Nothing warms your heart more than a bowl of Korean Spicy Pork Backbone and Potato Stew. It’s a hearty and rustic meal that will not only fill your belly, but it will also fill your soul. It is an especially good meal to have on a cold, rainy day and when you have food with your friends and family.
Unlike any other stew, this Korean stew, in particular, carries the taste of authentic Korean cuisine straight from a small Korean town. A sip of the soup will definitely make you feel like you’re part of the Korean family.
What’s in a Korean Spicy Pork Backbone and Potato Stew
As you would already know, this isn’t just like any other stew. The Korean Spicy Pork Backbone and Potato Stew is known by Koreans as Gamjatang. The stew is made up of pork bones, fermented soybean paste, shishito peppers, potatoes and napa cabbages. It is commonly eaten with a bowl of rice, and it is typically consumed by Koreans during winter as a means to keep warm. The rich, fatty taste from the pork bone is perfect for heating up the body in the cold season.
The History of Korean Spicy Pork Backbone and Potato Stew
The Korean Spicy Pork Backbone and Potato Stew or Gamjatang originates from the Jeolla province in Korea and is said to have a history dating back to the Three Kingdoms (57 BC to AD 676). During the time, Jeolla people raised pigs solely for food purposes. Cattles were seen as more valuable possession as they are often used to do labour work in farms. Hence pigs were slaughtered for food instead.
However, pork neck bones and backbones were not a popular meat choice. Thus, it was made readily available to the commoners who then make it into a stew for their consumption. The dish remained a favourite in the province for a long time until the Incheon harbour opened in the 1800s. Afterwards, many people migrated from Jeolla province to Seoul and its surrounding area, taking the recipe with them.
However, the popularity of Gamjatang only started to grow when construction of the Gyung-ui Railway began in 1899. During the time, Gamjatang became a popular dish among railway labourers as it was cheap and the high-fat content in Gamjatang provided the labourers with the energy they needed. Today, Gamjatang still remains as one of the iconic foods of Incheon.
In today’s world, you can easily find Gamjatang in most Korean restaurants around the world. Canada and the United States has a prominent liking to the rustic Korean stew. While it was traditionally cooked during the winter to keep warm, Gamjatang is enjoyed today at every season.
Where to get Korean Spicy Pork Backbone and Potato Stew in Malaysia
Need something to keep you warm on a cold, rainy day? Head over to Mr Lim Korean BBQ in Shah Alam and order their Gamjatang with a price starting from RM72. Although pricey, it’s a meal that can be shared with your friends.
If you are not looking to spend that much, head to Da Sa Rang Restaurant located in KL instead. Their Gamjatang is available at only RM26, and you can have it either on its own or with a bowl of rice. The best part is, Gamjatang is also available on the foodpanda app and can be delivered to your doorstep!