Budae Jjigae (Korean Army Stew)
A hot pot of sizzling spicy stew filled with kimchi, spam, ramen noodles and more! Usually shared amongst 2, 4 or even more people (the more the merrier, and the bigger the pot!)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
- 3 ⅓ cup (800 ml) water divided
- 5 dried anchovies
- 2 pieces (2 x 2 inch) dried kelp dashima 다시마
- 2 ½ Tbsp Korean chili flakes gochugaru
- ½ Tbsp Korean chili paste gochujang
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- ½ Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp mirin
- A few shakes and sprinkles of ground black pepper
If using pork or beef - Marinade
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp mirin
- tsp ½sugar
- 2 hot dogs cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 oz (1/3 a standard can) spam sliced thinly
- ½ tofu package
- 4 ounces enoki mushrooms base chopped off
- ½ cup kimchi chopped into bite size pieces
- 1.8 oz (50 g) Korean rice cake about 10 small pieces, if frozen - soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes
- 1 package instant ramen noodles just the noodles
- ½ onion
- 3 ½ oz (100 g) pork belly or beef * optional I prefer the pork
- ⅓ zucchini sliced into pieces *optional (not traditional but a nice touch)
Remove the heads and gut the dried anchovies (slit the anchovy in half to take out the black middle part).
Combine the water, dried anchovies and kelp pieces. On a medium-low heat, bring the stock to a simmer. After about 10 minutes, remove the kelp. Continue to simmer for about another 5-10 minutes. Discard the dried anchovies and kelp. *This stock is not essential for the recipe. You can use just rice water, chicken stock or even just water. Using a base with the anchovies or chicken stock will deepen the broth.
Marinate Pork or Beef* (If Using)
Add in all of the main ingredients into a shallow pot except for the instant noodles. (I like to split the ingredients up into multiple places in the pot so each ingredient flavour will be spread apart!).
Top with the sauce (from step 4) on the ingredients.
First, add about just 2 ½ cups (600ml) of the stock and bring to a simmer on medium heat and continue to simmer until the ingredients are cooked through (about 5 minutes).
*The Korean style is to cook it at the center of the table on a portable burner. As you do this, you can begin to enjoy the ready ingredients.
After enjoying a few bites of the dish, add in the instant ramyun and cook the noodles for another 4-5 minutes. As the budae jjigae cooks and the stew reduces, refill the pot with the remaining stock as needed. *If you wish, you can add the noodles from the start. I like to enjoy a few bites with just hot white rice before doing so.
Enjoy with a bowl of warm rice!
*Many “traditional” Army Stew recipes include canned baked beans. I’ve never actually had it with it and it doesn’t sound very appealing to me. If desired, add about ¼ cup canned beans.
**It’s trendy to add cheese into this dish. I prefer not to add cheese into spicy stews but if desired, add 1-2 slices of cheese or ⅛ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.