How Spam, Hot Dogs, and Instant Noodles Made One of Korea's Most Iconic Dishes - K-Town

Published on Apr 6, 2018
As one of the most iconic Korean dishes, army base stew, or budae jjigae, has a colorful history. In the aftermath of the war, American servicemen and troops were stationed in South Korea to prevent invasion. Resourceful Koreans had heard that these bases had a surplus of canned meats that often ended up in the garbage. These meats, like ground beef, Spam, hot dogs, and ham, were picked up and put into a spicy stew.
In this episode of K-Town, host Matthew Kang tries an exemplary version of this now-classic stew at Dallas’s Dan Sung Sa. Today, budae jjigae shows up on Korean bar menus and restaurant menus around the world, but its unique history as a “trash” dish is a reminder that Korea, despite its current prosperity and place in the world, was once ravaged by war, and remains in an uneasy political situation to this day.
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Comments

  • This is Korea’s version of Philippines’ pagpag.... The original versions would include spam with bite marks and made of out-of-date canned food.

  • this idiot actually compared this dish to japanese ramen...LMFAO

  • iconic korean dish? this guy is one dumb azz korean. most koreans dont even eat this and not found in most menus and cities in korea..this idiot is doing such a disservice to korean cuisine

  • kung fu panda

  • i dont think they used onions in it

  • Better garbage plate than the NJ variant. Fight me.

  • Wait I live in dallas!! I didn’t know I could find good Korean food here

  • Reminds me very much of the food we had at the ROK Army outpost I was assigned to for a while during my tour (I was a linguist) back in the '80s.

  • Sooooo salty.....

  • Most iconic Korean dishes? Is this a joke?I can clean up my refrigerator

  • Great story. I can totally figure Spam (same deal with Hawaii and WWII) because of Koreans' love of pork and its frequent appearance in the cuisine. But I never figured hotdogs would be accepted. I guess if you're pressed for calories (the fat in hotdogs makes them quite calorie-dense), you'll go for anything. Spam in ramen noodles with kimchee sounds really good! I could totally see that in Korean BBQ and/or hotpot. I guess even hotdogs would work in hotpot but I would rather thin-cut beef and real sausage.

  • Now what are those noodles on the table...?

  • Beautiful ! I love Korean food so much

  • Judging from the posts. I guess you either like it or you don't. Personally, I've never tried it. I will soon. Maybe not at this location. But, I will try it.....

  • I love this dish especially with cheddar cheese! Love how it becomes a metaphor. Amazing things can born from difficult situation. :)

  • eaters content is slowing down...... expected, time to give it a rest for a while.

  • I absoutely love korean food and have made this dish myself many winters, but does anyone notice he has to say korean before any ingredient, "korean instant ramen noodles", isn't it just easier to say instant ramen/noodles, does he has to add korean to every single item, it's already a korean food series, we get it :)

  • Didn’t mention the chappagetti tho😭

  • dude, the US army was not throwing them away. that would be un-American. it was the general staff in Korea saw the hunger and quietly give or sell for cheap canned goods so the koreans can eat. it was what the US armed forces did after world war 2 and every war after including Afghanistan.

    • So we will see afganistan version of army stew within a decade lmao

  • I'm hungover and I need that now.....right now

  • although i dont doubt it tastes good and the history behind it is nice, cmon, this is garbage. not worth being presented really. what a idiotic dish. if I just put everything I have in my fridge together it might taste good, but its not a dish

  • my mom makes this almost every week and omg it’s my favorite. combines kimchi with hot dog, ramen, and a super rich broth. you can also use your imagination with it. add anything you want. if you’ve never had it i recommend trying it at home.

  • Has there been an episode about how Koreans like Chinese food but where it's so Korean it's not really Chinese food? lol

  • ❤️❤️❤️

  • Where’s the 🧀?

  • Are you still in Dallas? Hit up Joy Kitchen off N Plano Road for awesome spicy beef bulgogi or Chicken & Potato Stew. King’s Noodles off Polk St in Richardson makes the best Taiwanese Beef Dry Noodle anywhere. Boba Latte across the street is awesome as well for dessert. Ken’s Japanese Bistro and Ma Ru Ramen both make a legit bowl of ramen. La Me makes the best Pho Bo Vien anywhere. Bistro B is fun just because the lights and decor is ever evolving. If you know where I can get some really great Chicken in Onion Sauce (Chinese) I’d love to know. I miss it so much since Sing Kee closed a couple years ago. Also, long shot, but I’d kill for a Merguez Sandwich with harrisa in Dallas.

  • I know Koreans are proud of their food. Only 1 thing bothered me. Korean is the only one selling instant noodles in restaurants and not so cheap. Instant noodles I mean. Serious. In the restaurant.

