The dish originated during the Korean War, and was popular for a time afterwards, when people had little to eat. People made this dish by combining leftover Spam and hot dogs from U.S. Army facilities with whatever else was available. All the leftovers were combined with water in a large pot and boiled. This is where the origin of the dish's name came from.
JTF Army Stew (a.k.a. Budae Jjigae) is still popular in Korea. The dish often incorporates such modern ingredients as instant noodles and sliced American cheese. Other ingredients may include ground beef, sliced sausages, baked beans, minari, onions, green onions, tteok, tofu, chili peppers, macaroni, garlic, mushrooms and other vegetables in season.