~Homeyum~ Budae Jigae (Korean Army Base Stew)

Went to Kko Kko Na Ra on Saturday for birthday celebration lunch for Miss Kat and thanks to her recommendation, I had the chance to try an extremely interesting dish, Budae Jjigae aka The Korean Base Army Stew. According to Wikipedia,

The dish originated during the Korean War, and was popular for a time afterwards, when people had little to eat. People made this dish by combining leftover Spam and hot dogs from U.S. Army facilities with whatever else was available.[3] All the leftovers were combined with water in a large pot and boiled.[4] The dish is also referred to as Johnson Tang (존슨 탕), combining the common American surname Johnson and tang () a word meaning soup

I was so intrigued why  a dish with luncheon meat and baked beans in soup could taste so yummy that I could not stop raving about it. The Mr was actually curious too. The next day, he suggested that I re-create the dish at home.

As the girls were napping in the car yesterday, we made a quick stopover at Kallang Leisure Park. I bought the Kim Chi, Chilli Paste, Sweet Potato noodle and rice cakes from Shine Korean and the rest of the ingredients from Cold Storage. Here’s SPAM, the luncheon meat.

SPAM

Thanks to the amazing recipe from Noobcook , I made my first Budae Jigae – first ever attempt at a Korean dish

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The arranged pot and the soup base

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Added the soup base waiting for it to boil

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The preparation was actually quite ok, just a lot of cutting. I kind of enjoyed the arranging the ingredients in the hotpot prettily. The soup base was easy. It was just mixing the chilli paste, garlic and chilli powder into a paste and then the paste into boiled chicken stock.

End results? The empty (almost) pot was great testimony, of course this was with the help of my mum and sister who came over to try after their real dinner. My mistake of buying vinegared chilli paste paid off. The soup was yummily sour and aromatic. Unlike the one we had at Kko Kko Na Ra, I added cheese to the stew, as most original Budae Jigae would have. It certainly added a very interesting taste of dairy, not forgetting more salt in the already quite salty dish. But thank goodness, the saltiness is still at the level of acceptability. My sister actually commented that it has ‘restaurant standards’ and the Mr said that this is likely to be another signature dish of mine that he would request again.

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I just can’t wait to do it a second time. *SMUG*

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