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Budae Jjigae (Army Stew)

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Learn how to make popular Korean hot pot dish – Budae Jjigae (Army stew or Army base stew)! It is loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, ramen noodles and much more!

Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae) is a Korean fusion hot pot dish loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, mushrooms, instant ramen noodles and cheese. The soup is so comforting and addictive! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean hot pot dish is one of the most frequently requested recipes from my readers. Whether it’s cold weather that’s calling for this type of comfort food or you just want to have your friends and family over for this sharing friendly food, any excuses are acceptable here!

Among the hot pot varieties available, Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae, 부대찌개) is definitely one of the most popular hot pot dishes in Korea. I can vouch for this as I used to eat this army stew at least once a week with my colleagues. It’s reasonably cheap to buy and, even better, it consists of easy to find ingredients if you’re making it yourself.

Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae) is a Korean fusion hot pot dish loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, mushrooms, instant ramen noodles and cheese. The soup is so comforting and addictive! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Some facts about Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)

  • Army stew or army base stew (Budae Jjigae) is Korean fusion stew that incorporates American style processed food such as spam, sausages, canned baked beans and sliced cheese.
  • Budae (부대) is a general term for a military base in Korean and Jjigae (찌개) is a term for soup/stew. Hence the word army stew or army base stew was born.
  • Soon after the Korean war (in the early 1950’s), food was extremely scarce in Korea, so those surplus processed foods from the US military bases were a great supplement for Koreans.
  • Among the US military base areas in Korea, Uijeongbu, an hour north of Seoul, is most famous for this stew.

The best part about making this delicious stew is that the preparation is really easy – mostly involving cutting and slicing the ingredients. You can omit/substitute the main ingredients per your preference too.

To fit all the ingredients below, you will need at least a 12 inch shallow pot. I used my favourite pot for this recipe and it was just the perfect size. I cooked it on a portable burner so that my family can gather around the table and serve themselves while the stew gently bubbles down. It was so convenient and keeps the soup still hot even when the heat wasn’t on it. It’s really the perfect pot for Korean style hot pot, so you should check it out.

P.S. my friendly warning – As you can imagine from the listed ingredients below, it contains high-calorie food. What’s worse, the stew is very addictive! Extra workout plans are absolutely necessary! 🙂

P.P.S. Check out my spicy dumpling hot pot too!

Popular Korean hot pot - Army stew ingredients | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Ingredients for Budae Jjigae (Serves 4)

Main

  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock* (see note)
  • 200g (7 ounces) SPAM, thinly sliced
  • 4 cocktail Frankfurt sausage (150g, 5.3 ounces), thinly & diagonally sliced
  • 250g (9 ounces) tofu, sliced (about 1.5cm, 1/2 inch thickness)
  • 200g (7 ounces) enoki mushrooms, base stem removed & stems separated
  • 200g (7 ounces) king oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced length ways
  • 100g (3.5 ounces) shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ripened bite sized Kimchi
  • 110g (3.9 ounces) instant ramen noodles
  • 50g (1.8 ounces) Korean rice cakes for soup, soaked in cold water for 15 mins if it was frozen
  • 30g (1 ounces) green onion, thinly & diagonally sliced
  • 1 or 2 slices of cheese

  Sauce (Mix these in a small bowl)

*1 Tbsp = 15ml, 1 Cup = 250ml

** If you want to learn more about Korean cooking ingredients, check my 30 essential Korean cooking ingredients list!

How to Make Budae Jjigae

1.Assemble the main ingredients (except for instant ramen noodles, rice cakes, green onion and cheese) in a shallow pot. Add the sauce in the middle. Pour the stock in the corner of the pot. Close the lid and boil it on medium high heat until the stock starts to boil (about 8 mins).

Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae) is a Korean fusion hot pot dish loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, mushrooms, instant ramen noodles and cheese. The soup is so comforting and addictive! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae) is a Korean fusion hot pot dish loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, mushrooms, instant ramen noodles and cheese. The soup is so comforting and addictive! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

2. Add the remaining ingredients – instant ramen noodles, rice cakes, green onion and cheese on top of the pot and boil uncovered until the noodles are cooked (about 2 to 3 mins). Reduce the heat to low (if you’re cooking on a portable burner and sharing the food at the dinning table).

Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae) is a Korean fusion hot pot dish loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, mushrooms, instant ramen noodles and cheese. The soup is so comforting and addictive! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

3. Start dishing out soup, protein and vegetables onto your own soup bowl. Serve with steamed rice (& with other Korean side dishes).

Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae) is a Korean fusion hot pot dish loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, mushrooms, instant ramen noodles and cheese. The soup is so comforting and addictive! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Notes

  • I used  store bought chicken stock, which saved at least 30 mins or more of potential cooking time compared to making it from scratch. According to the package, it contains chicken stock 98% (water, chicken, carrots, celery, cabbage, onions, sage extract, parsley), salt, sugar, yeast extract.
  • As I can’t guarantee that every chicken stock you buy will give a result the same as mine, if you’re unsure, I suggest you mix with water (e.g. 2 cups water & 2 cups chicken stock) to ensure the chicken stock does not have too much overpowering taste.
  • Alternatively, you can use homemade dried kelp & anchovy stock or beef stock. Get the homemade beef stock idea from this recipe. FYI, I didn’t like a store bought beef stock for this recipe as I thought it was a bit too salty.
  • Noodles soak up a lot of liquid so it’s best to consume them first. Also, you can replenish with spare stock (if you have any) as it boils down. It should be still delicious. (& this is how Koreans eat this dish at a restaurant.)


Korean army stew (Budae Jjigae) is a Korean fusion hot pot dish loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, mushrooms, instant ramen noodles and cheese. The soup is so comforting and addictive! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Budae Jjigae (Army Stew)

The best and the most popular Korean hot pot dish – Budae Jjigae (Army stew / Army base stew) recipe! It is loaded with Kimchi, spam, sausages, ramen noodles and much more!
5 from 34 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Korean
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 653kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

Main

  • 4 cups chicken stock (1 litre) *see notes above
  • 200 g SPAM thinly sliced
  • 4 cocktail Frankfurt sausages (150g) thinly & diagonally sliced
  • 250 g tofu sliced (about 1.5cm, 1/2 inch thickness)
  • 200 g enoki mushrooms base stem removed & stems separated,
  • 200 g king oyster mushrooms thinly sliced length ways
  • 100 g shiitake mushroom caps thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Kimchi (ripened bite sized)
  • 110 g instant ramen noodles
  • 50 g Korean rice cakes for soup soaked in cold water for 15 mins if it was frozen
  • 30 g green onion thinly & diagonally sliced
  • 1 to 2 slice cheese

Sauce (Mix these in a small bowl)

  • 2 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru)
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine (mirin)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Korean chilli paste (Gochujang)
  • Few sprinkles ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Assemble the main ingredients (except for instant ramen noodles, rice cakes, green onion and cheese) in a shallow pot. Add the sauce in the middle. Pour the stock in the corner of the pot. Close the lid and boil it on medium high heat until the stock starts to boil (about 8 mins).
  • Add the remaining ingredients – instant ramen noodles, rice cakes, green onion and cheese on top of the pot and boil uncovered until the noodles are cooked (about 2 to 3 mins). Reduce the heat to low (if you’re cooking on a portable burner and sharing the food at the dinning table).
  • Start dishing out soup, protein and vegetables onto your own soup bowl. Serve with steamed rice (& with other Korean side dishes).

Notes

*1 Tbsp = 15ml, 1 Cup = 250ml

Nutrition

Calories: 653kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 2398mg | Potassium: 1265mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1355IU | Vitamin C: 2.9mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 5.3mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

 

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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019
Sue and My Korean Kitchen Profile

Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

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97 thoughts on “Budae Jjigae (Army Stew)”

    • Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night and it was a hit, including my mum who’s a picky eater!! I may have added too much water though (as I used different meat and veg) so I just added a sachet of the seasoning that comes with shin ramyun noodles =D

      Reply
  1. Hi Sue, love ur receipe!

    Just wondering if I can pre made the paste and keep it for future use? How should I proper store it (fridge / freezer)?

