We usually avoid anything army-related, but army stew is one hotpot dish that you’ll find us enjoying even in this heat. Army stew, also known as Budae Jjigae, is a Korean hotpot that originated after the Korean war. Fresh produce was scarce while processed food like spam and baked beans brought in by the American military were in surplus then. In true Asian fashion, the Koreans just threw everything into a pot and added lots of spice to turn it into a soup.
Today, army stew is one of the most popular dishes in and outside of Korea, especially amongst Korean drama fans. The hearty stew is also a popular choice for home-cooked food as the hotpot-style dining is suitable for both small and big groups of people.
Learn how to make the home-cooked meal version with our recipe below.
Don’t let the long ingredient list on our home-cooked army stew recipe fool you; this savoury stew is really easy to make.
With ingredients that you can find at Giant, all you have to do is just slice everything up, pop the ingredients into the pot, and wait for it cook! We also love how flexible this army stew recipe is—you can switch ingredients around and it’ll still taste just as good.
Photo courtesy of w:ko:user:Dlunch
Home-cooked Army Stew Recipe
Serving size: 4 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Ingredients for sauce:
- 2 tbsps Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru)
- 2 tbsps rice wine
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp Korean chili paste (Gochujang)
- A few sprinkles of ground black pepper
Make prepping easier by buying ready-to-cook ingredients and everything else you need at your nearest Giant supermarket.
1. Soak Korean rice cakes in cold water for 10 minutes. Cook rice.
2. Thinly slice the spam, sausage, oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and green onions. Slice tofu into cubes. Remove base stems from enoki mushrooms.
3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl. Add more Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru) if you like it spicier.
4. Place the spam, sausage, tofu, mushrooms, and kimchi into a pot. Add sauce and chicken stock and bring to a boil on medium high heat (takes ~8 minutes). If you find the soup stocky too salty, mix with water.
5. Add the instant noodles, rice cakes, baked beans, green onion, and cheese. Boil until noodles are cooked.
6. Cooking on a portable burner? Turn the heat down to low and dig in! If not, serve straight from the pot at the table, together with rice.
Want more recipe inspiration for home-cooked food? See more easy recipes