Seoul Food: Budae Jjigae Soup

Enough soup for an army. The perfect cure for a horrific hangover.

Jjigae-soup
Budae jjigae literally means “army base stew”. After the Korean War, food was pretty scarce in Seoul. The people made use of the surplus foods available from the U.S. Army bases – things like canned ham, hot dogs, Spam – and whatever else was available were incorporated into a traditional spicy soup flavored with red chili paste and kimchi.

Today, it’s the perfect hangover soup. Traditionally, haejang guk is the go to soup for the hangover cure. I prefer this hodgepodge everything-but-the-kitchen-sink budae jjigae stew. Modern ingredients today include any thing from sausages, hot dogs, onions, tofu, garlic, scallions, mushrooms, vegetables, dumplings and, my favorite touch, instant ramen noodles.

Jjigae -ramen

Our little old Korean lady brought us dish after dish after dish. And when she was through with the sides and extras, she brought us more spicy broth for our stew. There were only 3 of us.

The table beside us, a group of young men, early twenties I would imagine, in uniform. They were laughing and drinking and toasting to one another. They had just finished their military services and are now returning home.

So, whether you are recovering from a night on the town or celebrating a joyous occasion, enjoy a meal fit for an army. Enjoy soup!

What’s your go-to cure for a hangover?




Nolbu Budae Jjigae
in Gangnam – Seoul, South Korea

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  • http://debbzie.blogspot.com/ DebbZie

    Reading a food post in the middle of the night is such a self torture *sigh* I’m gonna cook some instant noodle now to tame my rumbling tummy :p

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha.. I had a cup o noodle while writing this post. Lol

  • http://www.debbzie.com DebbZie Leksono

    Reading a food post in the middle of the night is such a self torture *sigh* I’m gonna cook some instant noodle now to tame my rumbling tummy :p

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha.. I had a cup o noodle while writing this post. Lol

  • http://atlassliced.com Alexa Hart

    Great description! I love budae jigae. Definitely good hangover food for when you are in Korea. Wish I had a go-to cure for a hangover! My go-to hangover food is usually something super unhealthy.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Soup usually does it for me.. any kind of soup but preferably a piping hot bowl of pho. mMmm… :)

  • http://atlassliced.com Alexa Hart

    Great description! I love budae jigae. Definitely good hangover food for when you are in Korea. Wish I had a go-to cure for a hangover! My go-to hangover food is usually something super unhealthy.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Soup usually does it for me.. any kind of soup but preferably a piping hot bowl of pho. mMmm… :)

  • BakoymaTravels

    I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect or what, but for me regular Coca Cola and junk food usually helps.

    If I’m -really- struggling some form of broth/soup is the only thing in the world I’ll try to get down… What you had looks delicious thoug, hangover or no 😉

  • BakoymaTravels

    I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect or what, but for me regular Coca Cola and junk food usually helps.

    If I’m -really- struggling some form of broth/soup is the only thing in the world I’ll try to get down… What you had looks delicious thoug, hangover or no 😉

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