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Budae jjigae

Budae jjigae
Type Jjigae
Place of origin Korea
16x16px Cookbook:Budae jjigae  16x16px Budae jjigae
Budae jjigae
Hangul 부대찌개
Hanja 찌개
Revised Romanization budae jjigae
McCune–Reischauer pudae tchigae

Budae jjigae (Template:IPA-ko; literally "army stew") is a type of jjigae (a thick Korean soup similar to a Western stew). Soon after the Korean War, food was scarce in Seoul, South Korea. Some people made use of surplus foods from U.S. military bases around the Uijeongbu area, Pyeongtaek area (also called Songtan)[1] or Munsan area, such as hot dogs, Spam, or ham, and incorporated them into a traditional spicy soup flavored with gochujang (red chili paste) and kimchi.

Budae jjigae is still popular in South Korea. The dish often incorporates such modern ingredients as instant noodles and sliced American cheese. Other ingredients may include ground beef, sliced sausages, baked beans, minari, onions, green onions, tteok, tofu, chili peppers, macaroni, garlic, mushrooms, and other vegetables in season.[2]


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 surname Johnson for President Lyndon B. Johnson, and tang (, ) a word meaning soup.[5][6]

The city of Uijeongbu, which is bordered by Seoul to the south and has many army bases, is famous for its budae jjigae. In the late 20th century, the city of Uijeongbu stipulated that the dish be referred to as Uijeongbu jjigae to remove the military or war-time connotation in the name, though not many restaurants follow this guideline. Some restaurants have begun calling their product Uijeongbu budae jjigae. There is also what locals refer to as "Uijeongbu Budaejjigae Street" where there is a high concentration of buddaejjigae restaurants.[7][8]

Army bases have closed throughout the years, the stories of the well known fictional television series, “M.A.S.H.” (Frommer’s Shortcuts, 2012) continue to be told throughout the residual military community that still remains throughout Uijeongu, South Korea. The inner city activities of Uijeongu, South Korea continue to show the hustle and bustle of daily Korean and military life, culture, and cuisine. As you walk down the city streets in the late fall as well as Uijeongbu Budae Jjigae Street, individuals can’t help but feel the chill of the winter season approaching, while also recognizing the faint smell of the season change, mixed with the overwhelming aroma of the famous Uijeongu city delight, Budae Jjigae, which is also referred to as the infamous, Army Stew.

Budae Jjigae, was brought to the Uijeongbu city by the American and United Nations Soldiers during the Korean War. Soldiers utilized what food was left in their ruck sacks, as food was running scarce throughout the region. The earth provided vegetables and mixing rations from left overs such as hot dogs, spam, salt, pepper; cabbage, macaroni, kimchi, tofu, ramen noodles, and other canned goods to develop a stew or soup based mixture. Many individuals have claimed Budae Jjigae is not only a historical representation of the American Soldier, but a delightful dish and soup that cures the hangover for local nationals that may have decided to indulge in the very famous Korean drink, soju the night before and termed the phrase “The Hangover Cure.”

Walking past the shops, street vendors, and eateries in Uijeongbu, individuals can’t help but to glare into the windows of the famous Budae Jjigae restaurants and watch as the broth is prepared by the Korean chefs. The simple, but yet delightful dish, is built and put together with speed, precision, and years of experience. Though many of the elderly Korean population perceive Budae Jjigae as a memory regarding the confrontation of the American Soldier and the devastation brought into and throughout their country. The younger generation has picked this dish that brings the family and friends together over a spicy beef and noodle based soup that is eaten throughout the year, but is especially tasty throughout the winter months, as it warms the body and fills the stomach.

See also


  1. ^ "수도권III 우리 동네 명물 송탄의 부대찌개". The Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). 3 December 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (24 June 2010). "Life post-June 25, 1950: Korean War’s impact on local diet & fashion". Korea Times. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Williamson, Lucy (19 September 2013). "Why is Spam a luxury food in South Korea?". BBC News. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Korean Food: Stews". Life in Korea. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  5. ^ Lee Yong-sung; Kim Hyun-chul (30 December 2004). "From Trash to Delicious Treasure". The Korea Times. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Kang, Michelle (16 November 2012). "Grandma bone soup is not what you think it is". Joongang Daily. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Uijeongbu restaurant owners take pride in army base stew". Korea Times. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Kim, Violet (6 April 2012). "Food map: Eat your way around Korea". CNN Travel. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 

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