Comfort Cooking

Covid-19 stay-home recipe: Ram-don for an instant perk-me-up?

ST PHOTO: HEDY KHOO

At a loss as to what to cook today? Fret not. In this daily series, STFood Online Editor Hedy Khoo features nourishing recipes you can whip up during the circuit breaker period

Tired of the same old instant noodles?

Try whipping up a Korean instant noodle dish of ram-don, popularised by the Oscar-winning South Korean movie Parasite (2019).

The name of the dish is coined by the Seoul-based American film scholar Darcy Paquet, who wrote the movie's English subtitles and had found it difficult to translate the dish's Korean name, Jjapaguri.

In the movie, Jjapaguri is made by combining two types of noodles - Chapagetti Chajangmyun Noodles, made using black bean sauce, and Neoguri Seafood & Spicy Ramyun, an udon-style soup-based noodle product.

This hybrid dish is not new in South Korea, but there is renewed interest in it because the movie's version includes premium Hanwoo steak.

Hanwoo beef is from a highly prized, and priced, breed of cattle native to Korea, which South Koreans indulge in only on special occasions such as the New Year.

The beef is not available here as South Korea is not on the Singapore Food Agency's approved beef imports list, but you can recreate the decadent dish in the film by using well-marbled ribeye or striploin steak.

Or substitute the beef with other types of meat or an economical sunny-side-up egg.

If you are using noodles from the bowl packaging, I suggest cooking them in residual heat for a better texture. For the packet versions, boil the noodles for two minutes.

The packet version of the Chapagetti noodles used here comes with a sachet of oil which you can add with the seasoning.

While cooking the noodles, fry up the beef, which takes about two minutes to reach medium doneness.

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RAM-DON (JJAPAGURI)

INGREDIENTS

1 litre of water

1 packet of Chapagetti Chajangmyun Noodles

1 packet of Neoguri Seafood & Spicy Ramyun

300g striploin, cut into 3.5cm-thick cubes

Pinch of salt

Dash of crushed black pepper

2 Tbs cooking oil

1 stalk of spring onion, sliced

METHOD

1. Bring 1 litre of water to a boil in a pot.

2. Add the Chapagetti noodles and Neoguri noodles into the pot.

3. Add the vegetable mix of both packets into the pot.

4. Cover the pot, turn off the heat and allow the noodles to cook in residual heat for two minutes.

5. While waiting for the noodles to cook, heat 2 Tbs of oil in a frying pan. 6. Season the beef with black pepper and salt. Add the beef to the pan and fry over high heat for two minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

7. Strain the noodles. Reserve 150ml of the cooking liquid.

8. Pour the cooking liquid back into the pot and bring it to a simmer. Add all of the Chapagetti seasoning and two-thirds of the Neoguri seasoning. Stir well.

9. Turn off the heat and add the noodles into the pot. Mix well.

10. Add the beef and pan juices into the noodles and mix briefly.

11. Garnish with spring onion and serve.

Serves one or two

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2020, with the headline 'Ram-don for an instant perk-me-up?'. Print Edition | Subscribe