If you are caught up with the latest entertainment news, then you should know that “Parasite” made history during the 92nd Academy Awards. Not only was the movie nominated for six awards, but it also won four of those, including Best Picture. This great feat was historic as “Parasite” became the first non-English language movie to accept this top prize.
With many themes and symbols, some subtle and others obvious, “Parasite” illustrates the social inequality between two different social classes, highlighting the socio-economic issues present in Korea. Although “Parasite” created buzz for its record-breaking achievements and its cinematic depiction of real-life issues, it also trended for introducing a fun dish called Jjapaguri (짜파구리), also known as ram-don.
Jjapaguri is a mixture of two types of Korean instant noodles — Chapagetti (짜파게티) and Neoguri (너구리). In the movie, this simple dish is upgraded by topping it with hanwoo (한우), an expensive beef from a breed of cattle native to Korea. However, this dish is customizable and can be topped with your choice of protein — as we’re all struggling college students, I recommend sticking with less expensive meats like beef, pork, chicken or tofu.
Chapagetti is basically an instant noodle spinoff of the classic Korean-Chinese black bean noodle dish, Jjajangmyeon (짜장면), and Neoguri is a spicy seafood instant noodle, which gives this dish a little kick. These two brands can be found in nearly every Korean grocery store but can also be found on Amazon if you’re practicing social distancing at home during the pandemic.
In the midst of online classes, I only have 30 minutes to eat lunch on my busiest days, making this dish my number one choice. Although this dish mostly consists of instant noodles, the flavor combination from the two different brands gives the instant noodles an upgrade and the dish a fresh and fancy twist — sometimes I even forget that I’m eating something “unhealthy” and processed. Furthermore, if you end up trying to make this simple recipe, you will be making a dish from a world-renowned movie.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serving Size: 2 servings
1 package Chapagetti
1 package Neoguri
Your choice of protein, optional
1. Fill your pot with enough water to cover your 2 packs of noodles, then turn your heat to high and bring your water to a boil.
2. While your water is heating up, on a separate pan, grill your choice of protein and season lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Once the water begins to boil, place both of your noodles in and add the dry vegetable flakes that come with each individual pack.
4. Once the noodles are cooked all the way, pour out all but about 10 spoonfuls of the boiled water. This is up to your personal preference, but I only like to cook my noodles for five to six minutes, which gives them a bouncier texture.
5. Put your pot back on the stove and turn the heat down to medium. Pour both of the instant noodles’ powder flavoring packets and stir until everything is combined.
6. Once combined, place your noodles in a bowl and add your choice of protein. If you are like me, however, you can just eat straight out of the pot. This may sound barbaric, but think of it this way — you’ll have less dishes to clean once the food coma hits you.
7. In the Chapagetti instant noodle packet, you will also find a small packet of olive oil. If you want, you can pour the olive oil on the finalized dish for more flavor — I highly recommend doing this step.
The downsides of this recipe are that it is not vegetarian or vegan friendly — there are ingredients inside the soup bases that contain meat — nor it is not much of a healthy dish. However, it is very simple, affordable and delicious, making it perfect for college students or anyone else with a busy schedule. Adding protein to the dish is also completely optional as the dish is also fine without any other additional ingredients.
Jjapaguri is perfect for a quick lunch, late-night snack or something to enjoy while watching “Parasite” with your family — or friends, but only when quarantine is over, of course.