This Is How Easy It Is To Make Ram-don

It's the noodle dish from the Korean movie, "Parasite".

IMAGE Majoy Siason

If you have seen the Oscar-winning Korean movie "Parasite", you know about "ram-don". Many of us have never heard of it before! That's because the original dish was renamed. 

You might remember that definitive scene when the entire Kim family panics when they find out the Park family is on their way back early from what should have been a weekend out of town. The housekeeper Mrs. Kim, in particular, is in a dilemma. She's supposed to prepare a dish she doesn't know called "ram-don". So, just to prepare something, she whips up a dish as described by Mrs. Park as noodles and to use the "flank steak" in the refrigerator.  

The dish is a success, and Mrs. Park doesn't suspect a thing. 

Everyone else, however, including the audience, is curious about what exactly Mrs. Kim made. 

This dish was originally called "jjapaguri", a real Korean dish that is a combination of two kinds of instant noodles packs. It's said that the Korean-to-English subtitle translator for the movie, however, decided to change the word to one that, in English, was easier to both translate and understand. So, he translated the dish as "ram-don", a mash-up of "ramyeon" and "udon" instant noodles, the two kinds of instant ramen noodles in jjapaguri

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These are the two kinds of instant noodles that make up ram-don.
Photo by Majoy Siason

The two instant noodles used in jjapaguri, or "ram-don" as it is now more popularly known by its foreign audience, are a spicy seafood udon ramen and what is known as "chapaghetti". Chapaghetti itself is a mishmash of two dishes, too: jajangmyeon and spaghettiJajangmyeon is a Chinese-inspired Korean noodle dish that features a salty black bean sauce tossed with noodles, diced pork, and vegetables.

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The sauce of the chapaghetti thickens to a consistency that coats the noodles rather than swims in it if it were ramen. That's why when combined, the two start off as a soupy bowl of noodles. Let it sit a few minutes, you'll notice the sauce thickens until it's barely a soup. The sauce is both savory and spicy that perfectly coats both the noodles and the steak cubes you toss in. 

This dish is said to be a reflection of the two families in "Parasite". The inexpensive instant noodles are a stark contrast to the beef wagyu-level steak cubes that are haphazardly thrown into the mix.

If you think about it, it's your seemingly everyday instant noodle meal upgraded to fine dining status

You might be surprised just how delicious this mash-up of different instant noodles and steak cubes is! Want to know how to make the ram-don? Here's the recipe:

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The cubes of steak make this instant noodle recipe a hearty and extravagant meal.
Photo by Majoy Siason

Easy Ram-Don Recipe 

  • Takes 15 minutes
  • Makes 1-2 servings 
  • 1 120-gram pack instant noodles, spicy seafood ramen
  • 1 114-gram pack instant noodles, chapaghetti
  • 1 200-gram ribeye steak, cubed
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • water, as needed
  • oil, as needed
  • 1 In a saucepan over high heat, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, prepare the instant noodles as directed on the packages, dividing the boiling water between the two noodles. Set aside to cook.

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  • 2 Meanwhile, season steak cubes with salt and ground pepper. In a frying pan over medium-heat heat, heat about 2 tablespoons oil. Sear steak cubes in the pan until browned on all sides, around 2 minutes overall. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl.

  • 3 Once instant noodles are cooked as directed on the packages, transfer the noodles into the large bowl with the steak cubes. Mix thoroughly until the two noodles are coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.

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