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Budae Jjigae
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

Smile House
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 Store.
Tel: 362-3139

(Sourced from WHAT'S ON SEOUL)

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