Anyone who’s a big fan of Korean cuisine knows — the cravings can come at any time. And by “any time”, I mean even in the wee hours of the morning while in the middle of a K-drama binge. (Watching shows that happen to feature a lot of delicious dishes will do that to you.) One of our favourite no-fuss dishes to prepare at home is budae jjigae, an easy-to-make Korean stew that will satisfy your cravings in no time!
Also read: 15 Korean Dishes to Try That You Always See in K-Dramas
What is budae jjigae?
This popular hot pot dish literally translates to “army stew” — and it’s actually got quite an interesting backstory! During the aftermath of the Korean War in the 1950s, there was a shortage of food all over Korea. Because of this, they looked to US military bases for supplies, and ended up with a whole lot of American processed food such as spam, sliced cheese, baked beans, and sausages.
The city of Uijeongbu, located a few miles north of Seoul, is particularly famous for this dish. It was there that a restaurant owner came up with the idea to create a stew with all those ingredients! Today, it’s a well-loved dish, both inside and outside of Korea. Who knew this stew with seemingly random ingredients would end up being such a hit?
How to make it
Image credit: iGELig
Here’s the great thing about budae jjigae: Not only is it easy to make, you can recreate it with ingredients that are most likely just lying around the house. Plus, you can add, substitute, or omit any other food items as you wish! Below, we share a really simple and delicious recipe by My Korean Kitchen.
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 200g spam, thinly sliced
- 4 cocktail Frankfurt sausage, thinly and diagonally sliced
- 250g tofu, sliced (about 1.5cm thick)
- 200g enoki mushrooms, base stem removed and stems separated
- 200g king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 100g shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
- 0.5 cup ripened bite-sized kimchi
- 110g instant ramen noodles
- 50g Korean rice cakes (soak in cold water for 15 mins if frozen)
- 30g green onion, thinly and diagonally sliced
- 1 or 2 slices of cheese
- 2 tbsp Korean chili flakes
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp Korean chili paste
- Few sprinkles of ground black pepper
Budae jjigae recipe
For this recipe, you’ll need a shallow pot at least 12 inches wide. We recommend cooking your budae jjigae on a portable hot pot or burner so you can enjoy your stew while it’s hot!
- Place main ingredients (except for instant ramen noodles, rice cakes, green onion, cheese) in a shallow pot.
- Add sauce to the middle.
- Pour the stock in the corner of the pot.
- Close the lid and boil it on medium high heat until the stock starts to boil (around eight minutes).
- Add the remaining ingredients on top of the pot and boil uncovered until the noodles are cooked (two to three minutes).
- Reduce heat to low (if you’re cooking on a portable burner).
- Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!
Also read: 20 Best Items to Buy at Your Local Korean Grocery Store
You probably have most, if not all, of these ingredients just lying around at home — so why not give this recipe a try? Enjoy your budae jjigae, take photos of your creations, and be sure to tag us at @tripzillaph on Instagram!
Featured image credit: Jacklee | Wikimedia Commons