The Movie Series: Chapaguri (aka Jjapaguri aka Rom-Don) from Parasite (2019)

chapaguri


I first caught wind of Parasite from The Big Picture podcast and it was clear that it was becoming a big deal. So when it hit theaters last October, I quickly made a movie date with a fiancé that was confused as to why I wanted to watch a thriller. I am not ashamed to say that I am a big chicken when it comes to movies in the horror/thriller genre. But the hype and the South Korean pride were too strong and I had to be a part of the wave.

 


how to make chapaguri

I won’t go spoiling the movie for you, because it is best seen without knowing anything. But there is an overall theme of class difference and it is illustrated in so many ways.  One such difference is the chapaguri (aka jjapaguri aka ram-don) dish that the maid makes for the family. Chapaguri is traditionally made with two packages of instant noodles: one package of chapagetti (“chapa”), a black bean noodle, and one package of Neoguri (“guri”), a seafood ramyun. The wealthy family puts a lavish twist to it by topping the dish with Hanwoo, a premium beef with dense marbling. It’s the equivalent of topping a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese with a prime+ steak.

 


jjapaguri ram-don

 

It’s been years since I’ve eaten a pack of instant noodles but I had to get my hands on this dish asap. I went to the nearest Korean supermarket and grabbed the noodles and beef. It was delicious. The savory noodles coated with a sweet and spicy sauce (thanks to the spice packets) interspersed with juicy umami slices of melty beef. I can see why it’s a crowd pleaser for anyone. As for the calorie content? Well, it’s the weekend and weekends are made for cheat days. 🙂

Chapaguri (aka jjapaguri aka ram-don)

Ingredients:

1 package of Chapagetti
1 package of Neoguri (I used the stir fry version because that’s all they had in the store but the original works too)
4 oz. hanwoo beef, sliced (wagyu or a well marbled steak can be subbed)
1 tbsp sesame oil
a sprinkle of kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 scallion, sliced on the biased or ribboned with a scallion slicer
1 cucumber, sliced thinly into strips
roasted sesame seeds (for garnish)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium pot, boil 5 cups of water.
  2. While the water is reaching a boil, heat a frying pan with the sesame oil.
  3. Once the oil shimmers, add your beef.
  4. Season your beef with salt and pepper.
  5. Once the beef slices are browned (about 1-2 mins) flip them over and cook the other side. You do not want to overcook your expensive beef.
  6. Set cooked beef aside on a plate.
  7. Once the water reaches a boil, add the dehydrated vegetable packets to the water.
  8. Next, add the two slabs of noodles and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring once in a while to cook the noodles evenly.
  9. Save a cup of the noodle water in a bowl and drain the noodles with a fine mesh strainer.
  10. Return the noodles to the pot and add a few tablespoons of the hot noodle water.
  11. Add the entire seasoning packet of the chapgetti and about ¾ of the Neoguri seasoning packet and stir, adding more of the noodle water if desired. You want the powder to be well constituted and the sauce to be thick, not watered down.
  12. Plate the noodles into a bowl, top with the beef, scallions, and cucumber.

Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve with kimchi or slices of pickled daikon radish.

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