Gamjatang or pork stew with potatoes is one of the many spicy choices in Korean cuisine and its deep red color is all thanks to the red hot peppers. It is best served with a bowl of rice and kimchi.
The high-calorie gamjatang was said to have been popularized in the port area of Incheon where the male workers were in need of body fuel to keep them going for the rest of the day. In addition, the ingredients in this Korean food are known to be very cheap and common. At the heart of it are the pork backbone, green cabbage leaves, green onions, garlic and potatoes from whence the food name was derived from.
The men of Jeolla who came to Incheon brought with them their cuisine history. It was said that this dish originated from the Jeolla province, dating back to the Three Kingdoms Period where pig farming is most common. As cows were considered more beneficial to the industry of agriculture for their meat and strength, pigs were used as ritual offerings more often than cows were.
The gamjatang is a dish where textures complete the entire experience. The fatty meat of the pork’s spine bones is one for the books and the crunchy vegetables offset the amount of fat in this dish. Combine this with the fiery red hot peppers of the broth and you’ll get that sharp, tingling sensation in the caverns of your mouth. And probably a few tears if you’re not used to Korean levels of spiciness.
*photo taken by Grey Jang, This is KOREA