Nov 14, 2023

SPAM and Gochujang Kimchi Stew

Let me put it upfront, this SPAM and gochujang kimchi stew might not be the most authentic Korean recipes out there, but the flavors are on par. 

I'm not some Korean food connoisseur and keep a stock of all the ingredients needed for making hardcore Korean food. However, treat this as a "simplified" Korean recipe with all the easily accessible ingredients. One that doesn't have to hassle as much and still get a pretty good taste of Korean flavors at home.

SPAM and gochujang kimchi stew - 

SPAM and gochujang kimchi stew


  • 1 can/340 grams SPAM luncheon meat
  • 1 pack/150 grams beech mushroom
  • 1 pack/100 grams oyster mushroom
  • 300 grams potatoes
  • 300 grams kimchi
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 3 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Korean chili powder (or other types of dried chili flakes)
  • Some coarse black pepper


Cube the SPAM. Peel and chop the onion and garlic cloves. Destem then slice the jalapeño to rings. Destem and chop the scallion. Trim-off the stems then separate both mushrooms, tear to smaller strips if needed. 

Cubed SPAM luncheon meat

Peel and cube the potatoes. Regarding the size of potato cubes, bigger cubes have a more satisfying bite but takes longer to cook, so it's completely up to you. As for myself, I try to keep the potato cubes the same, or not much bigger than the SPAM cubes.

Bring out a big pot, drizzle 2 tablespoons of preferred neutral cooking oil then switch to medium heat. You can add in the SPAM cubes while the oil is still room temperature. Sear till most sides turn slightly browned.

Seared SPAM cubes

Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of gochujang sauce. Mix till evenly blended. Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock and 3 cups of water.

Bring to a boil. Add in chopped garlics and 2 teaspoons of dried chili powder/flakes. Mix and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add in the potato cubes. Keep the heat at a light bubbling stage. Cook till the potatoes reach desired texture. I like mine on the softer side, that took about 20 minutes. Remember to stir the mixture once a while, especially the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking.

SPAM and potato cubes in a stew

Once the potatoes are set, add in all the mushrooms and onion, also add in 2/3 of the jalapeño, 2/3 of the chopped scallion, all the kimchi along with its juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Mix and cook for another 5 minutes.

Making SPAM and gochujang kimchi stew

Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed. Crack some coarse black pepper to add a pop of peppery aroma.

Garnish with the remaining jalapeño rings and chopped scallion.

SPAM and gochujang kimchi stew

If you prefer soupier consistency, use 4 cups of chicken stock plus 4 cups of water instead. However, remember to adjust the seasonings in the end since the flavor will get diluted a bit.

SPAM and gochujang kimchi stew

You can enjoy the stew as it is, or just like ordering sundubu-jjigae at a restaurant, you can serve the stew with some steamed rice. Perhaps dump the rice into the stew, or some like to savour it by sinking a spoonful of rice to the stew and eat it one bite at a time. Equally delicious and satisfying either way.

Other recipes using gochujang:

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