What is Budae-jjigae? It’s a spicy kimchi soup filled with vegetables, spam, and sausages.
It all started at a restaurant called Odeng Sikdang, owned by a lady who ran an odeng (fish cake) stand, and eventually came up with this popular menu. It is located in Uijeong-bu, which is about an hour up north from central Seoul.
This restaurant has been introduced in news articles worldwide, and even came up in a Korean comic series.
On the menu there is Budaejjigae, a choice of ingredients, and drinks. Quite simple!
The three of us ordered three servings of the Budae-jjigae, and added 모둠사리, which adds a little bit of all of the popular ingredients. The 모둠사리 included spam, bacon, sausages, ground beef, tofu, ramen noodles, and potato dumplings. You can choose to add more ham, cheese, udon noodles, or any other ingredient that you like. There was quite a lot, and we couldn’t finish everything in our pot.
This Japanese website (Konest) introduces each of the ingredients in the soup.
The complimentary side dishes were delicious odeng (fish cake), kimchi, and jjanji (salted Korean radish). We asked to get the green chili on the side because we couldn’t make up our mind on how spicy we wanted our soup to be.
How to get to Odeng Sikdang (오뎅식당):
From central Seoul, it may be best to take Line 1 up north, transfer at Hoeryong Station (회룡역) to the U line, and get off at Uijeongbu-Jungang Station (의정부중앙역). After you walk down the stairs of exit 2, make a u-turn out, and you’ll immediately see the sign that says “Budae-jjigae street (부대찌개거리).” The restaurant will be on your left— right near the entrance of the street. There is a newer one of the same restaurant if you prefer cleanliness over history.
There’s also a parking lot for those who visit by car.
Hours: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm (Last order at 8:00 pm)
Address: Gyeonggi-do Uijeong-bu-si Uijeongbu-dong 220-58
(경기도 의정부시 의정부동 220-58)