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Hello everybody! Today I’m showing you the recipe for a much-requested dish: Budae-jjigae a.k.a “Army Base Stew.” It’s a spicy, savory, Korean-American fusion dish made from an umami-rich broth, Korean hot pepper paste, flakes, kimchi, and American Spam, beans, and sausage.
This dish was invented after the Korean war (1950-1953) when the American army was stationed in the city of Uijeongbu, near Seoul. They had their own food on the base, things like canned beans, meat, Spam, ham, and sausages. This food was totally new to Koreans. Eventually these ingredients made their way into surrounding area of the base and some creative Koreans made stew from them. They boiled spam, ham, sausages, and baked beans with kimchi, garlic, and hot pepper paste and flakes, creating a Korean-style stew with American ingredients.
I have to admit that the idea of this stew never appealed to me, so I never really tried it. I’m not a fan of Spam, for one. And mixing all these ingredients together and boiling them didn’t sound delicious at all.
But over the years of running my website so many of my readers requested this dish that I reconsidered. I tried it in several different places in Korea and New York and was really surprised by how popular it was. And I see why people love it: the spicy, savory stew goes really well with the salty, soft American Spam. I eventually changed my mind about budae-jjigae because of my readers!
Even though it looks like a simple dish to prepare – just put everything in the pot – I learned that it’s not that simple. The anchovy-kelp stock, for one, is irreplaceable and makes it irresistible. Also, everything should be mostly cooked before you start making the stew. The pork belly, for example, should be cooked in the stock for 10 minutes so you don’t have to worry if it’s done or not.
And a hot, bubbling stew is definitely much better than a lukewarm one. Make sure it’s hot and bogeul-bogeul bubbling! Once the ramyeon noodles soften, you can start eating (or even take a few bites of sausage before)!
There are a lot of ingredients to this dish, but some are optional: tofu, baked beans, rice cake, cheese, and radish sprouts.
Let me know how you enjoy this recipe! Happy eating!
Ingredients (Serves 4):
For the stock:
For the seasoning paste:
Make seasoning paste:
Arrange the ingredients in a shallow pot (10 to 12 inch):
Cook and serve:
Posted Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 10:30 pm
Tagged: army base stew, army stew, budae jjigae, budae-chigae, budaejjigae, 부대찌개, kimchi and ham stew, Korean cooking, Korean cooking website, Korean cuisine, korean food, Korean food blog, Korean food images, Korean food photos, Korean kitchen, Korean recipes, Korean stew, Korean war stew, Maangchi, Maangchi's recipes, spam kimchi stew
Originally posted on October 20, 2014 at 10:30 pm by Maangchi .
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