Day Trip to Northern GyeongGi Province (5 of 10) – Military Base Soup for Lunch

Heading into the outskirts of Paju, this place had a full parking lot and a lunch of military base soup (부대찌게) sounded delicious. I've heard two versions for how this dish got its name:

1. Long back, the first sausages available in Korea were from the canteens of the US military bases. So when Koreans started adding the sausage to their kimchi soup, they gave it this name.

2. Soldier's on military basis aren't always the best cooks and often they'd just throw together whatever they've got on hand. So, military base soup is a kimchi soup with ramen noodles, Korean rice cakes (떡), various vegetables, sausages, ground beef, noodles and whatever else.

Regardless of the origins, this is one dish that doesn't get enough publicity from the latest efforts to promote Korean food internationally. It's cheap and delicious.

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Steven Bammel

Steven S. Bammel is president and chief translator/consultant at Korean Consulting & Translation Service, Inc. A graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington (B.B.A. Economics) and Hanyang University (M.S. Management Strategy), Steven has worked for over twenty years in Korean business and translation. | more about Steven

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