Kimchi and only had regular cabbage but it still was amazing! Today I will not eat it with rice but with thick noodles because my Taiwanese step daughter is with us and she likes those thick noodles used in the noodles with black bean sauce. Its a big mix and match around here…not 100% authentic, but very suiting to eveyones taste buds. ALSO: readers might be interested in this. If you are not in a hurry and can make your pork bone soup one day ahead. Its very good to make the broth and put it in the fridge, then you can “skim” off all the hard fat! Reheat when you are ready to season it and its a much leaner soup, without worrying bout too much fat! This is a great recipe. Thanks Maangchi. I am always looking for your new posted recipes.


  5. sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted March 17th, 2015 at 4:19 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I did it again! ;-D

    This time with veal (spine and ribs) and pickled perilla because it’s not the season for fresh one. But this time, I had fresh baechu.

    Do I have to mention that it turned out delicious – again? ;-D

    Bye, Sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 17th, 2015 at 7:55 am | # |

      Of course you can mention it! I’m always happy to hear that. haha! Baechu (napa cabbage) is so delicious when it’s cooked. I love the texture.

  6. edloveskoreanfood philippines My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 8th, 2015 at 3:41 am | # |

    i indeed cooked it for 2 hours.the wait was too long but it was worth it. i’m happy with what i made especially the soup. the meat became so tender but it was quite tasteless. is that okay? so i dipped the meat in soy sauce with sesame oil, then it got a better taste. thanks for the recipe maangchi… ^^

  7. I LOVE KOREAN FOOD india My profile page joined 1/15
    Posted January 24th, 2015 at 11:14 am | # |

    hi maangchi-shi I’ve received your e-mail, thanks for your reply and i’m so happy that you replied me. now I can eat pork without fear.

    maangchi-shi can you make a video about how to make sundae
    [Korean blood sausage and sausage soup].
    I’ve watched in many Korean dramas they’ll eat Korean blood sausage soup and after I watched it I was excited and want to eat it sooooo much.
    can you please make a video about this recipe maangchi-shi.

    thanks for reading my comment maangchi-shi.

    • DeeBelle Toronto My profile page joined 2/15
      Posted February 24th, 2015 at 6:52 pm | # |

      What if I don’t have fish sauce? Can I make it without it?

  8. sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted November 15th, 2014 at 5:50 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Wow. Just Wow.

    We’ve eaten other Korean Gamjatang before, and it was delicious, but this one …

    I had organic spareribs and Kimchi made from shin young Napa-cabbage, washed and squeezed, skipped soaking and pre-cooking (neither bone nor much fat), used less water and put all the ginger to the soup from the beginning.
    After 1/2 hour in the pressure-cooker, I took out the meat, pulled out the bones and cut it in pieces and the mushrooms, put the soup through a collander and added all the ingredients. I had to substitute some; no puchu, more green onions and extra garlic instead; roasted sesame seeds – and it took 20 minutes in the pressure-cooker to get the potatoes right (because of the sour Kimchi).

    We ate a lot (with rice only), but there’s still more, still delicious. Tomorrow, I will cook beef-ribs in the left-over broth, add the vegetables and reheat them.

    Bye, Sanne.

  9. venuss Canada My profile page joined 9/14
    Posted September 16th, 2014 at 8:59 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi. I am new to Korean cooking and have just started stocking my pantry with the basic ingredients I need. Can you tell me how to properly store the perilla seeds powder? Also, how long can I keep soybean paste in the fridge after I’ve opened it? Thank you so much, I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful videos!

  10. jinjoo usa My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted September 6th, 2014 at 7:17 pm | # |

    maang chi i’m going to try this tomorrow & if it turns OK i’ll send u the photo :) remember me Jinjoo i did the bread ppang last few wks ago? your recipes look v appetizing & yummy! i’ll try my best to make it look n taste like yours here :) kam sa hab ni da for sharing all wonderful recipes!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 8th, 2014 at 10:58 am | # |

      yes, I remember you. How can I forget your name because jinjoo means pearl in Korean. : ) good luck with your Korean cooking!

