The word “budae” in Korean stands for an army base where soldiers are stationed. Although the name of this spicy sausage stew, budae-jjigae, implies that it is eaten by soldiers, it in, in fact, a dish enjoyed by people who live around the base. The dish has a relatively short history: it was invented during the Korean War (1950–1953). During the war, hungry Koreans were looking for food near American army bases and called the leftover ham and sausages that they found there “budae gogi,” or “meat from a military base.” They added kimchi and red pepper paste and made a stew. That is how budae-jjigae was created.
Despite its sad origins, budae-jjigae has evolved into a very popular dish. It is made with a variety of ingredients from the West (ham, sausages, and canned beans) and Korea (kimchi, red pepper paste gochujang, tofu, noodles, etc.), and has a thick broth.
Many foreigners give the dish favorable evaluations, and now the number of overseas restaurants serving budae-jjigae is increasing.
The original version of budae-jjigae is cooked with salty ham or sausage. You can add frozen dumplings, canned corn, cheese, and other ingredients according to your preferences to make different types of budae-jjigae.
How to Make Budae-jjigae (3 servings)
Main ingredients: ham 150g, pork 150g, sausage 100g
Sub-ingredients: 50g onion, 30g macaroni, 30g canned beans, 150g kimchi, 5g kelp, 20g anchovies for broth, 800ml water, 50g cabbage, instant noodles
Seasoning ingredients: 15g red pepper powder, 5g red pepper paste, 15ml soy sauce, 10g crushed garlic
1. Make the broth by boiling water with kelp and anchovies.
2. Mix the seasoning ingredients in a bowl.
3. Slice ham 0.5cm thick. Cut sausages diagonally.
4. Slice spring onion diagonally and julienne the onion. Cut kimchi 2cm thick and cabbage into bite-size pieces.
5. Put instant noodles in a small pot and boil.
6. Put the broth, kimchi, and seasoning into a larger pot and boil for a while.
7. Add onion and boil for 3-4 minutes. Put in the rest of the ingredients and boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
8. Add boiled noodles and cook 1-2 minutes more. Serve with cooked rice.
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