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Recipe for Budaechigae (Korean Army Base Stew)

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Korean Army Base Stew (Budae Chigae)

Budae Chigae

Naomi Imatome

Budae Chigae was invented during the famine years of the Korean war and post-war period. Koreans managed to use leftover meat discarded or handed-out from the U.S. army bases to make this dish ("Budae" means military base and "Chigae" means stew in Korean). It's a recent invention with a thousand variations, but it's mostly a lip-smacking mixture of Western meat, ramen noodles, vegetables, and spices.

There is no exact recipe for Budaechigae, but popular meats for the stew are Spam, hot dogs, ground beef, and sausages; popular vegetables are sprouts, scallions, onions, and sookat (chrysanthemum leaves).

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups meat in small chunks (Spam, hot dogs, ham, small meatballs, or a combination)
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced vegetables (combination of any: mushrooms, bean sprouts, chrysanthemum leaves)
  • 1/2 an onion, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp kochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 package ramen noodles (just noodles, not spice packets)
  • Kimchi (optional)
  • Sliced rice cakes (optional)
  • Canned baked beans (optional topping)
  • Sliced American cheese (optional topping)

Preparation:

  1. Put all ingredients into a large pot.
  2. Cover with enough water to just cover ingredients.
  3. Bring to a rapid boil.
  4. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Enjoy with white rice.
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