Today’s Recipe: Korean “Army Stew” = Budae Chigae
Budae Chigae is called Army Stew for the simple fact that half of the ingredients came from the Korean War American soldier’s ration tins. During the war, the country of Korea was starving and struggling. The cities that were in the areas near the base camps began using a lot of the surplus ingredients left over in the cans, i.e. Spam, hotdogs, baked beans etc. And aren’t many great things invented out of desperation?
Budae Chigae is hugely popular nowadays in Korea, and is gaining popularity here in the US, also due to Chef Anthony Bourdain’s obsession with the dish, even including a version in his cookbook!
We’re showing a super shortcut version of this dish in today’s recipe.
Two packs of Ramen (We suggest Shin Ramyun, as they are the most well-known ramen noodle soup in Korea. But for this video, we decided to fire up our tastebuds and subbed one pack with the Spicy Korean Ramen called Buldak, which is the ramen you’ve all been seeing on YouTube in those spicy ramen challenges)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 onion diced
1 can of Spam sliced
4 hot dogs sliced (you can try Vienna Sausages, they have become popular lately)
1/2 can baked beans
2 cups Korean Rice Cakes soaked in warm water for at least 15 min
1/2 block of tofu diced
1 cup Napa Cabbage kimchi
Enoki mushrooms (if you can’t find any, and you enjoy mushrooms, feel free to use regular or cremini mushrooms)
1 large spoonful of Korean pepper paste (gochujang)
2 cups Korean beef broth (if you don’t have it, regular beef or chicken broth should be ok)
It sounds like a lot but it’s actually not that bad and cooking it is even easier! Put everything but the mushrooms and ramen in bottom of pan. Then put ramen noodles on top of everything, then the mushrooms. Then add all the seasoning packets from the ramen packets and the Korean pepper paste. Then add the broth and 2 cups of water, making sure the paste gets incorporated well. Put a cover on and let it come to a good boil, cooking for about 8-10 min until the ramen noodles look cooked.
Lower the heat, mix the ingredients well, then place two slices of American cheese and green onions on top, making sure the cheese spreads. Be sure to get a little bit of everything when serving into bowls.
Feel free to experiment with different types of veggies. For instance try glass noodles instead of ramen, maybe add some bacon or ground meat, mozzarella cheese instead of American cheese…But please remember that the base of the stew requires the rice cakes, baked beans, Spam, and noodles.
So many options, so many choices, all equaling endless joys for your tastebuds!!!
Enjoy and HAPPY EATING!