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Korean Budae Jjigae (Army Stew)

Korean Budae Jjigae (Army Stew) Recipe

Craving something warm, hearty, and filled with a fusion of flavors? Korean Budae Jjigae, also known as Army Stew, is a delightful dish that combines traditional Korean ingredients with American-style meats like sausages and spam. This stew is not just a feast for the taste buds but also a delightful journey through history, originating from the Korean War when food was scarce, and American army surplus was creatively utilized. Perfect for a cozy dinner or gathering with friends, this recipe promises to comfort and satisfy with every spoonful.

Tips to Make the Korean Budae Jjigae (Army Stew) Recipe:

1. Use a Variety of Ingredients: The charm of Budae Jjigae lies in its variety. Don’t hesitate to use a wide range of ingredients including instant ramen noodles, tofu, and various vegetables like mushrooms and bok choy for a rich and hearty stew.

2. Balance the Broth: The broth is a crucial element of Budae Jjigae. Ensure a good balance between the savory notes of chicken or vegetable broth and the spicy kick of gochujang (Korean chili paste) and kimchi juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

3. Layer Your Ingredients: When cooking, layer your ingredients thoughtfully in the pot. Start with the base broth, then add the harder ingredients that take longer to cook, and finally, top with softer items like leafy greens and instant noodles. This ensures everything is perfectly cooked.

4. Serve with Accompaniments: Enhance your Budae Jjigae experience by serving it with traditional Korean sides like kimchi, fermented radish, or a bowl of steamed rice. These sides complement the stew wonderfully, offering a full Korean dining experience.

How to Make Korean Budae Jjigae (Army Stew) Recipe?

Korean Budae Jjigae (Army Stew) Recipe

Korean Budae Jjigae (Army Stew) Recipe

Michelle Kim
Learn how to make Budae Jjigae, a hearty Korean stew packed with ingredients from American and Korean cuisines, reflecting its origins from the Korean War.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine korean
Servings 4
Calories 500 kcal


  • 1 Large pot or Korean army stew pot For cooking the stew


  • 200 g Spam sliced
  • 2 links Hot dogs sliced
  • 100 g Kimchi preferably aged
  • 1 block Instant noodles
  • 200 g Tofu sliced
  • 100 g Mushrooms any type, sliced
  • 150 g Baked beans
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 4 cups Chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tbsp Gochujang Korean red pepper paste
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Korean chili flakes optional, for extra heat
  • 1 tbsp Minced garlic


  • In a large pot, mix chicken or beef broth with gochujang, soy sauce, Korean chili flakes, and minced garlic. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add sliced Spam, hot dogs, kimchi, and onions to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, baked beans, and tofu on top. Do not stir. Cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Place the block of instant noodles on top and cover the pot. Let it simmer until the noodles are cooked, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve hot, directly from the pot. Allow guests to help themselves.


For a vegetarian version, omit Spam and hot dogs and substitute with vegetarian sausages or additional tofu.


Serving: 1gCalories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 25gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 1800mgPotassium: 470mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 15000IUVitamin C: 3.4mgCalcium: 1200mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword Army Stew, Budae Jjigae, Korean Stew, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

In conclusion, Korean Budae Jjigae, or Army Stew, stands out not only for its rich history but also for its hearty and delicious taste. This dish is a testament to resourcefulness, blending different cuisines to create a unique and satisfying meal. It’s perfect for those cold days when you want something to warm you up or when you’re looking to enjoy a flavorful and eclectic meal with friends and family. The versatility of Budae Jjigae means you can customize it with your favorite ingredients, making it a go-to recipe for many. So, whether you’re a fan of Korean cuisine or just love experimenting with new recipes, Budae Jjigae is definitely worth trying. It’s not just a dish; it’s a delicious piece of history that brings people together.

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