Wednesday, January 10, 2007

GI Stew

Today's food item is Pudae Jigae, which translates into "troop stew" or "military stew". It's a very interesting dish that has relatively recent history. It comes from during the Korean War when everyone here was starving. The foreign troops here didn't make complete use of their food stuffs, and so the starving people collected whatever scraps they could and combined them with local spices and whatever else was available and made it into a stew. This particular stew that I had contained three kinds of noodles (ramyun (similar to ramen), udon-like noodles and macaroni), a variety of random meat products (baloney, pepperoni, ground beef, maybe some other stuff), assorted vegetables and I think there was even some cheese! It tasted very good, although I was certainly surprised to see pepperoni and macaroni! Even though Koreans are fairly well off these days, this dish appears to remain popular.

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