Army Stew is a favorite of my girls. They would always order it whenever given the chance. This dish was created after the Korean War, a time when there was limited supply of food. People that time made use of the surplus food from US military bases which are mostly processed meat products like spam, hot dogs, canned baked beans etc. and added the local spices and ingredients to create something of their own. Today, it is has become a very popular hot pot dish specially during the winter time.
It is very easy to prepare, it’s just a matter of assembling all the ingredients.
First, take a shallow pot and arrange the following ingredients onto it. The amount depends on how big is your pot and really how much you want to add to your dish. Some spam slices, 4-5 pieces of sliced kurubota sausages, a block of tofu, instant ramen noodles, some beech mushrooms or enoki mushrooms and 1/2 cup chopped kimchi.
For the seasoning place in a small bowl the following: 1 Tbsp. Korean chili flakes (Gochugaru), 1 Tbsp. Korean chili paste (Gochujang), 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. mirin and 1 Tbsp. finely minced garlic. Mix everything together and place this in the middle on the pot on top of your ingredients.
Carefully pour 4 cups of anchovy broth on to the pot. I used a dashi anchovy soup stock that is conveniently packed in tea bags. All you have to do drop it in a pot of water and boil for about 5 minutes.
I then cooked it on top of portable burner on the dining table, Korean style. Cover your pot with the lid and let it boil for about 8 minutes. Then stir and turn your ingredients over with tongs to cook evenly. You can start dishing it out onto bowls as soon as ramen has softened. You may then then lower the heat and add more broth as needed.