Mild Budae Jjigae Army Stew. This less spicy version of Budae Jjigae is delicious and simple to make at home for a comforting dinner or lunch. A popular classic dish that is often served at Korean restaurants so a group of two or more can enjoy with some hot rice or ramen.
This hearty indulgent stew recipe is on the mild side where many recipes are often made with a lot of spice. How? Well, my Budae jjigae without gochugaru contains less gochujang as well. It is also simpler than other recipes where certain ingredients can be omitted if you don’t have them at home. I listed those ingredients as “optional”.
One day my husband and I were really craving some comforting Korean food in the cold of spring. We wanted something to cook and eat outside and I had some spam, mushrooms, instant ramen, cabbage and canned beans at home. So, I thought why not make a less spicy Budae jjigae army stew for my husband who isn’t fond of spice? And so, I did, and it turned out so well. He gobbled that up instantly.
Of all the Korean stew recipes out there, this is our favourite as it is packed with so many delicious ingredients. My easy Budae jjigae is delicious and flavourful. I will share how to make Budae jjigae step by step below!
Easy to make!
This mild army base stew is easy to make. You are simply preparing your army base stew ingredients by slicing the mushrooms, cabbage, onions, and spam. Then in a separate bowl whisking your Budae jjigae sauce in a bowl and throwing everything into a wide deep pan (about three inches in height) and boiling it over a stove top.
This Korean dish is served uncooked at Korean restaurants or to guests. Then as the guests are conversing, this stew is bubbling and boiling away over a portable gas stovetop. The smell of the stew as your enjoying the company of your family and friends is so cozy and comforting. It is no wonder this dish is so popular. Not to mention delicious in indulgence thanks to the instant ramen with canned spam.
Tips for making Budae Jjigae
Below are tips on how to make army base stew:
- Fresh vegetables make this stew so much more delicious
- Pre-whisk your sauce prior to adding it to the pan for an even taste distribution
- Pre-arrange all your ingredients for budae jjigae in the wide deep pan keeping the ingredients unmixed and separated. This is mainly for aesthetic if you want to wow your guests.
- Add your ramen last and boil for 2-3 minutes after the stew has boiled and your ingredients are cooked. This keeps the ramen chewy and springy so that you can enjoy it with the rest of your ingredients.
- Do not skipped the canned beans, they really offer a creamy depth to the broth. This also tones down the gochujang in the stew making this a non spicy army base stew.
These are some frequently asked questions about my Budae jjigae recipe:
How do you pronounce Budae Jjigae?
It is pronounced as “Bu-day Jji-gay.” Budae means “Army Base” and Jji-gae means “Stew.”
Why is it called Army stew?
Budae jjigae stew became a dish in Korea as processed meats were provided from US Military Bases when there was a food shortage in the country. Budae Jjigae traces back to 1953 after the war in Korea.
What do you eat Budae Jjigae with?
Budae Jjigae is traditionally eaten with steamed rice, but you can also eat it with ramen as this recipe instructions along with any Korean banchans or side dishes that you desire.
What does Budae Jjigae taste like?
Traditionally it is a very hearty, savoury stew with a spicy kick packed with stew mushrooms and cabbage with the saltiness from your processed meat. The maple baked beans give the stew a creamy taste. This stew pairs perfectly with ramen or rice.
Other Korean recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this army base stew you may like these other Korean recipes:
FISH CAKE KIMBAP
DOSIRAK KOREAN LUNCH BOX
BEEF BULGOGI KIMBAP
KOREAN MUSHROOM LETTUCE WRAPS
CHEESE KIMCHI KIMBAP
KOREAN PORK BELLY LETTUCE WRAPS
GYERAN MARI KOREAN ROLLED OMELETTE
VEGAN MUSHROOM KIMCHI FRIED RICE
GYERAN BAP KOREAN EGG RICE
For this recipe
You will need the following Budae jjigae ingredients:
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 5 cups Napa or regular cabbage, chopped
- 3-4 cups mushrooms, enoki or king oyster or button mushrooms recommended, chopped
- 1 can maple flavoured baked beans
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 can Spam, sliced into 1 cm thick pieces (can be substituted with hotdogs or ham)
- 4 instant ramen packs
- 312 grams tofu, sliced into 1 cm thick pieces
- 1 cup rice cakes (optional)
- 2 slices cheese, cheddar or white (optional)
- 1 stalk green onion, sliced (optional)
- ⅓ cup kimchi, optional
Army Base Stew Sauce:
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp Gochujang, very mild type
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
How to make Korean Budae jjigae
Slice onion, green onion (optional), cabbage, mushrooms, spam, and tofu. Place these ingredients along with the maple baked beans, kimchi (optional) and rice cakes (optional) into a wide pan that is 3 inches deep.
Pour your chicken stock into the pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together your sauce ingredients until well combined. Pour the army base stew sauce into the pan.
Place the pan over your stovetop or portable gas burner and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Let the ingredients cook and stew in the stock and sauce, stirring every now and then for 10 minutes. Do not cover.
Then place your ramen noodles on top of the stew with a slice of cheese over the top (optional) and let the noodles boil for 2 minutes or until Al Dente texture. You may need to boil two ramen cakes at a time depending on how large your pan is. Turn the heat down to low. Enjoy your Mild Budae Jjigae Army Stew with ramen as it simmers.
Give it a try!
Well, I hope you give my Mild Budae Jjigae Army Stew a try! It always excites me when you guys make my recipes and I hope this is one you try.
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Mild Budae Jjigae Army Stew (Simple Version)
- 1 yellow onion sliced thinly
- 5 cups Napa cabbage or regular cabbage chopped
- 3-4 cups mushrooms enoki or king oyster or button mushrooms recommended, chopped
- 1 can baked beans maple flavoured
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 can Spam sliced into 1 cm thick pieces (can be substituted with hotdogs or ham)
- 312 grams tofu sliced into 1 cm thick pieces
- 4 packs instant ramen noodles
- 1 cup Korean rice cakes optional
- 2 slices cheese cheddar or white (optional)
- 1 stalk green onion sliced (optional)
- ⅓ cup kimchi optional
Army Base Stew Sauce:
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp regular soy sauce not light or dark!
- 2 tbsp Gochujang very mild type
- 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- Slice onion, green onion (optional), cabbage, mushrooms, spam, and tofu. Place these ingredients along with the maple baked beans, kimchi (optional) and rice cakes (optional) into a wide pan that is 3 inches deep.
- Pour your chicken stock into the pan.
- In a small bowl, whisk together your sauce ingredients until well combined. Pour the army base stew sauce into the pan.
- Place the pan over your stovetop or portable gas burner and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Let the ingredients cook and stew in the stock and sauce, stirring every now and then for 10 minutes. Do not cover.
- Then place your ramen noodles on top of the stew with a slice of cheese over the top (optional) and let the noodles boil for 2 minutes or until Al Dente texture. You may need to boil two ramen cakes at a time depending on how large your pan is. Turn the heat down to low. Enjoy your stew with ramen as it simmers.