Budae Jjigae (Korean Army Base Stew)


This dish started after the Korean War when food was in short supply. Canned ham, hot dogs, and beans were taken from American military bases and mixed with traditional Korean kimchi, vegetables, noodles, and spicy seasonings to create a delicious spicy and hearty stew. I first had this dish in a Korean restaurant near my home. It was so good that I went on a quest to figure out how to make it for myself. My version is pretty traditional and fairly spicy. Find a Korean/Asian market for the kimchi, pepper paste, and powder. It is worth it.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
27 mins
Total Time:
57 mins
6 servings


  • 1 (12 ounce) can fully cooked luncheon meat (such as SPAM®), sliced

  • 14 ounces smoked sausage (such as Eckrich®), sliced

  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 6 ounces kimchi

  • ¼ cup Korean red pepper powder

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 pinch ground black pepper

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 2 (32 ounce) containers chicken broth

  • 7 ¾ ounces ramen noodles (such as Ottogi Ramyonsari®)

  • 1 slice American cheese (Optional)


  1. Divide luncheon meat into 2 piles on either side of a stock pot. Layer sausage, onion, and kimchi on top, leaving an empty space in the center of the pot.

  2. Mix red pepper powder, soy sauce, gochujang, garlic, and black pepper together in a small bowl; pour into the center of the pot. Sprinkle in green onion. Pour in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer stew, stirring occasionally, until flavors combine, about 10 minutes.

  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil; add ramen noodles. Cook and stir until partially cooked and softened, about 2 minutes. Drain; stir into stew. Cook and stir until ramen noodles are tender but firm to the bite, about 5 minutes. Top stew with American cheese.

Cook's Note:

Anchovy broth can be substituted for the chicken broth if desired.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

697 Calories
46g Fat
41g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 697
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 17g 86%
Cholesterol 97mg 32%
Sodium 4194mg 182%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 31g
Vitamin C 30mg 149%
Calcium 135mg 10%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 701mg 15%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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