Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Favorite Foods-Budae Chigae 부대찌개

I love living in a country that gives me so many food experiences that I didn't grow up with.  I never loved eating until I moved to Korea.  Now (nearly) every experience is a true treat and pleasure.

Maybe I'll start posting about some of my favorite foods.  Somewhere in the top ten would have to be Buddae Chiggae 부대찌개.  I think it translates to "Army Soup".  It's not a true Korean food, but was developed during the Korean war.  Apparently there wasn't that much meat around during those days so they took whatever "meat" was leftover from the American army bases (hotdogs and Spam), mixed it with a bunch of other junk and this treasure was born. 

I eat neither hotdogs nor Spam, but can't resist the charms of this soup/stew. 

One thing everyone loves about Korean food is how they cook it right in front of you.  Seems rustic or something.  

The meal starts with big metal bowl that's filled with leeks and other greens, ham, baloney, pepperoni, Spam, hot dogs, ground beef, rice cake, dumplings, red pepper paste, and probably a bunch of other things I'm forgetting. Then they pour a broth (I think it's ox bone broth which makes it so delicious) on top and you mix it around till it's nice and cooked.  At the end you throw on some Ramen noodels and a piece of American cheese and you're good to go.  You take some from the big bowl into your smaller bowl and eat it with rice.  It's pretty spicy on account of the red pepper paste but I wouldn't have it any other way.  

It's probably one of the most unhealthy things I eat here but we just love it!!

We used to go every day after church, it's especially delicious in the winter time.  We don't go as frequently anymore, but every time we do I'm positively giddy.  

You can get this at many different types of restaurants.  Each restaurant makes it differently.  My favorite place to get it is at a chain restaurant called NolBu Budae Chigae.  Nowhere else compares.  I can pick one out from a block away.

Over Spring Break I dragged my man to the flower market and was so pumped to find the restaurant in the subway system.  Even though it was 10:30 am he let me eat it and it was the weirdest but most delicious breakfast I've ever had!  

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