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Usually near these bases, one could buy American … I love kimchi jiigae, it’s my favorite comfort food. Budae jjigae, which literally means army base stew, is a thick Korean soup made with meats that were once found on American army bases in Korea.This soup was invented during the Korean War when meat was scarce in Korea. It’s also sometimes called Jonseun-tang (Johnson Soup) and this dates it to the mid-1950’s. It’s also close to the Yongsan Garrison, the HQ for American forces in South Korea so it’s not surprising that a lot of places around there serve Army Base Stew as it’s commonly known. Literally translated, it means “army base stew” in Korean. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…. There are plenty of places to eat Budae Jjigae in Seoul. I’m glad you waited to try out the original Budae Jjigae in its place of origin. The Story of Budae jjigae. I’m not an adventurous eater but I love to try new things every once in a while. KIMCHEEGUESTHOUSE.COM, Delicious Roots: The Story of Budae Jjigae, https://kimcheeguesthouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/kimachee-booking-logo_small-1.png, Kimchee Guesthouse and hostel Accommodation in Seoul and Busan, https://www.kimcheebookings.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/1065_4519_2020.jpg. I love reading and discovering historical facts behind meals and reading your post I was astonished in knowing that spam have been so appreciated by Koreans. I love trying out the authentic cuisine of the places I visit, so I totally get you. This place has been open for years, once just serving steaming bowls of jjigae from a hatch but now a restaurant too. In Korean, Budae means army or army unit. Fascinating story! The best place though, in my humble opinion, is Bada Sikgang on the edge of Itaewon. From what I’ve read, there have been many variations of Budae Jjigae over the years but the standard dish now is a spicy broth with kimchi, gochujang and a mix of spam, sausage, beans and cheese slices. It adds a creaminess which is delicious (yes really!). I’ve seen it on menus here in the UK and in Australia but knew that to try the real thing, I needed to wait. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I’ve been dying to go to Seoul for so long! Who knew spam could look so appealing! 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. Their novelty made them popular with people living nearby, even though it was technically illegal to purchase or even have them if you were a local Korean person! Hairy Dieter: chilli lemon tuna spaghetti, Baked feta with roasted red pepper and tomato. (Although, of course, I will also now have to travel to South Korea to try it too). I’m glad I did. So cool reading about the history behind it. The name ‘army stew’ is a very big clue to the origin story of this dish. Spam is HUGE here in Hawaii so I’m excited to try and eat this, lol. My family loves to watch YouTuber Maangchi – a Korean lady who is awesome at Korean food. Budae (부대) is a general term for a military base in Korean and Jjigae (찌개) is a term for soup/stew. Hear me out, you might think I’ve gone mad but while on the surface, it looks like a typical Korean stew, it’s actually representative of both Korean and American food cultures and is something which developed through circumstance rather than invention. Your email address will not be published. OMG this sounds delicious! Spam even became an enduring favourite, believe it or not. Oh wow, I want to try that now! I think eating is such an important way to get to know a place! It’s always the small shops that are the best. After the Korean War (1950-1953) foods such as spam, hot dogs, baked beans and cheese slices were often smuggled out of the US army bases to the locals. As always, it tends to be served with sticky rice and sides like kimchi and cucumber pickles. Do not expect ANYTHING fancy here. One Korean dish I waited to try the authentic thing in Seoul was Budae Jjigae (부대찌개). Budae Jjigae is honestly fascinating. Budae Jjigae … Service is brisk and foreigners mix with locals. It often appears on menus in family-style restaurants and there are also places which specialise in it. What an interesting history behind this dish. Sounds insane reading it on the menu, but it might honestly be one of my favorite things. Jjigae means stew. One of these days I think we’ll try to make this. Thanks for sharing these facts! People dwelling around U. S. army bases, in the Uijeongbu, Pyeongtaek, and Munsan areas made use of surplus foods from army bases, commonly processed meat products, collectively known as budae-gogi (부대고기; "army base meat"), such as ham, hot dogs, and Spam, along with canned baked beans. Budae Jjigae is honestly fascinating. Lets enlighten you on the wonderful story of this delicious food. Unlike some other places, they add sliced American cheese to the top. Jjigae means stew. Food was scarce in South Korea after the Korean War. Would love to try it IN Korea! It is said that budae-jjigae begun as a buttery stir-fried snack made of sausages, ham, cabbages and onions to accompany makgeolli(cloudy rice wine), b… I can’t wait to go to Seoul one day. Budae Jjigae. Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published. It’s also sometimes called Jonseun-tang (Johnson Soup) and this dates it to the mid-1950’s. Spam is questionable in any country but sounds like they make it delish. It’s not a pretty bowl of food but it tastes so good! I’m not a hugely adventurous eater so I was ready to write it off as something I wouldn’t try, but hey, sausage, beans, and cheese, what’s not to like! Fabulous story, this – I love hearing about the origins of dishes, and fusions between different countries cuisines. Learn how your comment data is processed. The meats used in this soup were handed out by American army bases and include spam, hot dogs, and other common canned meats. The name ‘army stew’ is a very big clue to the origin story of this dish. This spicy looking stew called Korean army stew, aka “budae jjigae (부대찌개)”, is one them.During and after the Korean war in the early 50’s, Korea was known for the world’s poorest country. This is likely why the Uijeongbu area near the U.S. Army base in Seoul is known for having the best budae jjigae. So funny – as I just recently tried a Korean spot home in NYC with a few friends and one thing we ordered was this stew of cheese, spam, hotdogs, etc. A food everyone loves but few know how this food was created. History of Budae Jjigae: Why Is It Called Army Stew? Some people call it Western Town apparently, kind of like our China Towns. After the Korean War, food was scarce in South Korea. And it tastes very American. It was so great to know how Koreans like spam when people dont really eat that at home. Some Korean dishes have a sad history behind. Another story is that it was created as a cheap familiar-tasting food for American and Korean soldiers off-base. The History of Budae Jjigae After the Korean war, the US military stayed behind and setup bases in several locations throughout Korea. Where did you have the best Budae Jjigae in the UK? Win tickets to the BBC Good Food Show Winter. You are telling me this jiigae has spam and cheese too?! Thanks for sharing . A potted history: In Korean, Budae means army or army unit. That stew looks quite yummy Id love to go to Asia to eat some real authentic food..like PHO, I love the stories and history behind different ethnic dishes! The chairs are hard and uncomfortable and the lights garish but the food is cheap, authentic and very tasty. But it’s a fascinating fusion born of the war / post-war period and as such, definitely an interesting one. Definitely craving it now even though I’ve never had it!! Itaewon is a multicultural area of Seoul, with lots of international restaurants around. I’ve tried a few versions of this here in the UK, in New Malden aka Little Korea – I learned the origin on a TV show a few years ago, it’s fascinating. I like it but I prefer the jigaes that use classic Korean ingredients. Great post! Yummmmmm. The History of Budae Jjigae Koreans have eaten jjigae (very thick stew) perhaps since time immemorial, but with the coming of the Korean War when food was scarce, a new kind of jjigae was born - budae jjigae , almost literally "military stew". Thank you! Over time, these ingredients were mixed with Korean food and hey presto, Budae Jjigae was born! Hear me out, you might think I’ve gone mad but while on the surface, it looks like a typical Korean stew, it’s actually representative of both Korean and American food cultures and is something which developed through circumstance rather than invention.

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