Perfect Harmony; Korean Gochugang and Western Ham
jigae, a hot and spicy stew, is a perennial Korean favorite of which
there are many varieties. Among the most popular Jjigae variations are
Kimchi, fish, and oyster stews. Budae Jjigae is one variety that was
concocted during Korean War (1950-1953). At that time poor Korean people
were forced to improvise on their traditional dishes with whatever food
was at hand. They made a stew from gochugang (Korean hot pepper paste)
combined with sausage, ham and bacon that were leftover from US military
ration boxes. 'Budae' in Korean means a military unit. Thus the name
Budae Jjigae or military unit stew.
Today Budae Jjigae is still enjoyed by hungry Korean diners, but it is
no longer made with leftovers. Many fresh vegetables, ham, and sausage
are cooked with gochugang, and sometimes noodles are added as well.
Because Budae Jjigae is usually cooked right at the table, customers
cook it for as long as they like to get all the delicious flavors from
the various meats and vegetables. The best way is to bring it to a boil
on strong heat, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a while.
Recently, fusion food has become a popular expression in Korea. Budae
Jjigae is certainly the oldest fusion style dish in Korea. Flavors from
East and West create a harmonious new taste. How about experiencing this
delightful blend of East and West, old and new, by ordering Budae Jjigae
next time you are out and about.
| Hot Tips
Famous restaurants for Budae Jjigae
This place has made Budae Jjigae in Shinchon for 20 years. Their secret
for excellent taste is a special soup stock they use in preparing Budae
Jjigae. They mix ground pork with kimchi sauce to make this stock. They
also add other traditional Korean foods to make it taste more Korean. At
night, there is music, which is popular among their young customers.
Prices range from W8,000 to W13,000.
How to get there: Take subway line number 2 to Shinchon station
and exit through gate 3. Smile House is located next to Hong-ik Book
(Sourced from WHAT'S ON SEOUL)