Bu-dae Chi-gae
"Army" Stew

Budae chigae is one of many favorite dishes for Koreans worldwide.  Budae which translates into army in Korean and chigae meaning stew, this dish is known to have originated from the Korean War.  During the war, Koreans have salvaged any means of food from the American soldiers in which there were an abundance of hot dog, sausages, and spam along with other staples.

Much like kimchi chigae, this soup-based dish contains kimchi, tofu, scallions, onions, gochujang, and much more.  Also, to add texture and volume to the soup, it can contain vermicelli as well as ramyun noodles.  It is consumed along with a bowl of rice, bop, to compliment its spiciness and its abundance in meat such as spam, sausages and pork.


Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk green onion
  • 1 package Shin ramyun
  • 6-7 ounce spam (small can will suffice)
  • 3-4 hotdog sausage links (Ball Park Beef Franks optimal)
  • ½ pack soft tofu (approximately 7-8 ounces)

*Korean firm tofu comes in 3 variations, usually labeled on the package: (firm) for pan-frying; soft (for stews); and silken (for eating fresh). Note the soft or silken types here are not the same as soodooboo (uncurdled extra soft tofu).

  • 1 cup kimchi
  • 1-3 tbsp gochujang, depending on desired spicy level
  • 4 cups water
  • 5-6 strips of bacon or samgyupal meat (optional)
  • 1 packages Enoki mushrooms (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Slice up hotdog sauage, spam and tofu into desired bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Mince garlic and dice onion into bite-size pieces.
  3. Sautee onions, minced garlic, sausage, and spam in a pot for about a minute.
  4. Add water, gochujang and package contents from Shin Ramyun (but do not add its noodle yet). Bring to a boil.
  5. Add tofu and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add kimchi and enoki mushrooms. Simmer for another 5 minutes and stir occasionally.
  7. Cut green onions into 1-inch long pieces and add to soup base along with ramyun noodle. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until noodle texture becomes chewy.
  8. Remove from heat and serve with steamed white rice.