      • Michin All over My profile page joined 10/14
        Posted October 23rd, 2014 at 10:04 pm | # |

        Hello, I just made the soup and I feel like it’s a little bland. I’m half korean and black and love all types of korean food. I didn’t add the perilla powder instead toasted sesame seed. What can I add to give it more flavor?

        • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
          Posted October 24th, 2014 at 3:18 am | # |

          Hi Michin,

          What kind of bland?
          Maybe the Soybean Paste you use isn’t salty enough? Is it Doenjang or Miso?
          You may also add a little bit of Gochujang or more hot Peppers or some black Pepper or just a pinch of salt (preferably seasalt) or even just a little bit of vinegar or lemonjuice. Or you may add some well-fermented Kimchi for some sour taste, Kimchi-Jigae-wise. Or just less water …
          Do you use Korean Perilla-Leaves or Japanese Shiso?
          Did you put the dried Shiitake directly into the pot? That’s important; they add a lot of flavor that way! Use some more.

          Bye, Sanne.

  11. Bella Giyongchy Malaysia My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted August 15th, 2014 at 11:26 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi Unnie, I just joining your cooking web today as I love to try all of your recipe.Unnie, for this Gamjatang recipe, can i sub the cooking wain with something else ???😁😁😁

  12. Cutemom Indonesia My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted August 1st, 2014 at 12:02 am | # |

    Maangchi ssi,

    Each time i make this dish, the better it tasted. However, I can never finished it within 2-3 days, so I make a large amount of the soup, seasoned it and freeze it. Then whenever I want to make the dish, i just defrosted 5 portions worth of the soup and just add the vegetables. I only put in my very fermented kimchi (made with your recipe), kongnamul, chives, potatoes and kaenip if i can find some in my local korean store. Otherwise, no kaenip in my gamjatang.

    However, I think the serving part of your recipe is inaccurate. It says 2-3 servings but i always ended up with 10 servings.

    Kamsahamnida Maangchi ssi,


    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 8th, 2014 at 2:22 pm | # |

      Oh Ima, Ima! : )
      “It says 2-3 servings but i always ended up with 10 servings.” That’s good, you can feed 10 people with this recipe. Everybody needs a different portion to satisfy their stomach. I eat a huge bowl of gamjatang.

  13. hunche04 south korea My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted June 10th, 2014 at 10:37 pm | # |

    Wow one of my favorite 감자탕 i need to cook this for my husband…i learned to much maangchi…please make a lot of korean foods..

  14. mustwin Malaysia My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted June 7th, 2014 at 8:20 am | # |

    Dear Maangchi Shi,

    I absolutely love your website! It’s my go to for almost all the korean dishes we as a family enjoy.

    Could I use beef ribs/bones as we do not eat pork?

    I just bought a packet of perilla powder from the local korean mart here in Kuala Lumpur.

    Hope to her from you soon.

    Kamsa hamnida!

  15. Cutemom Indonesia My profile page joined 3/13
    Posted March 27th, 2014 at 12:04 pm | # |

    Hi, Maangchi ssi!
    I just made this yesterday to share with my friends. I now have tried all of your recipe except for bungeoppang because I can’t find the mold anywhere here in Indonesia. I have requested my boyfriend in Korea to bring 2 with him when he’s coming to see me next month.

    As always, your recipes are awesome. Thanks to you and your recipes, I manage to lose 3% belly fat and 7% total body fat and 6kg in 3 months. Since I’ve been making more and more kimchi, I ended up selling kimchi and kimchi products such as jinpang mandu with kimchi & pork filling ( we call them bakpao around here) and kimchi mandu.
    I use my fresh kimchi in my Gamjatang in place of the blanched cabbage and omitted the fish sauce in the sauce. Let me tell you that I got endless compliments and more kimchi orders.

