Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)

Korean Army Stew | Delicacious

This week has been a week of gastric flu and common flu for the family. My little girl was down with a terrible bout of gastric flu and had been vomiting and having diarrhea since Tuesday. Then on Friday, my dear husband started complaining of sore throat. Not good at all. I was tired from the lack of sleep and did not feel really feel like cooking dinner. Then I recalled the delicious pictures of Korean Army Stew that a friend had posted on Facebook recently. And the whole discussion of Spam that followed those pictures – the stew contains Spam. (Are you a secret fan of Spam?) Dinner was decided – Korean Army Stew it shall be.

Korean Army Stew | Delicacious

Korean Army Stew is surprisingly simple to prepare and requires no cooking skill whatsoever. The only “difficult” part is probably cutting up the ingredients for the stew. That’s about it. It’s quick, satisfying and SPICY. The spiciness is from the gochujang – a korean chilli soybean paste and from kimchi. Kimchi is supposedly good for sore throats so I figured that a little spice won’t hurt my husband, will it?

korean army stew 3

The stew surprisingly has ingredients that may be found in Western stews. Supposedly, this stew originated during the Korean War where people had little to eat and protein was scarce. People made this stew from leftover Spam and sausages from the army camps. Baked beans and cheese are commonly added to the stew too. Sounds delicious? You bet!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)
Serves: 4
Soup base
  • 750ml low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (chilli soy paste)
  • 1 tsp gochugaru (chilli powder)
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 100g minced beef
  • ½ tin of Spam, sliced
  • 3 sausages, cut into thirds
  • 1 tube of egg tofu, sliced
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, chopped
  • 6 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup of kimchi
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • 1 slice of cheese
  • 1 packet of Korean instant ramen
  1. Bring chicken stock to boil in a medium soup pot.
  2. Combine gochujang, gochugaru, rice wine, sesame oil, fish sauce and garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Add soup base ingredients to the boiling stock and stir. Turn off the flame and set aside.
  4. Arrange stew ingredients (except cheese and ramen) in a flat bottom claypot or casserole.
  5. Add prepared soup base to the claypot and bring stew to a boil over medium heat.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
  7. Add a packet of korean ramen (without the flavourings) to the stew.
  8. Simmer uncovered for another 3-5 minutes.
  9. Add cheese and simmer till cheese melts.
  10. Serve hot with rice.

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  1. This picture is making my mouth water 🙂 I want some right now!

  2. I’d love to have a bowl of this for lunch today! Looks fantastic. Sharing on FB, Twitter and G+ today and pinned! Thanks for sharing at Marvelous Mondays!

  3. So sorry to hear you’re family were sick. Hope they are all better now or at least recovering. My son was sick for the past 2 weeks too, but mainly coughing. The weather is getting cold everyday and we need some nice stew like this! Looks so delicious (and nutritious)!!! Pinned. 🙂

    • Glad to hear that you son is better now, Nami. The gastric flu bug seems to be going round in Singapore lately. My girl is much better after I stopped her milk and switched to soy temporarily. Thanks for pinning the recipe! 🙂

  4. Hope you are all feeling better now… really interesting ingredients in this stew. My son who loves everything Korean will get a kick out of this. Thanks for sharing it with us on foodie friday.

  5. Just wanted you to know that your recipe is being featured on foodie friday. Stop by and get your featured button. I will be pinning and tweeting your recipe this week.

  6. I simply loved this dish 🙂
    Thankyuh for the recipe

  7. Hi there, can I know where to buy e gochujang (chilli soy paste) from?
    Can you advise me?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Adeline,
      I bought mine in Korea but I’ve seen them in Korean specialty shops/supermarkets. There’s Sol Mart in Square 2 and Star Vista. I’ve seen gochujang there.

  8. Hi Teresa, thanks for the recipe. Is there a way to make this non spicy? My daughter is crazy about korean stuff, but she is allergic to spicy food (lips and throat will swell almost immediately). I was hoping to cheer her up with this meal after the school cancelled their school trip to Korea.

    • I usually scoop a portion of the broth out, without the chilli paste and flakes and prepare that for the children. Then the adults get the regular version.

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