Korean Army Stew – the happy food

Last week I went for Korean army stew dinner. I know what’s stew of course, but army stew? I was curious and researched a bit to find out what it is about.

The legend

Kimchi salad and more

Kimchi salad and more

Korean Army stew is a dish that sprung to existence after the Korean War, when food was scarce. People gathered whatever ingredients they could get from the US army bases – from noodles, meat, ramen noodles, vegetables, spices and put them into a local thick soup flavored with gochujang (red chili paste) and kimchi.

It is said that there is no particular recipe for Korean Army Stew or what is locally called Budae Chigae (Budae means military base and Chigae means stew in Korean), but it’s yummy!

The dish is a perfect example of ‘necessity is the mother of all inventions’! Much later after the Korean War the dish is still relished by many.

Army Stew at Seoul Yummy

The Korean Army Stew

The Korean Army Stew

I am glad that I could get a taste of the Korean Army stew right here in Singapore! We went for dinner at Seoul Yummy. The chic restaurant in upmarket Clarke Quay area didn’t of course have any resemblance to the Korean War setting. But the food was delicious.

We ordered the must have on the menu Army Stew and opted for the seafood ingredients of prawns, crab, octopus, clams, noodles and vegetables, etc.

Baby octopus on my spoon!

Baby octopus in my spoon!

The stew looked similar to the Chinese steam boat. However, the soup was made of kimchi paste and red chili giving it a distinct taste and totally different from the Chinese steam boat.

The stew comes in a big pot which with all ingredients and placed on a hot plate on your table. We cooked the stew and took our individual servings. Although the restaurant’s menu says – one stew is enough for 2 persons, we shared the stew among 4 of us. The Army stew as expected was delicious and I loved every bite.

Side Dishes that are a must try

We also ordered other side dishes such as:

Tteokbokki – rice cakes in spicy sauce – very yummy! We actually reordered the same dish again!

6Potato Pancake – it was not that great, quite average.

Potato Pancake

Potato Pancake

Braised Pork Belly was superb!

Braised Pork Belly

Braised Pork Belly

They also have many starters such as radish shavings, kimchi salad, tofu in spicy sauce, that we relished.

I loved the army stew and I am definitely going to try it again!


The restaurant doesn’t take reservations after 7:30 pm.

We had to wait for about 15 minutes to get a table. But we used the waiting time to place our order. So when we got our table, the food was served within 5 minutes.

Our bill for 4 pax was SGD 100 (approximately).


About nilakshi

Needless to say, I am a writer. Here on my blog you will find from the most mundane to the most interesting facets of life. My writings are a reflection of my experiences of everyday life. I love to write travel blogs, and anything and everything that catches my eye. You are all invited to comment, criticize, debate, and discuss on the topics.
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