Recipes

Easy Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)

06/02/2019 (Last Updated: 29/10/2019)
 

A delicious fusion Korean-American hotpot recipe, Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae) transforms simple everyday ingredients like spam, noodles, mushroom and veggies into mouth-watering spicy goodness. Perfect for sharing and entertainment too – you can cook it on the stove or on the table with friends!

Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew Recipe - A satisfying, cheesy hot pot full of enoki mushroom, kimchi, tofu, rice cakes and even frankfurts! | wandercooks.com #budaejjigae #koreanfood #armystew #koreanarmystew

This addictive hotpot recipe is the perfect remedy on a cold winter’s night, when you just want a fiery, spicy dish to warm you up from the inside out!

That said, we’re so addicted we’ll eat it on a steamy summer’s afternoon, so I guess this one is just about perfect to enjoy all year round.  

All you need are a few tasty ingredients, a hotpot or frypan, and some hungry friends to eat it all up! 

Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew Recipe - A satisfying, cheesy hot pot full of enoki mushroom, kimchi, tofu, rice cakes and even frankfurts! | wandercooks.com #budaejjigae #koreanfood #armystew #koreanarmystew

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In this post, we’ll quickly go through:

  • What is Korean Army Stew?
  • Korean Army Stew Origin
  • What ingredients can I use in Korean Army Stew?
  • How to make Korean Army Stew
  • Can I prepare Korean Army Stew ahead of time

 

Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew Recipe - A satisfying, cheesy hot pot full of enoki mushroom, kimchi, tofu, rice cakes and even frankfurts! | wandercooks.com #budaejjigae #koreanfood #armystew #koreanarmystew

What is Korean Army Stew?

A fusion blend of east-meets-west in food, this powerhouse recipe infuses the flavour-packed intensity of Korean cuisine with American processed foods such as spam, sausages and cheese. 

Korean Army Stew Origin

This fusion-style dish became popular after the end of the Korean War, when food was scarce and people would make use of American army surplus supplies.

How to make Korean Army Stew

This spicy Korean stew is made with of a range of tasty ingredients cooked in a spicy broth. The simmering blend of gochujang (spicy Korean chilli paste), chilli flakes, rice wine, sugar, garlic soy sauce and chicken stock will set your mouth watering before you even take a bite!

For the stew ingredients themselves, there are a few signature inclusions:

  • Processed meat – such as spam, frankfurters, sausages or ground meat
  • Cheese – you can use pre-sliced cheese, but we like spreading generous amounts of grated cheese aaaalllll across the top
  • Korean rice cakes (tteok) – there are two main shapes often used in Korean dishes such as this stew as well as Tteokkboki – sliced rice cake and cylinder rice cake.
  • Instant ramen noodles – just plain ol’ regular instant ramen or udon noodles
  • Fresh kimchi
  • Green onion – aka spring onion
  • Tofu – soft or firm
  • Mushrooms – enoki, oyster or shiitake  (or all three if you’re a mushroom fiend like us!)

Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew Recipe - A satisfying, cheesy hot pot full of enoki mushroom, kimchi, tofu, rice cakes and even frankfurts! | wandercooks.com #budaejjigae #koreanfood #armystew #koreanarmystew

How to make Korean Army Stew

This is such an easy recipe to make at home because it’s so flexible! Use the ingredients you have, or the ones you love the most, and make it your way! If there’s something you don’t like, or it’s not easy to source, you can leave it out. 

If you have a hotpot, fondue pot, or an electric frypan like us, this dish is so easy to cook on the table, which makes it perfect for friends to enjoy delicious food and fun conversation! But you can also just as easily cook it on the stove and dish out into small individual bowls. 

In the below recipe we’ve included quantities for stock ingredients, but not for the main ingredients. This is because it really depends on how much you want to cook (and/or how hungry your friends are). You can easily prepare as much or as little as you like, and add more ingredients to cook as you go if your friends are still hungry or completely, totally, hopelessly addicted.

Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew Recipe - A satisfying, cheesy hot pot full of enoki mushroom, kimchi, tofu, rice cakes and even frankfurts! | wandercooks.com #budaejjigae #koreanfood #armystew #koreanarmystew

Can I prepare Korean Army Stew ahead of time?

It’s possible to prepare the stock separately and heat it up when you’re ready to eat. But we think this stew is best when prepared fresh and cooked immediately. That said, once all the main ingredients are eaten, we often reserve any remaining stock and reheat it along with extra noodles and other fresh ingredients to enjoy as leftovers the next day. 

Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew Recipe - A satisfying, cheesy hot pot full of enoki mushroom, kimchi, tofu, rice cakes and even frankfurts! | wandercooks.com #budaejjigae #koreanfood #armystew #koreanarmystew

 

Note: This recipe was inspired by Korean Army Stew by My Korean Kitchen

Budae Jjigae Korean Army Stew Recipe - A satisfying, cheesy hot pot full of enoki mushroom, kimchi, tofu, rice cakes and even frankfurts! | wandercooks.com #budaejjigae #koreanfood #armystew #koreanarmystew

Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)

A delicious fusion Korean-American hotpot recipe, Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae) transforms simple everyday ingredients like spam, noodles, mushroom and veggies into mouth-watering spicy goodness. Perfect for sharing and entertainment too - you can cook it on the stove or on the table with friends!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Korean
Servings: 4 people
Author: Wandercooks

Ingredients

For the Stock:

  • 1 ltr chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine
  • 2 tsp Korean chilli flakes or regular chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp sugar

For the Main Ingredients

  • instant noodles 1 - 2 packets
  • spam or frankfurts sliced into 2-3cm pieces
  • Korean rice cakes (ttkeok) sliced or cylinder version
  • fresh kimchi
  • cabbage roughly chopped
  • enoki mushrooms base removed, separated into small bunches
  • tofu sliced into small cubes
  • cheese sliced or shredded

Instructions

  • If you're using Korean rice cakes (tteok), place in a bowl and cover with hot water to soften them first while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

For the stock:

  • Add all the stock ingredients into a large frypan, wok, fondue hot or hotpot, mix together over low heat. 

To assemble:

  • Layer your main ingredients in the pan (in artful sections, or mixed in all together - it's totally up to you!)
  • Turn up the heat and layer everything with generous amounts of cheese. Cook on high heat until ingredients such as noodles and frankfurts are cooked through. 
  • Serve your Korean Army Stew just how you like it - either hotpot style in the middle of the table and allow everyone to help themselves, or dish out into individual bowls.

Video

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Chelsey
    12/11/2019 at 3:33 pm

    Wow I love love all of the wonderful flavors you have going on in this Korean stew! Definitely a perfect soup on a chilly winter night!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      19/11/2019 at 2:06 pm

      SO good when it’s cold. 😀

  • Reply
    Anita
    12/11/2019 at 3:15 pm

    I love making a hot pot when having friends over. No need to cook and everyone always has such a wonderful time cooking and joking around. 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      19/11/2019 at 2:06 pm

      Exactly! We’re similar. It’s also great when you share it, as it’s usually a good topic of conversation with those trying new flavours or ingredients for the first time.

  • Reply
    Beth
    12/11/2019 at 3:13 pm

    I am all about the spicy foods right now and am always looking for new recipes to try! This looks incredibly good! Trying this ASAP!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      19/11/2019 at 2:05 pm

      That’s awesome Beth – for a spicier version, just up the chilli flakes and gochujang paste in the base sauce. 🙂

  • Reply
    Candice
    12/11/2019 at 3:03 pm

    I love a dish that can feed an army… and this one has so much incredible flavor! I had never heard of it before, but it was so easy to make, and we all loved it. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      19/11/2019 at 2:05 pm

      This is great Candice, so glad you enjoyed it. I love that you can mix and match with the veg or meat in it too. Let us know if you try any variations!

  • Reply
    Elaine
    12/11/2019 at 2:42 pm

    I really like those ingredient shots – they look sooo goood! And I guess it’s time for me to explore a bit more of the Korean cuisine – this stew looks unbelievable!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      19/11/2019 at 2:04 pm

      Cheers Elaine! This one is a great dish into the entry of Korean flavours – I tried it out with my family, and they loved it! The sauce base tastes like a slightly spicy tomato sauce, and with the cheese on top, my brother thought it tasted like hot dogs when eating the sausages haha!

  • Reply
    Lucya
    04/05/2019 at 7:56 pm

    I have some friends coming over this week, and I think I will make this! Delicious!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/05/2019 at 11:35 am

      Oh fun! You’ll have to let us know how it goes. Love sharing this with friends. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Molly
    10/04/2019 at 3:24 pm

    I made this tonight for the family and it was seriously delicious! Everyone loved it.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      07/05/2019 at 11:37 am

      Amazing! Thanks for the feedback. It’s a cracker to have with a group, and there’s always plenty for everyone to eat. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jane
    06/02/2019 at 11:13 pm

    Oh boy, that looks SO good! And the photos are just perfect, I want to dip my chopsticks right in!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/03/2019 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Jane! That cheeeeese am I right? ????????????

  • Reply
    Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    06/02/2019 at 10:29 pm

    This looks so delicious and so flavourful! I definitely need to give this recipe a try.

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/03/2019 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Bintu, hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Danielle Wolter
    06/02/2019 at 10:22 pm

    this is just one of my favorite things ever. I absolutely love making this at home – it’s so comforting and perfect for winter and it has tons of flavor!! Spam is my favorite meat to use 🙂

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/03/2019 at 4:02 pm

      I know right, so warming and spicy, it’s like the ultimate comfort food – especially with all those chewy rice cakes (my faaaaaaav).

  • Reply
    Jacqueline Debono
    06/02/2019 at 10:19 pm

    This is such an interesting and unique recipe! Love the idea of cooking it at the table. Have to try that!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/03/2019 at 4:02 pm

      Hope you do Jacqueline! It’s surprisingly easy to pull together and especially fun to cook on the table with everyone.

  • Reply
    Cliona Keane
    06/02/2019 at 9:19 pm

    I’m always looking for new and exciting Asian recipes to try and this looks right up my street! I love how many flavours and ingredients you’ve included, whilst keeping it simple and delicious!

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      15/03/2019 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks Cliona, this one ticks all the boxes for us too!

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