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Army Base Stew (Budae JJigae)

A delicious fusion of American ingredients and Korean flavours, budae jjigae is a rich and spicy stew, sure to warm you up even on the chilliest of nights.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 people


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 can spam cut into bitesized pieces
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 200 g kimchi
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 200 g oyster mushrooms
  • 100 g rice cake
  • 1 x 120 g ramyeon Korean instant noodles
  • 2 - 3 slices procesed cheese
  • 1 l anchovy broth or chicken or vegetable stock


  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the spam and fry until browned. Remove the spam and set aside.
  • Add the stock, spring onions, kimchi and sauce ingredients to the same pan. Boil until dissolved and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Poach the mushrooms and the rice cakes in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Return the spam and add the noodles to the stew. Lay cheese slices over the noodles and leave to simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  • Season with pepper and garnish with extra spring onions before transferring the pan to a heatproof stand in the centre of the table or ladle into individual bowls.
  • Bon appétit (or 맛있게 드세요 (mas-iss-ge deu-se-yo) in Korean!).


*Photos by me.
*Recipe adapted from K-Food by Da-Hae and Gareth West.
Keyword gochujang, kimchi, korean, ramyeon, Spicy, stew, tteok