Classic Korean Army Stew (Budae Jjigae)

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Korean cuisine is known for its bold flavors and innovative use of ingredients. Army Stew, also known as Budae Jjigae (pronounced boo-day JJI-gae), is a testament to this culinary spirit. This one-pot dish is a delicious and hearty concoction, perfect for warming you up on a chilly day or feeding a hungry crowd.

This recipe offers a classic take on Army Stew, but feel free to adjust it to suit your preferences. The beauty of this dish lies in its adaptability – you can throw in almost any protein or vegetable you have on hand.

Budae Jjigae (Army Base Stew)
Budae Jjigae (Army Base Stew)


1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, grated
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can baked beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups cooked ramen noodles (optional)
  • Chopped green onions, for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Heat sesame oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger, and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.
    2. Add chicken and pork to the pot and cook until browned on all sides, breaking up the ground pork with a spoon.
    3. Pour in diced tomatoes, beef broth, baked beans (if using), kidney beans (if using), and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
    4. Stir in kimchi, peas, soy sauce, gochujang, brown sugar, and sriracha (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 10 minutes, or until flavors meld.
    5. If using, add cooked ramen noodles directly to the pot and heat through for a few minutes. Alternatively, serve ramen noodles on the side and allow diners to add them to their individual bowls.
    6. Serve hot, garnished with chopped green onions.

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Please note that nutrition facts will vary depending on the specific ingredients you use. This is an approximate estimation for one serving without ramen noodles)

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg
  • Sodium: 1000mg (adjust based on added sodium from soy sauce and other ingredients)
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Sugar: 10g
  • Protein: 30g

  • Conclusion:

    Army Stew is a comforting and satisfying dish, perfect for a relaxed gathering with friends and family. It’s easy to customize and allows you to get creative with leftover ingredients. So grab your favorite vegetables, protein, and a good helping of kimchi, and whip up a pot of this delicious Korean classic!


    1. What can I substitute for kimchi?

    Kimchi is the star of the show in Army Stew, but if you can’t find it or don’t like the spicy flavor, you can substitute with sauerkraut or another fermented vegetable.

    2. Can I make this vegetarian?

    Absolutely! Simply omit the chicken and pork and add additional tofu or another plant-based protein source. You can also add more vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini.

    3. What other protein options can I use?

    Shrimp, tofu, or sliced hot dogs are all popular substitutes for chicken and pork in Army Stew.

    4. Is Army Stew spicy?

    The spice level depends on the amount of kimchi and gochujang you use. Adjust these ingredients to your preference.

    5. How can I store leftovers?

    Army Stew leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through.