So you may be wondering what Budae Jjigae is. Well it is what is commonly known as Army stew, and it got it’s name around the Korean war when food was not readily available. People would take the leftovers from the Army bases in Korea (Spam, Hot Dogs, etc) with whatever else they had available and then they added kimchi and a spicy pepper paste.
Nowadays people love their Budae Jjigae, and they don’t just eat it because there isn’t anything else around. People add tofu, ramen noodles, udon, rice cakes, ground meat, baked beans, macaroni and more. Basically I would consider it the kitchen sink of stews!
Today we tried our first Budae Jjigae. They brought it out and you could see the variety of ingredients already in the pot. They also brought out a side dish that had ramen noodles, dumplings, and more “meat”. Once the pot started boiling you mixed it up and that it is when you could see the red pepper paste and kimchi mixing into the soup base. Then we added the side dish of other ingredients and waited for the noodles to cook.
I must say that it really tasted pretty good and all the hot dog, spam and other meat got some good flavor. We were able to get a very large Budae Jjigae set for 2 for 19,000 won.
I would definitely recommend trying this very interesting Korean dish whenever you can. You can get yours with a myriad of ingredients, just makes the stew more interesting!