Budae Jjigae with Fried Bologna

Budae Jjigae with Fried Bologna
Dimity Jones

From Edward Lee's Buttermilk Graffiti: "Budae jjigae was my dad’s favorite thing to eat. He used to have it with Spam and hot dogs, but I make it with fried bologna. I use American cheese, because there is no real substitute for it. This is a good soup, and I think its ingenuity is still relevant. It represents a utilitarian kind of cuisine that I don’t want to forget. Not everything has to be glossy and precious. Sometimes food is just a no-frills gustatory experience. This is also one of the best hangover meals."



  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean chile powder) or other ground chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons gochujang (Korean chile paste)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces sliced bologna
  • 1 cup large-diced onion
  • 1 cup bite-size pieces kimchi, with its juices
  • 2 scallions, sliced into 2-inch lengths
  • 6 ounces enoki mushrooms
  • 3 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 9 ounces tofu, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 4 to 5 ounces (2 packages) instant ramen noodles
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 slices American cheese


  1. To make the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the mirin, soy sauce, gochugaru, garlic, sugar, gochujang, and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. To make the budae jjigae: Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, and when it’s hot, add a couple of slices of the bologna in a single layer and fry, turning once, for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and cook the remaining bologna. Slice the bologna into finger-sized batons and set aside.
  3. Assemble the jjigae in a medium rondeau or other low-sided pot. Scatter the onion evenly over the bottom of the pot. Add the kimchi and scallions and pour over the reserved sauce. Add the mushrooms, followed by the tofu. Arrange the fried bologna on top. Scatter the ramen noodles over it and pour in the chicken stock.
  4. Place the pot over high heat and bring the jjigae to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the noodles are almost cooked. Crack the eggs into the simmering broth and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the noodles are tender and the eggs are cooked to your liking.
  5. Ladle the soup into four serving bowls, top each with a slice of cheese, and serve.

Excerpted from Buttermilk Graffiti by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018.

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