How to Make Korean Pork Bone Soup

I love eating Korean food, especially the Pork Bone Soup (Gamjatang). But in Kingston there isn’t a place that offers the big hot pot on stove, but only individual portions (think small bowl), which is totally not the same experience!

Being curious and adventurous, I decided to try make my own, especially because I have already learnt to make a pork bone soup base, so going from there was a lot easier.

I must warn you though that this is quite time consuming, and will take upwards of five to six hours to make, mostly because simmering the soup base take 4-5 hours.

So let’s Begin!

Step 1. Cut and wash your Pork.

Traditionally it’s Pork Shoulders, but I find you don’t get a lot of meat, so I have switched it out for Pork Side Ribs, which goes on sale very often at local supermarkets.

Cut your Pork ribs into slices, give them a wash, and then put them into a big pot filled with water.

Step 1

Step 2. Boil the water and scoop out the dirty stuff.

Boil the water on high heat, and you will notice blood foams will start to appear on the surface. Scoop those out as they form, and keep boiling until no more foam appears.

Step 2

Step 3: Drain the water and wash meat again.

This is a very important step to make sure the pork broth/soup is crystal clear. Drain the dirty water out, and wash the meat under running water again thoroughly. I usually check for any popped veins or blood clots and remove them.

Also remember to clean your cooking pot and fill with water again.

Step 3

Step 4: Simmer the soup!

Yay it’s finally time to actually make the soup. Put the cleaned pork into the pot again, add mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Skip onions and other vegetables that will become mushy after being cooked for 5 hours, we will add those later.

Cook on high until the water boils, and then simmer on low for 4-5 hours.

You are free to do other stuff!

Step 4Step 5

Step 5: Make the actual Korean Pork Bone Soup

Once you’re finished with simmering the soup, it should become a nice rich but clear broth/stock that you can also use for making noodles, stir fry vegetables with, and any other use you like!

Step 6

Then you scoop out some soup from that along with however much meat you want into another pot for the Gamjatang.

Here you can add sliced potatoes, green onions, cabbage, bean sprouts, or any other vegetables you like. I also mixed the soup base with just  a bit of water so it’s not overly rich.

Then in a small bowl, mix Fish Sauce, soy bean paste (spicy or non-spicy), chili flakes/sauce, and then mix that all in the pot and boil for 30 min.

And voila, enjoy your very own Pork Bone Soup!

Step 7

Advertisements

When you buy more, you want more

So I’ve been eyeing these pair of yoga pants for a very long time. I kept on looking at them on the website, envied people who had them, and even popped into the store to try them on. But the price tag was hefty, and I just couldn’t justify buying them, yet.

Last week there was a power outage in our neighborhood, so I persuaded myself to go out, made an excuse to go to the store, and there they were, sitting on the sale rack in my size, last pair in the store, as if they were screaming my name.

I was beyond happy, I was ecstatic! I bought them right away, and wore them to class the next morning.

But the happiness was gone.

Why wasn’t I excited anymore? Aren’t these the pants I’ve always wanted?

Yes, but I have them now, and they’ve just become another pair of pants in my closet. I’ve just transferred my anticipation into realization, and now my mind has moved onto a different pair of pants to focus on, to want.

“I told you so!” I say to my mind.

“Yeah yeah yeah, whatever”, the mind gives me back a sulky look, “you were right.”

So I have learnt my lesson, that “want” is a suffering caused by the mind, and an illusion created by the mind. When you want more, you buy more. But when you buy more, you want even more. It’s a never ending cycle of never being satisfied.

So take a deep breath, stop the mind from spinning, and take a good look around you. Appreciate what you already have, and give gratitude to all the people and moments in your life.

Namaste.

Oh and these are the gorgeous pants if you were curious : )

How to make dumplings & wontons (just in time for Chinese New Year!)

In preparation for Chinese New Year next Friday, we have been busy stuffing our freezer with dumplings and wontons. I have never made them by myself before, so it was a pleasant surprise to find out that I’m actually pretty good at it! Yay for my genes!

Wrappers:

Okay okay, I didn’t make the wraps from scratch… but I did hand mince all of the fillings! You can get these at local Asian markets for around $1.49 a pack, so I decided not to DIY.

Wonton (square)

wonton wraps

Dumpling (round)

dumpling wrap

Fillings:

Basic stuff:

  • Minced meat of your choice: pork, turkey, chicken, or beef.
  • Shrimp cut into little chunks
  • Green onions, lots of garlic, and a bit of ginger, all well minced
  • Soy sauce, sesame oil, chicken stock powder
  • Eggs or Corn starch to thicken

Vegetables (run wild with your imagination here), all cut into tiny pieces

  • Shiitake mushrooms (or substitute with brown mushrooms)
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Wood ear (a type of cloud ear fungus)

Season to your taste, a trick to test the flavour is to boil a bit of the fillings in water, that way you can also see if your filling will hold its shape. If not, add eggs or corn starch to thicken.

How to Fold:

Now comes the fun part, the art of folding! I found wontons to be much easier to make than dumplings, mostly because there are less fillings to deal with.

Wontons:

wontons

Photo courtesy of MzTasty’s Kitchen

Dumplings (8 ways!):

dumplings

The one I made is on the bottom right corner, where you fold the wrap in half, and crease on one side.

How to eat:

You can deep fry, pan fry, or boil them.

For ones you can’t finish in one go, keep them in freezer bags, and enjoy for many days to come!

**nom nom nom** happy eating everyone!

What is LOVE?

LOVE
ləv/
noun

Like any girl in love, I used to tease David by asking him, “do you love me?”, hoping to hear his confession of love for me. But instead he would ponder for a moment, and with a straight face asks back, what is love?

Indeed, what is love?

Love is a feeling, a state you are in, and words fail to describe it. Languages are meant to communicate your thoughts, which come from the mind. Therefore words actually become a barrier when expressing your feelings, since thoughts and feelings cannot co-exist at the same time. You are either thinking or feeling, and if you are thinking about it, then the feeling is already gone.

But how do you define love?

One may say, love is to give without seeking anything in return, it is to accept things as they are, and what brings the best out of all of us.

I say, we are love.

When we strip away all the labels that define ourselves, like “mother” “father” “husband” “wife” “woman” “man” “doctor” “teacher” or even “yogi”, what’s still left of us?

It is love.

The state that no action is needed to love, because you are the source of love itself, and that love emanates from just by being yourself.

Love is seeing the light in yourself, and being one with that light.

Love is freedom.

Freedom and love go together. Love is not a reaction. If I love you because you love me, that is mere trade, a thing to be bought in the market; it is not love. To love is not to ask anything in return, not even to feel that you are giving something- and it is only such love that can know freedom.

― Jiddu Krishnamurti

So now I don’t ask David if he loves me or not, I feel it, just like how I know LSS the cat loves me too.

I hope you can also feel my love for you.

Namaste.