    • i dont know anyone thats willing to pay 10-15 bucks for a bowl of shin. and im korean

    • Qin Woodruff It's not so cheap in the U.S. But it's hella cheap in Korea. 10~15 bucks.

  • "Baby, you got yourself a stew goin'"

  • anybody know what's the white sauce they put in at 0:27

  • "a real trash dish"..... ha sounds like me

  • Ayeeeee DSS Dallas made on here. Ktown in Dallas is fun but very hidden.

  • I learn something from another city like .... .... .... .... ....

  • Wait.... Is that really the story behind 부대찌개? The story that I heard was that while American soldiers were stationed in Korea for the Korean War, they craved having some Spaghetti and Meatballs. So they went to the local populace, and asked them to make them it, but of course the Korean population didn't have access to pasta and meat for meatballs, so they took the canned meats that the Americans brought with them and made 부대찌개 in the end.

    • There were canned spaghetti and meatballs during WWII as US army rations, so it's very unlikely American soldiers had to ask Koreans to make it for them. Even if they did, it wouldn't have resulted in a spam sausage soup. It would have created some kind of a rice noodle dish.

    • what i heard was people who were poor were looking for food but didnt like american food so they added kimchi to suit there pallet.

  • #Nasty #VomitFood #Gag #NoWay

  • How barf, vomit, and trowup confused you....

  • Don’t cry Matthew, we feel you. :)

  • Where's Lucas and nick

  • Army Stew is the most overpriced dish you can find in the world. Everything in the pot costs a fraction of how much they are charging you.

    • Theo Lumina most food you eat at a restaurant are overpriced if you factor in the actual cost of the ingredients but you also have to factor in employees rent and other factors.

    • lol anything, anywhere can be overpriced. it's not just korea and it's meals :/

    • to be fair, korean pork broth stew costs like 10 dollars but they charge 30. its the same thing. kimchi stew costs 4 dollars.

  • I thought he was gonna cry.

  • It's fascinating because my mom refuses to eat this dish as it was a reminder of it being trash food from the US army while the Korean American in me appreciates the mix of flavors and cultures that it represents. Guess it aptly reflects that duality that so many of us as Korean Americans deal with growing up.

    • my mom was the same way, she grew up during the war. she never even let me order it as a kid growing up in US.

    • my moms fine with it. food is food. unless your mom was there during the korean war, then i would understand.

  • When ordering this dish and instant noodle came by it made me think why the hell did I paid $30+ dollar for a big pot of instant noodle. But when you taste the flavor it says otherwise

  • This became one of my favorite dishes when I was first introduced to it almost 20 years ago. But anything with ramen and Spam in it becomes an instant classic for me.

  • Thanks for showing a dish that is somewhat connected/reminded harsh times in Korea. It would be more interesting if you had shared that dish with people who had gone through those times.

  • I was wondering what I had. I had this same exact meal in a place with a cartoon monkey on it. Unlimited ramen packs and broth. Thanks for explaining it. I've been trying to find that same place in Daegu but I can't find a place like it.

  • This is a horrible dish. The worst part? It's always like $38 or something at the Korean places in LA.

    • I don't know.... I just checked the price at this place in Dallas -- $26.99 for this dish. According to Bankrate's cost of living calculator, $38 in Los Angeles, CA is equivalent to $26.03 in Dallas, TX. This Dallas place actually charges MORE!

    • everything is la is overpriced. but then a bowl of spaghetti is 16 dollars over there and you share this with a few people so it would be much cheaper.

    • That is overpriced in your area

  • It may seem unpleasant, but I love dishes (most of them thick and heavy ingredient stews) that are just a mish mash of different things that are accessible, especially during challenging times. It creates fond memories and strong bonds.

  • That stew looks like something that would taste good only if you're starving to death and had nothing else to eat.

  • after immigrating to the US in the early 80s, my mother used to refuse to let us have budaejjigae growing up. it reminded her of the harsh times for her growing up during the post war times. it was only when i got old enough to drive myself around i got to explore food on my own and rediscover the joy of budaejjigae. she only told me recently now as an adult why she refused to let us eat it, she wanted better for the family.

  • you know how happy korean restaurant owners are when you order this? they charge you $25 to cook you a dish that costs them less than a couple bucks to make.

  • You don’t need broth just dump water on kimchi in a pot or use kimchi juice

    • too much kimchi juice makes the broth very salty. usually daishi broth or something that brings out the umami flavor is best.

  • I never knew I needed this in my life, but I do.

  • My kids are reaping my love of korean cuisine. Being filipino living in Hawai'i, I grew up eating only take out type korean food, but they were so good! This is one of our favorites. Extra tofu & mushrooms please!

  • ramen noodles the best

  • What are the white blocks?

  • Can someone explain why he's in Dallas to discuss BudaeJJigae? Doesn't talk about the restaurant or why this dish is served in Dallas. No real reason but to get a trip out of it. Nothing more appetizing than using the word trash...twice.

