Army Base Stew

by MJ

Army Base Stew (Budae Jjigae) is one of the most popular Korean hot pot stews that incorporates American processed meats such as hot dogs, spam or bacon with Korean ingredients. 

This dish was created after the Korean war when  American army had meats such as hot dogs, spam, ham and baked beans on their base. Koreans started making stews by incorporating foods from Army bases with Korean ingredients and named it  Army Base Stew. 

This dish is very easy to make with any processed meats you have on hand and kimchi as the base. Then you you can add any optional ingredients such as vegetables, tofu, ramen noodles (or any noodles), rice cakes, American sliced cheese, etc. 

This is one of my favorite stews to make for a crowd or a weeknight dinner as you can prep ahead of time, adjusting the ingredients based on what you have on hand. While anchovy broth was used for this recipe, you can substitute with any broth.

When ready to serve – assemble the ingredients in a pot, add the broth, simmer and serve this dish from the pot. If you have a portable burner, you can cook and serve he stew at the table!

Army Base Stew

Serves: 4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


Optional Anchovy Broth ( or use 4 cups of chicken/vegetable broth) 

  • 10-12  medium/ large dried anchovies, heads and guts removed
  • 1-2 pieces of dried kelp
  • optional- few dried shiitake mushrooms 
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt 

Stew (Adjust ingredients based on preference) 

  • 2-3 hot dogs or any sausage, sliced 
  • 1/2-1 can of spam, sliced 
  • 1/2 -1 container tofu- sliced 
  • 1/2 onion, sliced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1-2 cups kimchi 
  • Mushrooms, sliced or enoki mushrooms
  • 1 ramen noodles without seasoning packet (or any noodles) 
  • 1 cup rice cakes 
  • 2 green onions, sliced 

Sauce ( Adjust amounts based on preference) 

  • 1 Tbsp Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru) or more to taste 
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Korean red pepper paste or more to taste 
  • 2 garlic cloves, mined 
  • 1-2 Tablespoon water, if needed to help mix together 


Optional Broth: 

Add the ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. If adding kelp or mushrooms, remove after 15 minutes and boil anchovies for another 15 minutes. Drain in bowl, discarding the anchovies, and set aside. 


In a shallow pot, assemble all the ingredients except for ramen, rice cakes and green onions. Add the sauce in the middle of the pot and add in the broth.  Cover and bring to a boil. 

Add the noodles, rice cakes and green onions and continue to cook uncovered until the noodles are cooked, stirring to combine the sauce.   

Did You Make This Recipe?
Would love to see your dish! Tag me on Instagram at @lovekoreanfood_.

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