Ram-Don from Parasite (Jjapaguri with Steak)

February 23, 2020 (Last Updated: May 31, 2020)
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The instant noodle dish from Parasite is taking the internet and the world by storm! Ram-Don (more traditionally known as jjapaguri) gets an elevated twist with seared cubes of steak. This recipe is super easy to make, and crazy delicious!

Korean Ram-don (Jjapaguri) noodles with cubed steak served in a shallow bowl with blue decorative edges. There are chopsticks on the table to one side, and empty packages of instant noodles on the other side.

The South Korean film Parasite has made history by being the first foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. It also took home the coveted awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best International Feature Film.

If you hadn’t heard of the film prior to award season, I’m guessing you have by now. I highly recommend you see this film immediately, if not sooner!

Korean Ram-don (Jjapaguri) noodles with cubed steak served in a shallow bowl with blue decorative edges.

The birth of a viral dish in Parasite

The film’s central theme hovers around class disparities. This is showcased when an extremely poor family goes to work for an extremely affluent one.

One of the biggest examples of the disconnect between the classes comes from a simple request for a popular Korean instant noodle dish: jjapaguri (referred to as Ram-Don in the English subtitles).

A screenshot from the movie Parasite showing one of the madame eating noodles while the housekeeper fills her a drink.

In one of the scenes, the mother of the wealthy family calls home from the car and speaks with the housekeeper. They are 7 minutes away, and would like her to whip up this cheap and easy noodle dish.

But wait! Throw in some Hanwoo top sirloin beef! There’s some hanging around in the fridge. Typical. Let’s pause here for a moment.

Korean Hanwoo beef is akin to Japanese Kobe and other extremely expensive types of beef that are nearly impossible to procure in the States. Meanwhile they’re definitely impossible for most instant noodle-eating folks to even afford!

The marriage of a cheap everyman’s instant noodle dish with a completely unaffordable steak is the class-clashing result. It’s the ultimate edible example of the film’s theme of the haves and have-nots.

Korean Ram-don (Jjapaguri) noodles with cubed steak served in a shallow bowl with blue decorative edges.

What is “Ram-Don”

The actual Korean name for the dish featured in the film is jjapaguri. It’s a combination of 2 different packages of instant noodles, and is therefore a combination of their names as well. Chapagetti + Neoguri = Jjapaguri.

The former is an instant noodle version of jjajangmyeon, a Korean dish featuring noodles in black bean sauce. The latter is a spicy seafood flavored instant noodle soup.

The translators of the film weren’t able to translate jjapaguri into something that would resonate with English-speaking audiences. The result is “ram-don,” a combination of the words ramen and udon. A star is born!

Korean Ram-don (Jjapaguri) noodles with cubed steak served in a shallow bowl with blue decorative edges. A pair of chopsticks is grabbing some noodles and lifting from the plate.

What does it taste like? If you’re a fan of spicy Asian noodles, then this recipe will please your palate! It’s unctuous and savory, with strong umami flavors, and is perfect for slurping off your chopsticks.

These ram-don noodles aren’t healthy, but they are definitely crave-worthy! I think one recipe is plenty for 3 servings, but you can also make 2 larger servings. In Parasite it yields one ginormous serving.

How to make Ram-Don

Ram-don is a very quick-cooking dish! Start out by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan or medium pot. Open both packages of Chapagetti and Neoguri.

Two packages of Korean instant noodles: Chapagetti in gold packaging and Neoguri in red packaging.

This is the inventory you will have:

  • Chapagetti: noodles and 3 packets (vegetable flakes, black bean paste seasoning powder, seasoning oil)
  • Neoguri: noodles and 2 packets (vegetable flakes, spicy seasoning powder)
Packages of Korean instant noodles (Chapagetti and Neoguri) are opened up to reveal what's inside: dried noodles, and flavoring packets.

When the water is boiling add the noodles and vegetable flakes from both packages. Boil for only 2 to 3 minutes, and then strain over a bowl or large measuring cup. You’ll need to reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid for later.

Meanwhile, cube up 8 ounces of sirloin steak or rib-eye. Ideally 1/2-to-3/4-inch cubes are good, but some of mine were a bit larger. Smaller cubes will be a bit easier to eat.

Cubed raw steak on a cutting board

Add a little bit of oil to a frying pan over high heat. Sear the cubes of steak for a minute or 2 per side, until cooked to your desired doneness.

I use a large nonstick frying pan with some avocado oil pan spray. It doesn’t stick and it doesn’t splatter since it’s a small amount of oil. Set aside.

Return the strained noodles/vegetable mixture to the pot with 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid.

