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Military base stew

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Tom Kurth View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 February 2016 at 17:53
I don't recall how I originally encountered this dish, but there are a lot of recipes on the 'net. It's one of those dishes that has a different composition in every kitchen. The origin, as I understand it, was in areas of Korea located near US military bases in the hard times during and after the Korean War. The defining ingredients are American processed meats (most commonly Spam) and kim-chi. Gave it a try tonight. Initially, both Trace and I were unenthused but noncommittal. After a couple bowls, I had begun to like it, and she said, "I'd eat it again."

The recipe as I found it and as I adapted it based on available ingredients:

Budae-jjigae (Military Base Stew)

2 C. kim-chi, bite size               2 C. coarsely chopped cabbage
2 hot dogs, sliced on bias             5 rashers bacon
3 rashers bacon, 2 inch pieces        8 oz. Spam
4 oz. Spam, cubed                      1/2 medium onion
1/2 medium onion, sliced               1/2 green bell pepper
3-4 mushroom caps                      4 C. water
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped           1 T. chicken soup base
2 scallions, chopped                   1/2 T. beef soup base
4 ounces tofu, cubed                   1 T. sriracha sauce
4 C. anchovy broth or water            1 t. minced garlic
1 T. Korean red pepper flakes          1 C. macaroni, uncooked
1 t. Korean red pepper paste           4 oz. tofu
1 t. soy sauce
1 t. minced garlic
1 pkg. ramyeon* noodles

I browned the bacon, added the onion and then the rest of the ingredients except macaroniand tofu. Simmered until everything was cooked through. Cooked the pasta separately, added it when both pots were done. Since I had never cooked with tofu before, I added it at the end along with the macaroni.

One of the recipes I reviewed insisted on some kind of kelp powder or broth; even said it was indispensable to create a 'rich umami flavor.' I don't know about that and don't know where I'd ever find any, but I think I may finally understand 'umami.' After bowl number three, I found a rich, somewhat salty aftertaste in my mouth that seemed to meet the various descriptions I've encountered of the flavor. If I understand it, then I'm finally convinced that the Japanese are not as crazy as I had thought.

*I assume these are somewhat similar to what we know as ramen noodles. Anyone know better?
Best,
Tom

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2016 at 21:12
Near as I can tell from various photos and recipes, Tom, they are virtually the same.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 February 2016 at 22:00
Why does the deer camp stew McManus writes about seem familiar?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2016 at 11:40
This is great, Tom - I've never heard of it before, but I can certainly see how it would have come about!

I really appreciate your introducing it to me, as well on your notes and comments from when you made it. It's on my list ~

Ron
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Tom Kurth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 May 2016 at 20:34
Made it again today--a slightly different recipe. This time I had kimchi as I made a batch over the last week. Subbed 1 C. for 1/2 of the cabbage. Used two packages of ramen noodles and their (chicken) flavor packs instead of the macaroni. Have found two more common ingredients, both of which I'm leery to try: Baked beans and American cheese. For the spice this time I used dried red pepper flakes (1 t.) and sambol olek (1 T.). Jazzed it up a bit. It'll probably hurt in the morning.
Best,
Tom

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Tom Kurth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Kurth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 January 2019 at 16:52
Stumbled across an article about budae jjigae on the newsfeed on my iPhone.  From Food52, it's entitled "When My Grandmother Fled North Korea, She Left Behind Army Base Stew." Someone more tech-savvy than I is welcome to plug in an actual link. The article is significant as it presents a more nuanced view of military base stew: Hint--Grandma didn't like it, not one little bit. It was a symbol of U.S. hegemony and a period of severe privation for her and her family.
Best,
Tom

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 January 2019 at 09:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2019 at 03:54


Interesting.   

The Paratroopers Base in Madrid, Spain has several types of Spanish stews ..

I was invited many years ago to an Event held on the Base, Bric Pac, in Torrejón de Ardoz, 24 kilometres from Madrid, and had one of these stews as part of a lunch menú.

It was quite exemplary !  

I may have posted it years ago.  I  shall repost it when I have a chance. 


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Gourmet´s Choice - Time Out In Spain ...

WEBSITE: www.visionsgourmandes.com
www.issuu.com / Beyond Taste, Oltre il Gusto ..
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