Saturday, January 7, 2023

An Attempt at Budaejjigae

Years back I was out on the road at night with people from work. We were still a long way from home and the weather was so bad and there was zero visibility on the road, so we decided to stop somewhere to wait for things to clear up. We have not had dinner yet so we went into the nearest restaurant we could find and wound up in a small Korean place where I had Budaejjigae. It was so good that I promised myself that I would try to make this dish one day and this month, I finally did with the help of a recipe from the BTS Recipe Book!

Budaejjigae, also known as army stew, because (according to My Korean Kitchen) it incorporates American-style processed food into the stew (jjigae). Budae means military base, which was where Koreans sourced the surplus American food for this back in the 50s. 

I remember watching In the Soop and SUGA made this for everyone, commenting that preparing food for a large group of people was hard. I agree. The recipe book listed the ingredients as good for three people, so I had to adjust mine since more of us were supposed to eat it. I decided to multiply everything by two to make enough for my family.

The recipe book was quite easy to follow. It listed the ingredients in groups: one for the main ingredients, and another for the seasoning. I had to make this recipe my own way because of the availability of ingredients and the number of people who were going to eat it, so this is not exactly like the one in the recipe book:


  • 1 cup Kimchi
  • 4 hotdogs
  • Canned luncheon meat (1 can)
  • Onion (2 small local ones, it is a tough time to buy onions in the Philippines these days)
  • Tofu (1 pack of soft tofu, around 10 oz)
  • 3 Uncooked Ramyeon Noodles (the recipe, if I multiply the ingredients by two, only needed one, but my sister and I agreed we would want more than that it became three)
  • 1 can baked beans (I used Hunt’s Pork and Beans)
  • 5 cups Water

*The recipe book listed leeks and bean sprouts but there were not any available during the time I shopped for ingredients, so I left them out. 


  • 4 tbsp soju (this was supposed to be cheongju, but I read this is the same thing?)
  • 3 tbsp Chili Flakes (in place of gochugaru)
  • 4 tsp Soy Sauce (I used Datu Puti, when in the Philippines…lol)
  • 4 tsp Gochujang
  • 2 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Pepper

The recipe book has pictures for every step of the cooking process as well as a video that you can access via a QR code. Long story short, you just cut/slice the kimchi, hotdogs, canned luncheon meat, onions, and tofu and place them in a wide pot, adding the uncooked ramyeon noodles and the baked beans. Mix the seasoning ingredients in a separate bowl and add along with the water to the wide pot. Once the stew boils, let it simmer over medium to low heat until all the ingredients are cooked. 

I was excited to make this; it all looked good, but my family said it was too spicy for their taste. They still had it for dinner with me, but you could tell that they were sweating so much from how spicy it was. I had tried the soup before serving it and did not find it that spicy, but I am not a good judge of that since I really like spicy food. I am now wondering if multiplying the ingredients for the seasoning by two made it too spicy or if it was really meant to be that way.

It was still nice to be able to have this after such a long time. I loved having tofu this way since we usually prepare it differently in other meals. I also read somewhere that you can add cheese and mushrooms to this recipe, so I will try that next time (and cut down on the gochujang and chili flakes next time if I am having it with the family). 

If you have any tips on improving this, please leave me a message on this post! I would love to learn more about how I can make this better next time!


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