This page may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. This post is about how to make Ram-Don from the film Parasite!
Have you seen the Oscar Best Picture Winner of 2020, the Korean film Parasite?
I didn't know what this film was about before watching...however I knew that we weren't in for something "normal" because we have seen two films recently by the director Bong Joon-Ho which were NOT what we expected.
The films we saw before were "Mother" and "Okja." If you are up for films that are thought provoking and perhaps difficult then by all means please watch these films.
Same with this one...difficult and thought provoking and not easy to see. Having said that, I would like to see it again because there are many layers to this film.
What is Ram-Don?
There is a fascinating scene in the film where the Park family unexpectantly starts to return home early from a camping trip. Mrs. Park calls her housekeeper Mrs. Kim and asks her to prepare a bowl of Ram-Don ready for her son when he returns home. Mrs. Kim didn't know what Ram-Don was and only had a few minutes to get it ready. She frantically starts putting it together grabbing instant noodles and steak and voila! The Ram-Don is miraculously ready when the Parks return home...and given the thumbs up!
The name Ram-Don was actually made up by the subtitle translator for the film. The actual Korean name for this dish is jjapaguri. It seems that the translator thought jjapaguri would be too difficult for English speaking audiences to understand. Therefore Ram-Don is an amalgamation of "ram" from ramen, and "don" from udon, both of which are familiar to English speaking audiences. Pretty clever I thought!
What Do You Need To Make Ram-Don?
Ram-Don, or jjapaguri, is very easy to make. All you need is two different packages of Nongshim instant noodles, and some good quality beef. Nongshim is a South Korean food and beverage company headquartered in Seoul. They make many delicious and popular instant noodles, including Chapagetti Jjajang and Neoguri Spicy Seafood, needed for Ram-Don. Other ingredients are some olive oil, and green onions for garnish.
You can get the set of noodles here on Amazon.
A Tale Of Two Classes
In the movie Parasite, the Parks are a very wealthy family, and the Kims are a lower income family. Ram-Don actually makes an interesting statement about this difference in classes.
It's my understanding that the Parks want Hanu beef added to the Ram-Don. Hanu beef is one of the rarest and most expensive meats in the world. So here we have what is normally a very budget meal to most Koreans topped with Hanu beef, which demonstrates how wealthy the Parks are. Fascinating don't you think?
For our recipe here, I decided to use a well marbled rib eye steak. You can also use sirloin steak, or if you have access to Hanu beef by all means go for it!
Method To Make Ram-Don
Making Ram-Don really couldn't be simpler! All you will need to do is cook seasoned and cubed steak over a high heat.
In the meantime you will boil the noodles from both packages, and drain (reserving some of the water).
Then add the noodles to the pan along with the seasoning packets and some of the reserved water. Then add your cooked beef, stir until heated through, and there you have your Ram-Don! Oh, don't forget to garnish with some green onions!!
I really hope you'll give this a try! You'll be in for a treat!
Some Other Dishes You May Enjoy!
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- 1 pack Nongshim Neoguri Spicy Seafood Noodles
- 1 pack Nongshim Chapagetti Jjajang Noodles
- 8-10 oz steak use sirloin or rib-eye
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pepper to taste (to season the steak)
- garlic powder to taste (to season the steak)
- 1 ea green onions sliced for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- While waiting for the water to boil, cut up the steak into small bite sized cubes, and season with some garlic powder and pepper.
- Heat up a skillet (preferably cast iron!) to high and add the olive oil. Once smoking, cook the meat until browned. It should only take about 1-2 minutes. Remove the cooked steak from the pan and set aside.
- By this time the water should be boiling. Add the noodles from both packages, as well as the vegetable mixes from both packets to the boiling water. Reserve the soup base from each packet, as well as the vegetable oil from the Chapagetti until the final step. Boil for approximately 5 minutes.
- Just prior to draining, reserve around 2 cups of the cooking water (VERY IMPORTANT STEP!). Drain the noodles then add back to the skillet. Turn the skillet to med-low to medium and now add the soup base from both packets as well as the vegetable oil from the Chapagetti. Stir, and gradually add a little of the reserved cooking water a time. You most likely won't use all of the reserved cooking water! Only add enough to loosen up the noodles and make them a little moist. Continue to stir until the soup base and oil are incorporated, adding a little of the reserved water at a time, until the noodles are loose enough for your liking.
- Add the cooked beef back in, and continue stirring until the Ram-Don is heated through.