ARMY BASE STEW
1 12-ounce can SPAMTM
4 hot dogs
1 12-ounce package firm tofu
1/2 yellow onion
3 stalks green onions
2 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons gochuchang (hot Korean paste)
1 tablespoon gochucharu (or red pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 3-ounce package ramen (don’t use spice packet)
Slice SPAM, hot dogs, and tofu into 1/2″ cubes or slices. Dice yellow onion, green onions, and garlic cloves. Add all ingredients except ramen to large pot. Bring to boil on high heat, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add ramen (no spice backet) and simmer on low 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. It’s spicy and enjoyable.
1) Koreans love SPAM. Who knew? Okay, smarty pants, besides Koreans.
2) Many Koreans went hungry during and just after the Korean War. Thousands and thousands averted starvation only by getting food from nearby American army bases. The most prevalent gift from the GIs were cans of SPAM. People there are still grateful for this food and SPAM has been adopted into Korean cuisine.
3) I’ve heard that SPAM is popular in the Philippines as well because of the SPAM American soldiers brought with them in 1944 to 1946. My father was stationed in the Philippines after the War as part of America’s SPAM diplomacy.
4) South Korea is a firm ally of America and a strong trading partner. North Korea, however, threatens us with nuclear attack. Why? Because America never got a chance to get its SPAM bearing armies into that land. SPAM brings peace and amity everywhere. Wonderful SPAM, glorious SPAM.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.