Whether it’s Clemenza’s tomato sauce with meatballs from The Godfather, Little Nero’s cheese pizza from Home Alone, the Everlasting Gobstopper by Willy Wonka, or Remy’s ratatouille on, well, Ratatouille — we can all agree that movies find a way to make food look oh so delicious.
The latest dish to make filmgoers’ mouths water comes from the recently crowned four-time Oscar-winning satirical thriller Parasite.You know exactly what we’re talking about — that ram-don.
Noodle companies, online foodies, and even a United States Ambassador can’t seem to get enough of it, Korean Joongang Daily reported.
Without spoiling major plot points, one scene in Bong Joon Ho’s cinematic masterpiece shows the mother of a rich family ordering their maid to cook her son’s favourite food, chapaguri (aka jjapaguri) or “ram-don” in English.
The dish in itself matches the film’s commentary on class, mixing two types of instant noodles by the brand Nongshim (Chapagetti black bean noodles and soup-based Neoguri ramen) that’s topped with a bougie sirloin steak.
Fans of the film are now creating their own versions of the fancy ramen and showing off their dishes online. There are recipe, mukbang, and ASMR videos that surely make any member of the Bong Hive excited.
U.S. ambassador to Korea Harry Harris even threw an Academy Awards party at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul featuring the dish. In his series of tweets congratulating the movie, he shared photos of himself and his staff eating the instant noodles.
A day after Parasite swept the Oscars, CJ ENM, the film’s distributor, added ram-don to its cafeteria’s corporate lunch menu.
After hearing of the dish’s online virality, Nongshim released its official recipe on YouTube in 11 languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, German, Burmese, Spanish and Portuguese, The Korea Herald reported.
The recipe is actually quite easy; you don’t have to be a master chef to do it.
Simply boil water with the vegetable mix of both Chapaghetti & Neoguri, before adding all of the noodles. The noodles should be cooked in about 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Strain the noodles but keep 150 ml of water. Then, add the Chapaghetti soup base, half of the Neoguri soup base, and the seasoning oil. Mix and let sit for 30 seconds, before removing from heat and serving. Steak optional.
“[The dish's] appearance in the movie was not an advertisement. It was not product placement,” an official from Nongshim told The Korea Herald.
Nongshim started handing out Chapagetti and Neoguri packets as promotional items at movie theatres since the film became a worldwide success. On February 7, the day of Parasite’s release in the United Kingdom, the company created a mock promotional poster with Neoguri’s signature raccoon character.
The two noodles, Chapagetti and Neoguri, have been around for a while. The former launched in 1984, while the latter in 1982. They have been bestsellers for three decades in South Korea’s 2 trillion-won ($1.69 billion) instant noodle market.
Although it isn’t clear who exactly thought to combine the two noodles, the ram-don went viral in Korea in 2009. It was then featured on various reality TV shows.
Aside from these two varieties of noodles, South Korea’s other instant noodle products have been gaining popularity globally because of the internet’s mukbang craze. According to the Korea Trade Statistics Promotion Institute, exports were at $413 million in 2018.