Budae Jigae (Army Stew)

Budae jjigae is said to have been invented during the Korean war. The American soliders had some food on their bases like beans, meat, and spam. After the war Koreans foraged what was left behind. Mixing what they had with what they found they made Budae Jjigae. I love the stories behind dishes that were created out of amalgamating necessities and culture 



photo by two red bowls

Serves 6


4 tablespoons of gochugaru (more if you want it spicier)
( korean chilli powder, can use other seedless
chili powder but won’t lend the same flavour)

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)

2 Tbs soju Korean spirit, or 4 Tsp Sake ( optional )

2 Tbsp mirin

1 tsp sugar               

1 Tsp Doenjang, Korean fermented soybean paste or miso          

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

¼ cup warm water

2 Tbsp chopped garlic (approximately 8 to 10 cloves garlic)

Whisk all the ingredients until combined


For the Stew

1 cup kimchi cut into 1 in pieces

6 oz organic corned beef, sliced into ¼-inch thin ( omit if you a vegetarian)

6 oz  organic kielbasa sliced into ¼-inch thin ( omit if you a vegetarian)

3 slices of organic bacon ( optional )

4-6  oz firm tofu (1/4 block), sliced into ¼-inch thin

1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin

2 Tbsp baked beans (optional )

1 cup of enoki mushrooms or button or shiitake sliced

5-6 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock

4 oz instant ramen noodles or udon noodles

½ cup of rice cakes slices (optional)

1 Tsp sesame oil ( optional )

layer the ingredients in a heavy bottom pot (5 qt), spread the sauce evenly on the top layer.

As much sauce as you desire


Cover with the stock and boil for 10 minutes, once the noodles are cooked, give a stir and serve over rice

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