Budae Jjigae | 부대찌개 | Army Stew

I am not really a fan of Budae Jjigae. To me, Budae Jjigae is a dish with alot of processed food in it - spam, sausage, canned American beans etc which are the key ingredients. I try to avoid processed food if possible since it is bad for health. However, I will still make this once in a while when husband feel like want to eat Budae Jjigae.

This is just my second time making Budae Jjigae at home. First time made Budae Jjigae was 4 or 5 years ago before we moved to current place, time really flies like rocket. This time i decided try out this Budae Jjigae seasoning sauce ready pack which is selling at Korean Marts & local groceries store nearby. It claims that there's no MSG inside, and it does taste like restaurant made Budae Jjigae except it is a little bit greasy (for me). Anyway, you don't have to buy the ready sauce, and it is not difficult to make your own seasoning sauce. I have enclosed the seasoning sauce recipe (by Baek Jong Won) in Step 5. Check it out.


120 grams Cabbage
¼ Zucchini
½ Yellow Onion (medium size)
1-2 bulks of Spring Onion
1 Chili Peppers

¼ of Canned Spam
2 Frankfurters / Sausages / Hot dogs
2 Tbsp Canned Baked Beans

1 Serving of Rice Cakes *
¼ Packet of Tofu - sliced
½ Cup of Chopped Kimchi

½ Packet of Korean Instant Noodle
1 Serving of Korean Glass Noodles *
* Pre-soak the Korean glass noodles & rice cakes if necessary

How to Cook:

Step 1.
Use a shallow pot, place the ingredients into the pot starting from those required longer time to boil (for better taste) to those easily cook at the top. Cut vegetables will be the base layer for this dish:
  • 120gm Cabbage - cut into bite size chunk
  • ½ Yellow onion - cut into 8 parts
  • ¼ Zucchini - cut into half moon shape

Step 2. 
Place the ½ cup of chopped kimchi in the middle as second layer.

Step 3. 
For the third layer, arrange the following surround pot and the chopped kimchi:-
  • ¼ Canned Spam - sliced thinly
  • 2 Sausages - slice thinly
  • ¼ Packet Tofu - cut into bite size
  • 1 Serving of Rice cakes - pre soak if necessary
  • 2 Tbsp Bake Beans - without sauce
  • 1-2 Spring oinons - cut into half finger length
  • 1 Chili pepper - sliced
Note: I am using frozen mini rice cake balls here, and it required to pre-soak to defrost and soften it before cook. If you are using fresh rice cake slices then it is not necessary to pre-soak.

Step 4. 
For the last layer (also the top layer), place the soaked Korean glass noodle evenly in the middle and ½ packet of Korean instant noodle on top of glass noodle it is ready for cook.

Step 5.
Get ready the broth for cooking. Since I am using the ready made Budae Jjigae seasoning sauce, I just need to follow the instruction and add adequate water to dilute the seasoning sauce before pour into pot for cooking. Likewise, the seasoning sauce can be add in during step 2 & add water at step 5. 

This is the recipe by Baek Jong-won in "Eat, Sleep, Eat in Sentosa 먹고 자고 먹고 센토사편". In fact his home-made Budae Jjigae is pretty simple, just put in the slice spam, sausage, kimchi, pork meat, yellow onion, spring onion and chili pepper, together with the seasoning sauce ingredients below and bring to boil. When everything cooks well, top with 1 cheese slide and it is done. 
  • Minced garlic - 1 Tbsp
  • Gochugaru  - 2 Tbsp
  • Dwenjang - 1 Tbsp 
  • Gochujang - 1 Tbsp 
  • Black pepper - a little bit
  • Soy sauce - 1 tbsp 
  • Water - 500ml 

Step 6. 
Pour in the broth into pot until it cover up all ingredient except instant noodle. Bring to boil. I am using a potable cooker (induction cooker) to cook Budae Jjigae here at the dining table - as we want the Budae Jjigae continuous boiling while enjoy it.

Keep boiling under medium heat until the Korean glass noodle start to turn soft. Make some space for the Korean instant noodle to be soak into the broth and cook. After the Korean instant noodle is cook, you may enjoy the Budae Jjigae now.  

Can you guess what are the other 2 common ingredient that normally found in Budae Jjigae that I skip here? Yup, it is pork belly and cheese slice. It's optional, same goes to the vegetables. You may add it in if you like. Do read the history and facts of Budae Jjigae from Wikipedia if you curious to know how this Korean-American Fusion Stew invented.