Many Korean foods have histories dating back centuries to the dishes served to the royal family. But this food–budae jjigae (부대찌개)–doesn’t go back that far. This stew dates back to the Korean War.
Meat was scarce in Korea during the war, but American service men often had Spam and hot dogs to share with the Koreans. When combined with the kimchi, vegetables, and noodles (ramen) that the Koreans had, budae jjigae was born. Budae means “military base” or “camp”; jjigae means “stew.”
I must admit that I haven’t tried this one yet. One blog I’m going to send you too says it’s a lot like kimchi jjigae, which I like. But since this one is spicy, I haven’t made it for my family. Still, I thought I’d share the history and recipe with you during this week filled with memories of those who served in the militaries of both the U.S. and Korea.
While most of what I’ve found says there’s not exact recipe for budae jjigae, if you’re like me you like to have a recipe the first time you cook a dish. So here’s the address to a blog with the recipe for budae jjigae: http://korfoodstyle.blogspot.com/2010/05/recipe-for-budaechigae-korean-army-base.html
And if you want to read a little more about how this stew came to be, you can visit this site: http://jeffreyalanmiller.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/budae-chigae-koreas-original-fusion-food/