Korean cuisine is so well-loved nowadays, especially among the youngsters. Over the last few years, we witnessed the entrance and expansion of many Korean restaurants in Singapore. The Korean Army Stew is one of the most popular items on the menu as the spicy and savoury dish comes in a big portion with lots of different ingredients and is perfect for gatherings.
Korean Army Stew is essentially a fusion dish – it incorporates a Korean-styled soup base with American food as its main ingredients. This dish came after the Korean War when fresh food was hard to come by, so the Koreans made a soup base out of their usual seasonings and added American processed food to it.
This dish is really easy and fun to make because the ingredients involved are widely available and inexpensive. You can also totally customize it by adding what you like to your stew, like how you do a hot pot.
Ingredients (serves 2):
Base for broth
– 1 liter of anchovy/chicken stock
-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1 tsp of soy sauce
– 1 tsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper chilli paste)
– 1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean hot chilli pepper flakes)
– 1/2 tsp sugar
– 1 tbsp warm water
Others (all optional and quantity is flexible depending on your preferences)
– one packet of Korean ramen
– 1 slice of American cheese
– spring onions, finely chopped
– half a can of luncheon meat/spam
– 2 sausages
– 1 cup of kimchi
– 1 cup of Chinese cabbage, chopped
– 1/2 sliced onion
– 1/2 packet of soft/firm tofu
– enoki mushrooms
Boil water with anchovies /chicken stock cube to make the broth base. Meanwhile, prepare the seasoning paste by putting the ingredients for the seasonings together in a bowl. You can adjust the amount of gochugaru/ Korean hot pepper flakes depending on how spicy you want your stew to be. Mix well.
Once the soup base is done, set it aside (if you are making anchovy stock, remove the anchovies). Prepare the ingredients you would like to have in your army stew – slice the spam, tofu, sausages etc. into serving sizes.
In a shallow pot, arrange your ingredients side by side around the interior of the pot. Place the ramen noodles in the middle and put the sliced cheese on top. Pour in the stock and add some seasoning paste (you can add more later if you prefer a stronger broth).
Boil to cook the ingredients. Serve with rice and enjoy!
Our recipe makes a hearty pot of Korean army stew for 2 which is suitable for sharing between couples. If you are making one for enjoying with your friends or family, simply multiply the ingredients. We also recommend using a portable gas stove so you can enjoy the bubbling stew right at your dining table. Serve it with cold beer or soju for a full Korean gastronomical experience!