  • Ugly Delicious this is not.

  • when i eat shin ramen i add raw egg and and hard boil egg. add vegtables. add more korean pepper powder. Frozen korean peppers. mushroom powder, bean sprouts, scallions, Roast beef. you should try adding Roast beef....the thin slices is so big it's like a meat wrap noodle korean pho.

  • Spam....the taste of Freedom

  • Excellent host -- hope to see more of Matthew

  • sluuuurrrrpppp.... slurp slurp slurp, my nan did this, my great uncle is kim jong dim.................................

  • is this really good? this looks like shit

  • Nice story and budaejigae is good.

  • This one looks delicious. 👍 Thank god they don't use *_baked beans_* and slices of American *_cheese_* in their recipe. 😬

    • baked beans and American cheese are included in original recipe. in fact , those are one of essential ingredient among with kimchi and spam. i know it sounds like.... disgus... i mean unusual . we only put baked bean 1 full tablespoon per POT . but without them soup tastes so different.

    • kind of stew

    • Never heard of baked beans in any stew ever, but processed cheese is so popular in Korea.

    • sorry we use both of them!

    • Can you explain what chige means?

  • Try to make this dish using only gourmet ingredients

    • For $100 you could make it for 3-4 people, so around $25 per person.

    • I would put bacon, wagyu beef, hand made ramen, tofu, and shitake mushrooms. probably costs 100 dollars.

  • What's is going on with this channel????? It's all about korean food now.. where's the meat show? Dining on a dime?

    • Do Kim Dining is in post-production, I think.

  • That looks and I bet tastes like a pile of steaming hot dog shit. It is true, some Koreans will eat almost any kind of shit. I get necessity and all, but there is no place for that in modern Korean cuisine. Vile

    • See, but that wouldn't be a fair comparison because the British (I'm assuming you're British because you bring up fish and chips and mushy peas) don't have any cuisine to say don't belong because they don't have any sort of cuisine at all! It's all "vile" :)

    • Conan 1812 It's actually very delicious.

    • Conan 1812 racist? You litterally commented some Koreans will eat anything dingdong. Calling dish that it looks like a pile of dog shit is pretty offensive, simple as that bud.

  • As much as i enjoy korean army stew, i find it hard to justify how expensive it is considering the ingredients to make it is dirt cheap...

    • One of the easiest things to make at home If you are willing to go to a Asian mart.

    • to be fair, you can shared it with a few people so it is actually much cheaper than having separate food.

  • Army stew is so fucking overrated

  • Enjoyed the vid, thanks Matt

  • I remember seeing a recipe here on youtube for this years ago, and it's become a staple during christmas when everyone in the family is tired of typical Swedish food, usually on an off day when we're all a bit hungover. The ground beef is something I will have to try tho!

    • d Kim, well the obvious and easiest would be classic Swedish meatballs, you can probably find the ingredients for it almost anywhere in the world. Pickled herring my personal favourite and if you're not afraid of "raw" fish you should try it, it's basically just salted fish put into some kind of sauce or brine and then eaten after marinating for a few days.

    • Hey, what are some good Swedish foods to try for a beginner?

    • hahaha still cool! We have Swedish exchange students at our uni and they're all great! :D

    • Shteve K like I said, it's usually on an off day like the day after Christmas day. It's nice to break away from the meatballs and pickled herring for a meal and this is perfect for that!

    • That's hilariously fascinating- a Swedish family eating Korean food on holiday?? X)

  • Fighting the Korean War Was one of America's best efforts in the defense of Freedom. I developed a taste for Kimchee while flying a helicopter off a Korean Tuna Boat. And a couple of months ago I bought a Korean car, used, 2001 sonata v-6, I like it a lot.

  • Must be nice to call spam and hotdog "trash"

    • valdeaunia The very original version used leftover meatstuff from US military bases. So it literally involved trash.

  • appreciate the story at the end about your grandparents and heritage. good vid.

  • Don't think that we forgot about Serena #Neverforget

  • Bless ❤️😍

  • a melange of all sorts of ingredients equating to a pleasurable masterpiece of foodie goodness

  • Was that a scoop of butter they were putting in here...?

    • Nothing wrong with healthy fats

    • PaulNirvana, it was vegetarian kitten fat. Yummy!

    • Not Tofu....Tofu was added after the broth. Probably margarine.

    • There was definitely butter and it was definitely delicious. Thanks for watching!

    • it's tofu

  • I'll look for it here. Thanks for sharing your family's, and the stews story.

  • 2:05 now thats how u eat ass

  • Most times I've seen this in Korean videos they eat the stew with rice and then add the noodles at the end to finish off the remaining soup.

  • looks yummy

  • FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!