This hearty Korean hotpot is a perfect example of a modern twist on a national classic dish

"One bonus amazing thing about Shannon’s creativity is that she’s a sharer. Anything she loves, she shares with us. Budae Jigae is another example. Most people, especially vegans, have NEVER had this dish. In a land of tofu scrambles and kale Caesars, Shannon goes out of her way to give you flavours you’ve either never had or never thought you could have.

Budae Jigae is translated as ‘Korean army-base stew’ and is a perfect example of Korea’s newer, hybrid style of cooking. When the Korean army was stationed in Hawaii, Koreans would take food from the US army bases (Spam, hot dogs, Kraft singles and baked beans) and incorporate it into traditional Korean dishes. This is the rough origin of this dish. There’s no vegan Spam out there (yet), but there are vegan hot dogs. And if you wanna get traditional, add a tin of baked beans and a slice of cheese. Sounds weird, but somehow it works.

Shannon’s favourite toppings: carrot, Asian mixed mushrooms (king oysters, baby oysters, shiitake, enoki), zucchini (courgette), garlic shoots, bean sprouts, spring onions (scallions), leek, kimchi, Korean rice cakes, hot dogs and noodles"- Mo Wyse 

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable or chicken stock
  • 10 cm (4 in) piece of kombu
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) kimchi juice
  • Spring onion (scallion) ends (quantity = whatever you have in the fridge)
  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon gojuchang (Korean red chilli paste)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
  • Handful of coriander (cilantro), to garnish
  • Cooked rice, to serve

Toppings

  • Vegetables
  • Tofu
  • Noodles
  • Kimchi
  • Herbs

Method

  1. Combine the stock, kombu, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, kimchi juice and spring onion ends in a large, shallo saucepan and bring to the boil, then turn off the heat.
  2. Strain, discarding the solids, and return the stock to the pot. Add the gochugaru, fish sauce, sesame oil and gojuchang and stir to combine.
  3. Remember, this is a very visual dish and you’ll be eating out of the pan you’re cooking in. Arrange your choice of vegetables, tofu, noodles and other toppings like a wheel of fortune in the base of the saucepan, but don’t put similar colours together.
  4. Carefully pour over the stock and bring to a simmer over a medium–low heat. Simmer gently, for 5–10 minutes, until the noodles and vegetables are cooked. Garnish with the sesame seeds and coriander.
  5. Allow your friends time to take their Instagram photos of the dish before you mix it up. Put your rice and hot pot in the middle of the table and let everyone serve themselves bit by bit. Just make sure they’re getting all the delicious components.

This recipe is from Smith & Deli-cious by Shannon Martinez & Mo Wyse (Hardie Grant, £20) Photography © Bonnie Savage