2 Dollar Stew (But Cheaper)

This is perhaps the greatest cheap homemade soup/stew you will ever eat in your life. It's incredibly simple, can be made in a typical college dorm room, and is done in just a few minutes. All thanks to the classic Budae Jjigae!



Staub Cast Iron 3.5 qt Braiser



  • 2 Tbsp (30g) gochujang

  • 2.5 tsp (10g) gochugaru *optional*

  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) soy sauce

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 tsp (10g) sugar

  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) distilled vinegar


  • 3 cups (700ml) chicken stock

  • 1.5 cups (350ml) water

  • 2 oz (55g) dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 1/2 lb (225g) button mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 3/4 cup (125g) chopped kimchi

  • 1 can spam

  • 1/2 lb (225g) smoked sausage

  • 2 packs ramen noodles

  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 slices american cheese



  1. For sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  2. In a large bowl, add in mushrooms and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 12 minutes.

  3. Remove from the liquid and ring out all liquid. Remove the mushrooms stems, slice evenly, and set to the side.

  4. Slice spam and sausage into even pieces.

  5. Heat a large pot over medium heat until hot. Sear spam and sausage (separately) for 2-3 per side.

  6. Add oil to pan if needed. Reduce pan to medium and add in sliced green onions, sliced button mushrooms and saute for 1-2 minutes.

  7. Add chopped kimchi in and stir to combine. Saute for another minute.

  8. Add the sauce in once the mushrooms begin to soften. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

  9. Add the chicken stock and mushroom stock and stir to combine. Turn heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.

  10. Immediately reduce to low once boiling. Let simmer for 2 minutes.

  11. While simmering, gently add in the ramen noodles. Press down to submerge and cover with a lid and cook 3-4 minutes.

  12. Once noodles are finished cooking, add in the seared spam and sausage, shiitake mushrooms, and topped with two slices of american cheese. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

  13. Top with green onions and serve immediately.