Army base stew: Budae jjigae (부대찌개)

My boyfriend’s favorite, Budae jjigae 🙂 This stew has an interesting history. After the Korean War around the 50s, Korea was poor and in lack of food. Imagine how devastated it would be right after the war. There were many homeless, thieves, and super skinny people due to undernutrition. It might look like Syria as I imagine.

However, there was a place with enough food and it was the American army base in Korea. With surplus food from the base, which was usually ham and sausage, Koreans near the base started making stew with Kimchi. That is Budae Jjigae. “Budae” means army in Korean.
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I would say there are two types of Budae jjigae. One comes with soup when it is served and the other comes without soup but a server pours broth afterwards. I honestly do not know the difference in taste but my boyfriend says the latter is better and closer to the original. I am not sure about that lol

 

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What we had was the latter without soup. It comes like this. I see spring onions, ham, and noodles. The server comes and pours broth. By the way, Uijeongbu in Korea is well-known for Budae jjigae and we went there to eat it.

For a better Budae jjigae, you can order extra ingredients like Korean noodles, ham and sausage, rice cake, and tofu. We ordered Korean noodles and extra ham and sausages. Usually ham and sausages here are from the States because they are more salty than those of Korea.

 

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After putting broth and the extra ingredients in, cover the pan and wait until it boils.

 

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When it boils, you can eat it. You eat the noodles first otherwise they will be over cooked and soggy. Then try it with rice. See how much ham and sausages we have. It tastes awesome but it might be the unhealthiest Korean dish.

Information

오뎅식당 (Odeng Sikdang)

경기 의정부시 호국로 1309번길 7 (7, Hoguk-ro 1309beon-gil, Uijeongbu-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea)

031-842-0423

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