Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Army" Stew 부대찌개

Like I had promised yesterday, here is another post today. Like the title, the dishis going to be 부대찌개, which translate to be ARMY STEW.

The origins of the dish goes back to the end to 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. Due to the scarcity of meat during the war they used these as substitutes for their stews.

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 steamed rice to compliment its spiciness and its abundance in meat such as spam, sausages and pork.

The dish is also referred to as Johnson Tang (존슨 탕), combining the common American surname Johnson and tang (탕) a word meaning soup. 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 had 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.

That is the history lessen for the dish, but even though it was eaten because of the scarcity of meat it is still enjoyed now by many Koreans because of the many ingredients that you can put into the dish.

I'm going to show you guys my version of army stew, but do keep in mind that you can practically add anything that you want into the dish because it is characterised for having a variety of different ingredients.

Can of Spam
6 Frankfurter sausages
150g of Tofu
1 Instant Noodle (minus the soup base)
handful of Rice cakes (if you want)
1/2 Onion
2 Mushrooms
2 spring onions
Enough water to cover

3 Tablespoon of Gochujang
2 Tablespoon of Red Pepper Powder
2 Cloves of crushed garlic
3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
Salt to taste

Cut the Spam, sausages and tofu in to slices and cut all the vegetables. In a bowl add all the ingredients for the sauce and mix well, Place the sauce in to the pan and add the other ingredients around it, keep the noodles to on side for now. Add the water so that everything is covered.

Bring the entire mix to boil and cook well, this should take about 15 minutes, the easiest way to check is to see if the onion is soft. At this point add some noodles it is common to use some instant noodles, you could though use any supermarket noodle. This will take a further 3-5 minutes to cook.

Serve in a bowl and enjoy, there should be plenty for up to 5 people and you could serve with rice and some side dishes if you like, however with the noodles there is enough to fill you up.

And there you have it a simple dish that is sure to please everyone. IF you are worried about how spicy the stew is going to be you can adjust the amount of gochujang and pepper powder used.

Anyways, I'll post another recipe soon ^^

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