Budae-jjigae (부대찌개; literally “army base stew”) or sausage stew is a type of jjigae (stew), made with ham, sausage, baked beans, and kimchi. Budae jjigae which is made by boiling Western ingredients such as ham, sausage, canned American beans, and mixed with kimchi (traditional Korean pickled dishes made of vegetables with varied seasonings) and hot pepper paste is one of the popular food for Koreans today and it is one of Korea’s leading fusion dishes as well as a dish that embodies the memories of the Korean War; it was named budae jiigae because it was most commonly found nearby American army bases. The soup was also called the ‘Johnson Tang’ after former American president, Lyndon B. Johnson.
The dish was created shortly after the armistice that ended the Korean War, using the scrounged or smuggled surplus foods from the U. S. army bases. Although the dish was born in the period of post-war impoverishment, it continued to be popular during the period of rapid growth, and is still popular today. There are many restaurants specializing in budae-jjigae; the most famous ones on the budae-jjigae street in Uijeongbu, where the dish was first made. The dish is now a popular anju (accompaniment to alcoholic drinks) and a lunch item in college neighborhoods.
After the Korean War, food was scarce in South Korea. People dwelling around U. S. army bases, in the Uijeongbu, Pyeongtaek, and Munsan areas made use of surplus foods from army bases, commonly processed meat products, collectively known as budae-gogi (부대고기; “army base meat”), such as ham, hot dogs, and Spam, along with canned baked beans. It is said that budae-jjigae begun as a buttery stir-fried snack made of sausages, ham, cabbages and onions to accompany makgeolli (rice wine), but later on, anchovy broth flavored with gochujang and kimchi was added to create the stew that is enjoyed today.
(Source: Wiki and Korea Tourism Organization)