Cheesy Budae Ramyun with Jammy Eggs

published May 12, 2022
Chef Eric Ehler's Cheesy Budae Ramyun with Jammy Eggs Recipe

A less stew-y, more cheesy and noodle-heavy version of Korean Army Stew.

Serves2

Prep20 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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Raymun
Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui | Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang | Prop Stylist: Casha Doemland

I grew up in a pretty standard Midwestern family: mom, dad, and a couple of kids. My dad worked for the local government and did several tours in the Navy during the Vietnam War. My mom stayed at home with the kids and, being a blue-collar Iowa family, we ate a lot of foods that fit our family’s budget and dishes that were common among Navy families. It wasn’t uncommon for us to eat meals made with canned meats, ramen noodles, hot dogs, or baked beans. 

My parents adopted me as a baby, so I didn’t have any first-hand memories of my Korean birthplace. In 2011, I traveled to Korea for the first time and focused my efforts on learning more about Korean food. The last meal I ate during my holiday was Budae Jjigae, a dish that would become a critical part of my journey to learn more about my Korean heritage. 

Budae Jjigae roughly translates to “army stew.” It is a stew made from all of the leftovers that the service men left behind, and that Korean people had to work with to survive. At its core, it is instant noodle soup with meat (sometimes) and at least one topping. It is made with cheap ingredients using whatever is available. I fell in love with Budae Jjigae because it connected some of the foods I grew up eating with foods that Korean people had to adopt into their own food culture. 

Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui | Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang | Prop Stylist: Casha Doemland

For this recipe, I changed up traditional Budae Jjigae by making it more ramyun noodle heavy. There is less broth, which means the flavor is more concentrated. Once you fry your aromatics, take a deep breath of the aroma of the smoky bacon and funky kimchi and feel all the love that you are about to consume. It’s the best scent in the world. I usually eat it with friends after a night of drinking, but when I was younger I would make it for breakfast — because anything with an egg on top is breakfast-worthy.

If you’re making this dish for a loved one (and you should) here’s a tip to make it even better: Run your serving bowls under hot water for a few seconds to make sure they are at the optimal serving temperature. When someone reaches for the bowl and feels the immediate warmth, they will be hugged even before taking their first bite.

CREDITS

Guest Editor and Producer: Alyse Whitney
Creative Consulting: StudioHaliBey
Co-Producer: Jessica Kane
Photographer: Andrew Bui
Food Stylist: Tyna Hoang
Prop Stylist: Casha Doemland
Illustrator: Nancy Pappas
Videographer: Joel Russo
Photo Assistant: Yasara Gunawardena
Location: Dazey Bungalow

Chef Eric Ehler's Cheesy Budae Ramyun with Jammy Eggs Recipe

A less stew-y, more cheesy and noodle-heavy version of Korean Army Stew.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1

    medium scallion

  • 1/2

    medium yellow onion

  • 1 (1-inch) piece

    ginger

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 1/4 cup

    drained Napa cabbage kimchi

  • 2

    cold large eggs

  • 1

    all-beef hot dog

  • 2 slices

    bacon

  • 1 (1/2-inch) slice

    SPAM luncheon meat (cut from the shorter end)

  • 2 ounces

    Velveeta cheese, or 2 slices American cheese

  • 1/4 sheet

    roasted nori

  • 4 1/2 cups

    water

  • 2 (4.23 or 4.58-ounce) packages

    Shin Ramyun Black or Original instant noodles

  • 1/2 cup

    fresh, canned, or frozen corn kernels

  • 1/2 cup

    tteok (Korean rice cakes, preferably coin-shaped), thawed if frozen

  • 1/2 (14 to 16-ounce) package

    silken tofu

  • Toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Fill a large saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, thinly slice 1 medium scallion and set aside for garnish. Prepare the following, adding each to the same small bowl as you complete it: Thinly slice 1/2 medium onion. Peel and mince a 1-inch piece ginger until you have 1 tablespoon. Mince 1 garlic clove. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup drained Napa cabbage kimchi.

  2. Gently lower 2 cold large eggs into the boiling water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 7 1/2 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath by filling a medium bowl halfway with ice and water. Thinly slice 1 hot dog crosswise on a slight diagonal. Cut 2 bacon slices crosswise into 1/4-inch wide pieces. Cut 1 (1/2-inch thick) slice SPAM crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Cut 2 ounces Velveeta cheese into 1/2-inch cubes if using. Cut 1/4 sheet roasted nori into 2 pieces.

  3. When the eggs are ready, transfer them to the ice water bath and let sit until cooled. Peel. Pour the water out of the saucepan and wipe dry.

  4. Place the bacon in the saucepan and cook over medium heat until the fat starts to render, about 5 minutes. Add the onion mixture and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil.

  5. Add 2 packages Shin Ramyun instant noodles and the seasoning from one package. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally. 2 minutes before the noodles are ready, add the hot dog, SPAM, 1/2 cup corn kernels, and 1/2 cup tteok. Stir to combine. Using a large serving spoon, scoop 1/2 package silken tofu in large spoonfuls into the saucepan in an even layer, being careful not to break up the tofu too much. Let simmer for 2 minutes.

  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Taste and season with the seasoning from the second package of noodles as needed. Top with the Velveeta or 2 slices American cheese and let sit until mostly melted, about 1 minute.

  7. Divide the noodle soup between two bowls. Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and place on the noodles. Top each bowl with a piece of nori and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, and garnish with the reserved scallion.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The cooked eggs can be refrigerated unpeeled for up to 4 days. Warm before serving: peel and submerge in hot water until they warm up to room temperature and the yolks are jammy again, 2 to 3 minutes.

Storage: If you have leftovers, strain the soup into a container and refrigerate separately from the noodles for up to 1 day.