    Thank you Maangchi ssi for turning this international home cook into a korean home cook. I cook korean food for my daily meals 4x a week. The other times when I don’t feel like cooking, I just eat rice with kimchi or kaenip jangaji. Thanks so much for your extensive website, easy to follow and accurate recipes. It helps me lose weight and eat well even when the heat kick me out of my own kitchen.


    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 27th, 2014 at 1:27 pm | # |

      Hi Ima,
      wow, you have made all of my recipes except for bungeoppang! I’m so happy to hear that you lost 6 kilograms in 3 months. “when I don’t feel like cooking, I just eat rice with kimchi or kaenip jangaji.” That’s right!

  16. IrishKoreanPretendChef Dublin My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted March 23rd, 2014 at 11:37 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I am trying to make your pork bone soup but have not been able to find perilla leaves or perilla seed powder in any Asian shops in my city. Can I substitute them with mint leaves and just leave out the seed powder? Is there something else I can substitute them with? Thanks Maangchi, I love your website!!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 24th, 2014 at 9:34 am | # |

      Yes, mint or basil leaves will be a good substitute. And use roasted sesame seed powder if perilla seed powder is not available. Good luck! : )

  17. rickg Toronto My profile page joined 9/10
    Posted March 21st, 2014 at 9:15 pm | # |

    Maangchi, I love you. I think you’re awesome.

    1. I’m trying this recipe for the first time (though I’ve been wanting to try it for years!). To save time for tomorrow, I did a few things tonight: the pork is cooked, the sauce is made, the veggies are chopped, the nappa cabbage is blanched. Is this okay?

    2. Also, I bought perilla seeds and ground them myself. I made a kind of chunky dry paste rather than a powder. Is that okay? It tastes fine, but I’m not sure.

    3. I don’t have cooking wine, so I have to leave it out. Is that okay?

    Thanks, Maangchi. Keep on cookin’!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted March 22nd, 2014 at 11:32 am | # |

      How did your gamjatang (pork bone soup) turn out? All you said is very ok to me!

      • rickg Toronto My profile page joined 9/10
        Posted March 23rd, 2014 at 9:59 am | # |

        I’m not going to lie to you, Maangchi. IT WAS AWESOME! I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Doing all the prep work the day before worked really well. The next day, I just had to heat up the soup, add the veggies and sauce, then wait 25 minutes for everything to cook together.

        I’ve tried the gamjatang in about 20 different Korean restaurants all over Toronto, mostly the Yonge and Finch area, where there are a million and one Korean restaurants (Note: I’m on the lookout for a new favourite Korean restaurant. Sadly, Todamgol on Yonge & Cummer closed. Sad face!). Some places have better gamjatang than others, that’s for sure. It’s all in the broth; if it’s tasteless and watery, I never go back! Anyhow, I’d like to think I know what good gamjatang is. In my humble opinion, it would be impossible for your recipe to disappoint anyone. The pork was cooked to perfection and the broth was rich and spicy – the way it should be. Thanks again!

        • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
          Posted March 24th, 2014 at 9:41 am | # |

          “I’ve tried the gamjatang in about 20 different Korean restaurants all over Toronto,..” Check out Eomji Bunsik (엄지분식) in Koreatown Yonge & Bathurst. That’s the best gamjatang place. I was inspired to make this recipe after trying theirs.
          The address: 615 Bloor St W.
          Toronto , ON
          Thank you for sharing your story. You are so passionate about food and cooking! Cheers!

          • rickg Toronto My profile page joined 9/10
            Posted March 27th, 2014 at 1:41 pm | # |

            Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve seen Um Ji Bun Sik on Bloor. I’ve only been to Ka Chi across the street (great gamjatang, terrible service!) I’ll give it a try the next time I’m in the “other” Koreatown (I still think the Korean food around Yonge & Finch is better – sorry!)

          • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
            Posted March 27th, 2014 at 1:49 pm | # |

            ok, think about me when you taste their gamjatang. : )

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