    Reply
    • Typically these types of sauce last for a few weeks in the fridge. Store well mixed sauce in an airtight container. I don’t how it will do in the freezer without further testing it myself. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Hi Sue. I just wanna say thank you very much for this recipe. This is the recipe that brought me to your page, and after that I made many more korean dishes following your recipes. I also got a lot of korean cooking ingredients because of you. Thank you again 💕 Love from Malaysia 🇲🇾

    Reply
  3. Just made this for my family. It turned out fantastic! I love making Korean food it is wonderful and full of complex flavors. Never a boring meal. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  4. I would add more stars if I could, a strange spicy heat (in a very good way) the Korean chillies have such a great flavour, the idea of all the simple ingrediencies combining to make a great meal. Found the side dish of pickled carrots and rice was a great compliment.
    Couldn’t get any Korean rice cakes, so used pre made (shop bought) Gnocchi.

    Cant wait for the weekend to try something else

    Reply
  5. This recipe was soo good!! I made this for my family and they loved it so much! They said that the level of spiciness was perfect. Will definitely make this again in the near future 🙂

    Reply
  6. I haven’t made this yet, but I WILL. With no meat, just tofu and maybe a hard-boiled egg. What happens to the cheese in this recipe? I do not see it in the “finished” picture so I suppose it just melts and coats everything?

    Reply
  7. Hi, I do have the gochujiang paste. Dont have the chilli flakes. Can I add more gochujiang paste to substitute the chilli flakes. Will the taste be a lot of difference.

    Reply
  8. I would like to try this with the beans in it. What kind of beans should I use? American baked beans are usually thick and sweet. Thanks!

    Reply
    • I’m not sure how different American baked beans are compared to the rest of the world, baked beans are what people use in this recipe. I wouldn’t add more than 1/4 cups of it (personal preference). Enjoy!

      Reply
  9. Hi,
    I would like to try your army stew recipe but as I have 3 young children Who cannot take spice. Is there anything I can replace it with?

    Reply
    • You will have to omit gochujang (Korean chili paste) and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) to get rid of the spiciness, but seriously, I can’t imagine this dish without them! 😱😱

      When I make budae jjigae for my family, I make a side dish (e.g. https://mykoreankitchen.com/korean-egg-roll-gyeran-mari/) only for my daughter so she feels like she is being looked after.

      If you insist on making this stew for the whole family, maybe you could add more soy sauce or fish sauce in lieu of gochujang and gochugaru, but you will have to adjust the amount as you go as I haven’t tested it myself. Good luck!

      Reply
  10. Hi Sue, I want to make this soup this weekend, but where I live it’s hard to find gochugaru. Should I increase the amount of gochujang or use some other more readily available type of chilli which would give a similar flavour?

    Reply
    • You could add more gochujang and/or add a small dose of cayenne pepper flakes / powder. But I can’t give you the specifics without testing it myself further. Good luck!

      Reply
  11. I’ve made this a few times…. just realised it will be a great while in self-isolation with some random stuff we have around.

    It was delicious with lil smokies and Bologna!

    Reply
  12. Hi Sue,

    This isn’t one of my favorite foods, and I would like to try to make it myself. I don’t have a shallow pot right now. Is it possible to use a deeper pot?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Yes, you can certainly use a deeper pot. It’s just less convenient if you’re wanting to create table top cooking and dining experience. That’s all. 🙂

      Reply
  13. I followed this recipe for family dinners and they love it! Enjoy following your recipes. Your recipes makes Korean cooking so achievable. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  14. Thanks a lot Sue for this wonderful recipe! Greetings from China. I was just looking for this Korean Army Stew recipe for a perfect rainy weekend hot stew:) Your website is the first recommended by Google search and I find it truely amazing: the photos and steps and all! What’s more, while I was browsing the Budae recipe, there’s a video on kimchi jjigae playing…So I got to learn two recipes in just 5 mins, that’s really Budae spirited: efficient and economical! Jokes aside, thanks again! Alex He

    Reply
  15. A Korean friend made this for our group of friends in Grad school…but also put a large can of Baked Beans in, and that seemed to be one of the rudimentary ingredients. Did you leave them out by choice?

