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Vibrant Korean Budae Jjigae

Vibrant Korean Budae Jjigae

Translating to “army stew”, Budae Jjigae traditionally incorporates preserved meats and sausages and whatever vegetables are on hand.
By Audrey Ling


I first learned about budae jjigae in one of the earlier episodes of ‘Running Man‘ – that was probably two years ago. The members had to team up to buy ingredients from the supermarkets and then whip up something delicious according to their allocated themes.


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This dish is one that is often cooked in the army using leftover ingredients as well as whatever is brought along for a mission for outdoor cooking (hence the term ‘budae jjigae’, or ‘army stew’). Which is why ingredients like Spam meat, kimchi and frankfurters are commonly found in this particular type of Korean stew. In fact, this dish is very similar to the one that I cooked last year – ‘A Fermented Napa Cabbage Stew Called Kimchi Jjigae‘, which uses a similar stew base with gochujang. I have a stronger preference for this army stew though – it is a lot more fragrant and meaty.

Vibrant Korean Budae Jjigae
Translating to "army stew", Budae Jjigae traditionally incorporates preserved meats and sausages and whatever vegetables are on hand.
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • Dried mushroom: 3
  • Dried kelp: 4 small pieces
  • Dried anchovy: 10 pieces
  • Dried shrimp: 2 tbsp
  • White onion: ½, peeled, whole
  • Water: 6 cups
  • Spam meat: ½ can, sliced
  • Pork belly: 120g, sliced thinly
  • Kimchi: 1 cup, roughly chopped
  • Silken tofu: 300g, sliced
  • Rice cake (oblong): 1 cup, soaked in cold water for 30min
  • Chicken frankfurter: 3, sliced diagonally
  • Hot red pepper paste (gochujang): 3 tbsp
  • Light soy sauce: 2 tbsp
  • Rice wine: 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder (optional) : 2 tbsp
  • Instant noodles: 1 pack
  • Cheddar cheese slice: 1
  • Red chilli: 2, chopped
  • Spring onion: 1 stalk, chopped
  1. Add mushrooms, kelp, anchovies, shrimps & onion into water.
  2. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 min.
  3. Drain and keep the stock. Discard the remaining ingredients.
  4. Arrange spam meat, pork belly, kimchi (including sauce), tofu, rice cakes & frankfurters in a wok.
  5. Pour stock into wok. Bring to a boil.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix gochujang, soy sauce, rice wine and chilli powder with 1 cup of stock.
  7. Pour chilli paste mixture into wok. Leave to simmer for 5 min.
  8. Add noodles into the center of wok. Place cheese slice on top of noodles.
  9. Leave to cook for another 3 – 5 min.
  10. Garnish with chilli and spring onion to serve.
Make sure to add in lots of gochujang and kimchi sauce to create an appetisingly sweet, sour and spicy stew all at once. And don’t forget to top it all off with that tantalising piece of cheese slice!

View Comments (2)
  • Hello, this is awesome recipe
    I am so impressed your recipe as Korean.
    I have some recommendation to you.
    you really do not need to put GOCHUJANG on this dish. If you have KIMCHI with KINMCHI water, you do better to use it instead of use Gochujang. Gochujang makes your soup ( BUdae Jjigae ) taste heavy and tick. Taste should be tasty and clean. Gochujang will disturb and the taste will different that you had before in Korea.
    In additionally, If you could use RAMEN souce on it, Then you do no need to add salt.

    • Dear BMK,

      Many thanks for your comments on this recipe. I’m indeed honored to be receiving from a Korean.

      From what you’ve recommended, it sounds like budae jjigae should be a light and tasty soup instead of a thick and heavy one. Will definitely try this again with your feedback in mind and add in the ramen noodle sauces next time!

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