Army base soup, budae jjigae was originated during and after the Korean War, when Koreans had very little to eat. People made this dish by combining leftover Spam and hot dogs from U.S. Army facilities, and mixed it with whatever else was available. All of the leftovers were combined with water in a large pot and boiled. Nowadays, most Koreans have enough to eat, but this soup is still very popular with more varied ingredients added to it. Try it someday.
Yield: 2-3 Servings
Short Korean Lesson
- BuDae (부대) = Army Base
- GunIn (군인) = Soldier
- 1 Cup Oval Rice Cakes
- ½ Cup Well Fermented Kimchi
- ½ Cup Onion
- ½ Cup Button Mushrooms
- ½ Pack Ramyeon Noodles
- ¼ Pack Tofu
- ¼ Cup Canned Beans
- ¼ Cup Ground Beef or Pork
- ½ Can Spam
- 3 Hotdogs or Sausages
- 1 Slice American Cheese (Optional)
- 2 Green Onions
- 1 Hot Pepper (Optional)
- 2 Tbsp Red Pepper Powder
- 1 Tbsp Red Pepper Paste
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Cooking Wine (or Water)
- ⅛ tsp Black Pepper
Add 1 pack of dried anchovies (or 6 pieces of dried anchovies), 3-4 pieces of kelp, and 6 cups of water in a pot. Boil it on medium-high.
Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the sauce: 2 Tbsp red pepper powder, 1 Tbsp red pepper paste, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 Tbsp cooking wine (or water), and ⅛ tsp black pepper.
Once the broth starts to boil, cook for 5 minutes, and then remove the kelp.
Boil it for another 5 minutes and take out the anchovy pack.
Break one pack of ramyeon noodles in half, slice half a can of spam into ¼ inch pieces, and slice 3 hotdogs or sausages diagonally. Prepare ¼ cup of drained beans from a can, ¼ cup of ground beef or pork, and 1 slice of American cheese.
Soak 1 cup of oval rice cakes in water and chop ½ cup of well-fermented kimchi into bite-sized pieces.
Cut the vegetables and tofu. Slice ¼ pack of tofu, ½ cup worth of button mushrooms, and ½ cup worth of onion into ¼ inch pieces. Chop 2 green onions into 1-inch pieces and 1 hot pepper thinly.
Place the hot dogs, onion, kimchi, spam, tofu, mushrooms, and beans into the broth in clumps. Place the ground beef in the center of the pot.
Spread the rice cakes over everything and pour the sauce on top of the ground beef.
Once the soup starts to boil, mix the sauce into the broth. In this step, stir the center with a spoon so that the beef does not cook into a solid chunk. Cook for 10 minutes on high.
After 10 minutes, place the ramyeon noodles, green onions, and hot peppers on top of the soup. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on high, or until the noodles are cooked.
Place 1 slice of cheese on top of the soup and turn off the heat. Cover the lid and let it set a little until the cheese melts. I personally prefer my Budae Jjigae without cheese; however, I wanted to show you how some people add cheese to it, so the choice is yours. 🙂
Today, I just showed you a common way to make this soup, so depending on your tastes, you be creative and add other ingredients. Enjoy!