Korean Army Stew – 1 Person Serving!
This is our second take on Budae Jjigae! (first recipe here)
I was inspired to remake this recipe – for a 1-person serving - after I was “rejected” from a restaurant this past weekend in Seoul.
If you visited Korea before, you know that most Korean restaurants require a party of at least 2 people. That’s because most of the dishes - especially Korean Stews and Soups - are brought out in large pans or pots.
[Note: There are “bunsik” restaurants throughout Korea – which are like fast gourmet shops – that cater to solo diners]
You could have the courage to sit down at the restaurant by yourself and wolf down 2+ servings – but more often than not, I head home with some take-out kimbap in hand (heh!)Yes, I’ve done that plenty of times!
So… for all of my single men & ladies, here is how to make restaurant-quality Korean Army Stew for yourself at home!
The key taste variable is Sagol Yuksu.
Sagol Yuksu (사골육수) is the Korean term for beef bone broth – beef leg bones to be specific. The leg bones are simmered away for hours.
Afterwards, you’ll see a slightly milky colored broth.
This broth is filtered and the bones are re-boiled. If you repeat this process multiple times, the bone broth gets a very milky color.
If you’ve had Seolleongtang (Korean Oxtail Soup) before, this is the same milky broth!
At the Korean market, they’ll sell packets of this Sagol Yuksu for cheap. Look for ones that have at least 500 grams (which is exactly how much broth we need for our 1-person recipe).
Now, if you don’t have a Korean mart nearby, you can also use Anchovy-Kelp Broth Packets. Or Chicken Broth. Not as deep of a flavor - but good enough!
Does Korean Army Stew taste oily or heavy (느끼해)?
You’ll be surprised by effective Korean Spice cuts through oily flavors.
This Budae Jjigae doesn’t have an oily or heavy taste to it – at all!
That’s partially why Koreans love it so much (Koreans really dislike heavy-feeling, oily foods – we call it ‘neukkihada’)
For our stew, feel free to use Spam, Sausages, Bacon, Minced Pork – or use a little bit of it all.
Alternatively, you can use only ½ the ramen noodles - if you don’t have a large appetite (or skip it all together).
How do I eat Korean Army Stew?
If you add ramen noodles to the stew, make sure to eat the noodles first – it will bloat and soak up the broth if left for too long.
Alternatively, you can add-in only ½ the ramen noodles - if you don’t have a large appetite (or skip it all together).
After you eat the ramen noodles, then pick out a few of the meat pieces and place it onto some fresh hot rice, along with a few scoops of the spicy, savory broth. Then scoop it together with the rice!
I know you will love the marinade – the balanced flavor will beat all the recipes out there 😉
Anyhow, if you end up making it for the first time, tag us on IG. I love flipping through your pictures in the morning!
-Daniel out 🕺
(P.s. If you’re cooking alone, don’t get bored. Consider listening to our latest podcast episode while you cook!)
Budae Jjigae Ingredients
- ¼ can Spam (Or use less)
- 1 Italian Sausage (Or any other sausage)
- 2 strips Bacon
- Small handful of Minced Pork
- ½ Whole Onion
- ½ Stalk Spring Onion
- Small handful of Soybean Sprouts (Optional)
- 1 Slice American Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Baked Beans
- 1 Ramen Packet
- ½ Tablespoon Gochujang Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Gochugaru Flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Mirim
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Honey
- 1 teaspoon (!) Doenjang
- Few cracks Black Pepper
Budae Jjigae Broth
- 2 cups Sagol Yuksu - Korean Beef Bone Broth (Or Anchovy Kelp Broth, Or Chicken Broth)
- Cut the Spam, Sausage, Bacon and Minced Pork into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Dice Onion and Spring Onion into thin pieces. Set aside a small handful of Soybean Sprouts
Make Budae Jjigae Marinade
- Take out a small bowl and mix: Gochujang (½ Tablespoon), Gochugaru (2 Tablespoons), Minced Garlic (1 Tablespoon), Mirim (1 Tablespoon), Soy Sauce (1 Tablespoon), Honey (½ Tablespoon), Doenjang (1 teaspoon!)
Assemble Budae Jjigae
- Take out a small pot. Place your meat on the bottom. Then add ⅔rd of the Spicy Marinade Sauce in the center. Then add-on the sliced onions. Followed by the soybean sprouts. And finally the baked beans.
- Next add 2 cups (500ml) of the Sagol Yuksu.
- Open up your ramen packet and add-in the dehyrdated veggies packet. Set the ramen noodles aside for later. (Note: we won't use the ramen seasoning packet - don't add it!)
- Place the pot on a high heat and bring up to a boil.
- Once it boils, skim off any foam from the surface with a soup ladle. Then use a spoon or chopsticks and gently stir all the ingredients together.
- At this stage, take a sip of the soup. If you want it more spicy (or flavorful), add in the rest of the spicy marinade. (I ended up using it at all!)
- Now, add in a few cracks of Black Pepper
- Then add in the ramen noodles. Place your sliced cheese on top of the noodles.
- Once the noodles turn soft, add in the diced spring onions. It's ready to eat!
How to Eat
- Start by eating the ramen noodles - as it will bloat and soak up the broth if left for too long! Then take out a bowl of hot rice and scoop out some of the meat pieces from the budae jjigae, along with a few scoops of the broth. Mix and eat together with the rice!
- Bon Appetit ya'll!