    Reply
    • Yes, I decided to leave it out. At the same time, some stews I’ve had in the past didn’t have it either. I think it varies restaurant to restaurant. Hope this helps. 🙂

      Reply
  16. Thanks a lot for the recipes. I’m planning to immigrate Korea and I love Korean food. I have made some Korean dishes. I hope I can learn to make more dishes from you.

    Reply
  17. Love the look of this, I’m not a lover of super spicy food so would it be wise to start with half the amount of chilli paste and flakes for the first time trying it?

    Reply
  18. What kind of ramen noodles do you use? I like thick and chewy ones. Can I find them at Oriental market? Any particular brand you like?

    Reply
  19. Hi Sue,
    I have always wanted to make this but I was wondering if there was a possible substitute for the mushrooms? I am not particularly fond of them.

    Reply
    • Hi LawLis, if you don’t like mushrooms, you can skip them and add more of other listed vegetable and/or (processed) meat ingredients. Alternatively, you can add your favourite vegetables (e.g. zucchini, egg plant etc) that’s not listed here too. Hope this help!

      Reply
  20. Hi there!
    I’m constantly on the hunt for asian soup recipes I can make at home. My favourite food in the world used to be our local chinese restaurant’s bejing soup, but I haven’t had any since I’ve become a vegetarian a year ago.
    I’m happy to say, I have a new favourite food in the world! I used brokkoli and peppers instead of the spam and sausage, but the kimchi and the sauce are absolutely delicious.
    Even my picky roommate enjoyed it!
    Thanks for the amazing recipe!

    Reply
  21. Hi Sue, can I still make army stew without kimchi? i have all the ingredients for army stew minus the kimchi and kimchi is only available in a store that is an hour drive away…

    Reply
  22. Hi Sue. Just want to clarify that it’s 2 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru) and 1/2 Tbsp of the paste (Gochujang) and not the other way around?

    Reply
  23. I tried it and wow its so delicious and my family loved it also. Thanks for the recipe its easy to follow. Cant wait to try another one of ur recipe.

    Reply
  24. Wow….! My mouth is watering! I used to have Chinese hot pot with friends while I was living in China. So much fun. I never try this Korean style with cheese on top. Very interesting!

    Reply
  25. Hi Sue!
    I am planning on making this stew tomorrow for New Years Eve with friends and I can’t wait!
    I recently had my wisdom teeth removed and I’m not supposed to have spicy food. Is there any way to modify or just simply reduce the amount of hot pepper?

    Thank you!

    Reply
  26. Hi Sue…The wife and I will be making this today. She was craving it after watching some other Korean cooking videos and I said “Why don’t we just make that?” and she said “I trust Sue’s recipes!”

    I’m sure it’ll be fantastic. I’ll report back with the results.

    Reply
    • I should clarify, we were looking at a different website when I asked my wife to use the recipe we were looking at.

      Reply
        • Well, the answer is…It was great. Exactly how I remember it tasting. The wife ate too much (always a good sign!)

          I don’t know how you do it but everything of yours we’ve tried tastes so amazingly authentic and delicious.

          Reply
  27. My late Korean wife made a similar dish she called Duk ramen. She used the sliced rice cakes, ramen noodles, green onions, and whatever vegetables and meats we had in the house. That was always one of my favorite Korean dishes. After she passed I was never able to replicate it on my own.

    Reply
    • I know this recipe might not give you the exact taste you’re looking for but I do hope it gives you a little bit of comfort at least!

      Reply
    • Hi Aurii, the recipe is available above now. It wasn’t visible for a few hours for some reasons. Thanks for reporting the issue! I really appreciate this!

      Reply
  28. Hi Sue,
    Last weekend, I made Army Stew, it came out very good, so delicious , my family loved it.i had my nice came over for dinner, she asked me for the recipe and I gave her your My Korean Kitchen side so she can find some more good stuffs in there..
    Thank you Sue

    Reply
  29. Aloha Sue:
    Looks delicious. Just wondering how is the sauce used? Is it put into the soup pot or as a dipping sauce?
    Thanks,

    Reply

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