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  • 12.Johnson Stew

    SMG 1669
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    Itaewon, Yongsan is a great place to experience a mixture of many different cultures. During the Imjin War (1592-1598) and the colonial period (1910-1945), Japanese troops were stationed in Yongsan. Following the Korean War (1950-1953), the area became a U.S. military compound.

    An unusual fusion food became famous upon U.S. President Linden Johnson’s visit to Seoul, and thus came to be called Johnson Stew. It is similar to budae jjigae (Sausage Stew), which is a thick spicy Korean soup similar to a western stew. Right after the Korean War, Koreans did not have enough to eat. They managed to cook some food with the foodstuffs provided by the Americans as aid. The two dishes were created as a result. Now, most Koreans have enough to eat, but they still order these dishes at restaurants, perhaps out of a longing for the past. Although Johnson stew cannot be said to be a representative dish Seoul, Seoulites are likely to carry on loving it regardless.