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Archive for the ‘Budae Jiggae’ Category

I said I was going to post up the Galbi episode of “Best cooking recipes” but I couldn’t resist posting up the one for budae jjigae aka Army stew.  Its freaking delicious but considered a “low class” food because of its origins.  During the Korea war, the majority of Korean citizens were hungry and starving.  When the American troops entered the country, they brought with them their army rations which included canned meats and beans.  The Americans would give them out to the Koreans who then used it to develop this stew.  It’s Korea’s first fusion food.  Puah.

In the past few years the stew has found a renewed popularity.  While you couldn’t find this stew in many Korean restaurants, I’ve noticed it popping up on several menus over the past few years.  I had this stew two weeks ago with a side of alcohol and nothing goes better with soju than a spicy hot stew like budae jigae.


100 grams  of Kimchi
1/2 can of Spam
3 hot dogs
1/2 can of baked beans
50 grams of ground beef
1/4 block of tofu
1/4 onion
One stalk of green onion
50 grams of 쑥갓  (optional)
1 slice of american cheese


5 cups of water
1 sheet of dashima (kelp)
100 grams of Korean radish
6 anchovies


Prepare the ingredients:  Cut the green onion into small diagonal pieces

cut the onions into long pieces

Cut the tofu into smaller rectangular pieces

Cut the hot dogs on a bias

Cut the SPAM into approximately the same size as the tofu

Cut the kimchi into smaller pieces.  Note that you don’t want to use too much kimchi in this stew even if you really like kimchi because you’re making army stew not kimchi jiggae.

Once the ingredients are prepped, you want to make the broth.  Take the kelp and make a few cuts on the bottom in order to release the flavor.

Then take the anchovies and remove the intestines to get rid of the bitter taste.  I personally never do this because I don’ t think there is any real bitterness that shows especially in a stew like this.  I would remove the intestines if I was making a broth for something a bit more subtle in flavor.  But whatever floats your boat.

Finally roughly chop up the Korean radish.

Once prepared, add the water, radish, kelp and anchovies to a pot and let it boil.  Once it rapidly boils, remove the kelp and continue to let the broth boil for another 10 minutes.  Once cooked, strain the broth.

Now to create the seasoning:

Add the following to a bowl and mix:

1 TBS Soy Sauce
2 TBS hot pepper powder
1 TBS minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 TBS rice wine
Pinch of pepper

Take a wide pan and place your hot dogs, spam and veggies around the rim of the pan.  Add the beans and ground meat into the middle and top it with the seasoning.

Once everything is placed in the pot, add the broth and let it cook for 5-10 minutes.  I watched a special on tv and the guy said 7 minutes is the perfect amount of time but I personally would wait until I noticed everything was throughly cooked.

Once cooked, you can add the 쑥갓, cheese and ramen which are all optional.  Its ready to eat with a side of rice, or personally a side of cold cold beer.  mmmm beer.  By the way, besides the stock and seasoning, the ingredients for this stew is readily interchangeable.  I think the only three things you really need are the hot dogs, SPAM and kimchi.  You can add mushrooms, use rigatoni instead of ramen, etc.  I’ve seen so many variations but there’s always those three things.  If anything, I would add the ramen as a necessity.  Make sure to add the ramen at the end or the flour in the ramen will overcook and you’ll have a nasty congealed mess.

Here’s the video of the chef who says its 7 minutes.  He uses what looks like beef bones to make his stock which probably taste 100 times better than using anchovies.  mmmm.