Motivated by a Korean TV show “TastyRoad” (O’live/ Sat 11pm), “Tasty Road to Korea” will introduce several Korean restaurants with authentic Korean cuisine in Toronto according to certain themes.
The first theme of Tasty Road to Korea is “3 Korean Food to Survive Canadian WInter.” Korean Food is known for its hot and spicy flavor, which can help people in Canada to stay strong in the bone-chilling cold of the winter. The first Korean cuisine I introduced last time was “Potato Pork Bone Soup (Kam-ja-tang 감자탕).” The second was “Soft Tofu Stew (Sundubu jjigae 순두부찌개).” Lastly, the third Korean cuisine I will introduce today is “Army Stew (Boodae jjigae 부대찌개).”
Army stew was originated from citizens in Uijeongbu (의정부) during the post Korean War period. Because the food was really scarce, people used to make a stew using some food left in the US army base such as ham and sausage. At that time, army stew was also called as “Johnson Stew” after the name of the contemporary US president Lyndon B. Johnson. (Information from Doopedia)
Army stew is enjoyed not only by Koreans but also by people from other countries because it includes both indigenous Korean ingredients (Kimchi and tofu) and internationally common ones (ham, sausage and ramen noodles). In Toronto, there are a few Korean restaurants selling army stew, and we ‘Tasty Road to Korea’ mates tried “Imonay Korean Restaurant (뉴이모네집)” on 665 Bloor street. west.
While the previous two Korean cuisines, Potato Pork Bone Soup and Soft Tofu Stew, are eaten with a bowl of rice put inside, Korean people eat both rice and army stew, but separately. It is because army stew is usually served in a big pot at the center of a table for share in Korea, not as it is served in Toronto like the photos above.
With army stew, a variety of Korean side dishes are provided in this restaurant. From the upper left side, there are young radish kimchi, stir-fried Fish Cake, cubed radish kimchi, stir-fried zucchini, (from the bottom left side) seasoned vegetables, winter grown cabbage kimchi, cabbage kimchi and seasoned bean sprouts. They are all common side dishes which Korean people have at home, and also in Korean restaurants.
Today, the weather is partly cloudy with the temperture of -10 celcius. It seems like the spring is still far away in Toronto. How about filling your stomach with a bowl of hot spicy army stew and a variety of Korean side dishes to stay strong against the final full swing of Canadian winter?
(This is the video of Army Stew in Imonay Korean Restaurant ▼)