May 13, 2009 1 Comment
Boodae Jjigae. It literally means military jjigae. If I could compare jjigae to anything, it would be a cross between a soup and a stew. Yet, I feel that’s inaccurate. Some people call it a casserole, but when I think of a casserole, I think of some baked pasta which jjigae really isn’t. I don’t like having to give “jjigae” a Westernized name. It is what it is. Jjigae is jjigae. Now that I got that out of the way…
From the stories I’ve heard and from what I can deduce, Boodae Jjigae is a byproduct of the US military occupation in South Korea. As unappetizing as it may sound, it’s pretty much scrap food if you think about it. After the Korean War, poverty was rampant and so was hunger. Poor Koreans scrounged up whatever they could find, leftover, spoiled sausages, spam, vegetables, etc. Koreans love spam. I’m no exception. So this is the humble beginning that was Boodae Jjigae.
What Hanilkwan is known for is apparently their Boodae Jjigae. I guess that’s why I came too. And by looking at Yelp, it turns out Hanilkwan is pretty well known. I guess you really can’t go wrong in making this dish. It’s simple and it’s good… unless you don’t like spam. Then I guess that becomes a problem. The Boodae Jjigae here isn’t the best I’ve had, but it’s still good. I used to frequent Gonjiam on Beverly Blvd., and I remember them making it really well but it’s been a while. Hanilkwan is good though.
I also ordered a side of Gamja-jun. Potato pancake? I liked the outer parts as it had a nice crisp to it. This usually takes longer to make. They got to shred up the potato and that takes time. For what it is, I thought it was a bit overpriced though.
So when you’re in the mood for some Boodae Jjigae and you’re in Koreatown, you should stop by here. And it’s in the “happening” part of Koreatown so that’s not that bad either. And they changed they’re sign too. There’s English on it. I don’t ever remember there being English on the sign. I guess English-only folk were having trouble looking for this place.
3450 W 6th St #106
Los Angeles, CA 90020