Instant noodles cooked in a saucepan

Heat over medium heat, add the cooked steak, the black bean paste seasoning powder from the Chapagetti package, and about 1/2 the spicy seafood seasoning powder from the Neoguri package.

This is pretty spicy, so you definitely won’t want to use all of it unless you really want to. I used right about 1/2 and thought it was a good level of spice–spicy but not unbearably spicy.

Cooked instant noodles in a saucepan topped with seared beef cubes and seasoning packets.

Mix until the sauce thickens and coats the noodles.

This yields 1 serving of ram-don noodles in the movie, but realistically this is 2 comfortable servings. I actually divided it up into 3 smaller servings and still felt quite satisfied! It’s also pretty high in sodium, so I think smaller portions are just fine 😀

Other recipes you may like

Korean Ram-don (Jjapaguri) noodles with cubed steak served in a shallow bowl with blue decorative edges, with chopsticks on the side.

Have you seen the movie Parasite? What did you think? Did you crave Ram-Don as I did? Make sure to leave me a comment and rating if you try this recipe! Thanks.

Ram-Don from Parasite (Jjapaguri with Steak)

Victoria
The instant noodle dish from Parasite is taking the internet and the world by storm! Ram-Don (more traditionally known as jjapaguri) gets an elevated twist with seared cubes of steak. This recipe is super easy to make, and crazy delicious!
5 from 6 votes
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2 to 3 servings
Calories 507 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 package Chapagetti (instant jajangmyeon noodles made by Nongshim)
  • 1 package Neoguri (instant jjampong noodles made by Nongshim)
  • 8 ounces sirloin or rib-eye steak preferably well-marbled, cut into 1/2-to-3/4-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons vegetable oil

Instructions
 

  • Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan or medium pot. Add the noodles and vegetable mix from the noodle packets, and boil for about 2 to 3 minutes until barely al dente (it will cook more later). Strain the noodles into a strainer set over a large measuring cup or bowl. Reserve 1 cup of starchy water.
  • Meanwhile season the cubed beef with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over high heat in a skillet. Add the beef, and sear for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Remove from the heat.
  • Return the large saucepan or medium pot used to cook the noodles to medium heat, add the reserved water, the strained noodles/veggies, all the black bean paste seasoning powder from the Chapagetti, 1/2 (or more to taste–it's spicy!) of the spicy seasoning powder from the Neoguri, and the cooked beef. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes until everything is incorporated and starting to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir in the seasoning oil from the Chapagetti.
  • Transfer to individual bowls and serve immediately.

Notes & Nutrition

Servings 2.0 * calories 761 * Total Fat 32 g * Saturated Fat 14 g * Monounsaturated Fat 0 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 80 mg * Sodium 1507 mg * Potassium 0 mg * Total Carbohydrate 85 g * Dietary Fiber 1 g * Sugars 4 g * Protein 33 g
Servings 3.0 * calories 507 * Total Fat 22 g * Saturated Fat 9 g * Monounsaturated Fat 0 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 53 mg * Sodium 1005 mg * Potassium 0 mg * Total Carbohydrate 57 g * Dietary Fiber 1 g * Sugars 3 g * Protein 22 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*
Photo collage: Top photo is instant noodles in a pot topped with seared cubed steak and seasoning mixture. Bottom photo is Korean Ram-don (Jjapaguri) noodles with cubed steak served in a shallow bowl with blue decorative edges.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    AJ
    February 24, 2020 at 11:06 am

    5 stars
    I love this post!! It makes me want to re-watch in order to fully appreciate the film. Maybe I should re-watch with a bowl of this!!

    • Reply
      Victoria
      February 24, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Thanks, AJ! I definitely think you should give the movie another watch with a bowl of Ram-Don in hand 😉

  • Reply
    Mary Kabakian
    February 24, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    5 stars
    This tastes great and very easy to make in a very short time!

  • Reply
    Greg
    March 3, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    5 stars
    I was definitely wanting a bowl of this when she made it in the film.

    I missed the implication of using the beef as Mrs. Park requested. Great point!

    And great sounding recipe too!

    • Reply
      Victoria
      March 3, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      Yes, not only is it delicious with the beef added (of course it is), but in this case it’s a greater sign of the class disparity of the haves and have nots of fancy, expensive beef 😀

  • Reply
    Morgan
    April 26, 2020 at 9:10 am

    5 stars
    Thanks, Victoria! I loved the recipe and yes while watching the movie I craved those noodles

    • Reply
      Victoria
      April 26, 2020 at 9:12 am

      Glad you liked it!! I need to make them again soon and also rewatch the movie. It’s so good!

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