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Budae Jjigae (Army Base Stew)

Budae Jjigae, or army base stew, is a fusion stew developed in Korea that is now a staple dish. After the Korean War in the early 1950’s, food was extremely scarce in Korea, so surplus processed foods from the US military bases were a great supplement. Budae jjigae includes American processed foods such as spam, sausages, canned baked beans and sliced cheese, combined with classic Korean flavors such as kimchi, gochujang, ramyun noodles - the end product is 💯💯💯


PREP TIME: 10 min
COOK TIME: 15min 


  • dried anchovies, 4 pieces (for broth)
  • dried kelp (kombu), 1 large piece ( for broth)
  • broth, 2-4 cups
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs gochugaru
  • 1 tbs gochujang
  • 1 cup well fermented napa kimchi
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 package Spam, sliced
  • 2 hot dog meat or sausage
  • 4-8oz mushroom (enoki, 
  • 1/2 package firm tofu
  • 1 package ramyun noodles (I ususally use shin ramyun)
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Other optional ingredients: rice cakes (dduk), canned baked beans, Kraft American cheese


  1. Make the broth by boiling 6 cups of water with the anchovies and kelp for 20 min.
  2. Pour 2-3 cups of the broth into a large shallow pot (save the rest of the broth for later)
  3. Pour in the seasoning paste of  1tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs gochujang, 8 minced garlic cloves, and 1-2 tbs gochugaru (adjust the gochujang and gochugaru amount based on your heat tolerance)
  4. Add in the cabbage, spam, sausage, tofu, and kimchi in the pot
  5. Cook over med-high heat for 10 min. (usually this is done over a portable burner hot pot style)
  6. When it starts boiling, add the ramyun noodle. Sprinkle in the scallions. As soon as the noodles are cooked, in about 3 min, you can start eating.
  7. Add more broth as needed.
  8. Enjoy!