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South Korean Dwaeji Gukbap Recipe

South Korean Dwaeji Gukbap Recipe

Dwaeji Gukbap is a traditional South Korean soup consisting of pork, broth, rice and vegetables. The broth is made by boiling pork bones over a long period of time to extract their flavor. Sometimes, additional pork pieces are added to the broth.

Often after cooking the soup is served plain, letting the quantity of rice, vegetables and seasoning be decided by the person consuming it. Dwaeji Gukbap is served with various condiments and sides.

‘Dwaeji’ means pork and ‘Gukbap’ means soup rice. Dwaeji Gukbap is just one type of Gukbap, hot soups containing rice and a protein. The protein usually determines the name of the Gukbap such as Dwaeji Gukbap, made using pork and Sundae Gukbap which is made using Sundae, a Korean sausage.

The basic components of Dwaeji Gukbap remain the same. Not very flavorful when eaten alone, it is served with several sides and there are several recipe variations. Additions to the soup include gochujang or gochugaru for spiciness, kimchi to add tanginess, rice noodles for a different texture and dwaeji with noodles.

When not already added to the soup they are served as accompaniment along with other popular sides such as salted shrimp, onions, pickled vegetables and seaweed.

Origin & Cultural Significance

Dwaeji Gukbap originated from Busan, Korea where it is still immensely popular and is sold in little shops everywhere. It’s believed to date back to the 1950’s during the Korean war, created out of necessity amid scarce food supply by refugees fleeing the North.

It’s often reported that the scrap meat and bones were sourced from the discarded meat from the US Army base.

Dwaeji Gukbap with green onions

Korean Dwaeji Gukbap Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 10 minutes

Dwaeji gukbap is a traditional Korean soup.  It consists of pork, broth, rice and vegetables.


  • Pork shank and/or knuckle bones (ok if some meat is still on them) - 5 lbs.
  • 1-2 lbs pork belly or butt (optional if bones have meat on them) - 2 lbs.
  • Ginger (3 inch piece) - 1
  • White onion (cut in half) - 1
  • Garlic cloves - 4
  • Steamed Rice - 4 cups
  • Green onions (sliced) - 4
  • Chinese chives (chopped) - 4
  • Gochujang - to taste


  1. Add the pork bones and pork belly/butt to a large stock pot and cover with water.
  2. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat to a rolling simmer for 25 minutes.  
  3. Drain bones into colander and toss all the liquid.
  4. Wash out the stock pot and rinse the bones and meat so no scum remains.
  5. Add the bones then the meat back to the now clean pot and cover with water (about an extra inch) again.
  6. Bring to a just boil, then lower to a simmer for 45 mins to an 1 hour.
  7. When the meat is tender but not falling apart, remove the pork belly/butt and any bones with meat on them.
  8. Add them to a large bowl of ice water, to lower temperature and prevent discoloration.
  9. When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones, and the belly/butt, pat the meat dry and store in the fridge until the soup is ready.
  10. Drain out half of the stock in the pot.
  11. Add the removed bones back to the pot and again add enough water to cover.
  12. Bring to just a boil, then to a low simmer for 8-12 hrs.
  13. Once your stock has simmered for at least 8 hrs, remove meat from the fridge and slice into thin slabs.
  14. Allow the meat to come to room temperature.
  15. Bring the broth to a boil.
  16. The broth should be free of any debris. Strain through a mesh sieve or cheesecloth to have a clear broth and set aside.
  17. Rinse the pot once again, add clear broth back to the pot and then return to a boil.
  18. Add 1 cup of rice into each serving bowl, cover with boiling broth and season with garnishes to taste.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2218Total Fat: 125gSaturated Fat: 44gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 76gCholesterol: 706mgSodium: 901mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 205g

Nutrition is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. It is for general information purposes and is only a rough estimation.

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