If you’ve watched the Oscar award-winning K-Drama film Parasite then you’ll probably have (1) developed this new-found crush on Choi Woo-shik or Park So-dam and (2) totally salivated during the jjapaguri / ramdon scene.
I just can’t seem to get my mind off of those big chunks of beef and of those curly noodles glistening in—what I then could only assume as—savory orange-ish brown sauce. Days after watching the movie and having this intense craving for jjapaguri, there was this one Facebook post circulating about a restaurant in Bulacan selling the dish for P299.00 a serving.
One Twitter user also shared that he found a restaurant in Malate serving the same dish, but at a higher price point. The price, which starts at P1,400.00, varies depending on the type of beef you’ll choose. For those who want to go with the hanwoo, a premium type of meat native to Korea, get ready to shell out as much as P2,500.00!
With no energy to travel to Bulacan and no money to splurge at the nearest option either, I had to be creative in finding a way to fulfill this craving. Thankfully, a quick Google search for the word “jjapaguri” yielded jjapaguri recipes. All I did was to visit the nearest Korean grocery in my area and off I went to channel my inner Park Chung-sook.
Jjapaguri is actually a portmanteau for two of Korea’s favorite instant noodles: jjapagetti and Neoguri. Both are manufactured by the Korean company, Nongshim. Since both are instant noodles, you need not be an expert in the kitchen to create the dish.
|Nongshim Jjapagetti (1 pack)||P57.00|
|Nongshim Neoguri Spicy Seafood (1 pack)||P50.00|
|1/4 kilo Sirloin Beef||P100.00|
The noodles at the Korean mart I went to were all in Korean. Thankfully, I can read hangul, so it was a little bit easy to determine which packets to pick. For those who can’t, it’s probably best to keep a photo in handy to serve as reference.
Buying from your local grocery (Robinsons Supermarket has a good selection of imported oriental noodles), there’s a bigger chance that the noodle packets are already written in English.
And oh! I learned from the Nongshim website that Neoguri also has a stir-fry version, and that’s NOT what you’ll need for this dish. Be careful and don’t get confused.
Boil your beef (cut in cubes) in water. This is to make sure that the meat is tender and easy to chew.
Boil 3 cups of water in high heat. Once that starts to boil, drop both jjapagetti and Neoguri noodles and the vegetable packets that come with them. Let it cook for about 3 minutes.
While your noods are cooking, work on the beef. In a skillet, fry your sirloin beef in oil. I added a tablespoon of butter for added
cholesterol flavor. Also, add in a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
Once your noods are cooked, drain the water (stock?) from the pot, but set aside about half a cup to a cup for later use. Open the jjapagetti and Neoguri flavor packets and pour them on your noods. Stir and mix well.
If you find it hard to mix the noodles or if you want the dish a little soupy, you can add a couple of tablespoons of the stock.
Once everything is mixed perfectly, serve in a plate and add the beef on top.
Before making this dish, I thought that it’s going to be savory—salty, a little bit spicy, with a hint of sweetness to it. Sweet, because I can’t take away the spaghetti reference in the jjapagetti, if you get what I mean. And I was both right and wrong. It was salty, spicy (but the kind that can get addicting), but it wasn’t sweet. Instead, it had that little bitter taste of the black bean flavoring. The beef added oomph to the taste. I can imagine it will taste a lot better if you’ll use a higher-grade meat.
Overall, I liked the dish. I didn’t love it though, because that bitter jjajang taste is something I’ll have to get used to. The salty and spicy taste, however, more than made up for it. I found myself gulping one forkful after another.
With my DIY jjapaguri costing me P207.00 in total, is this something I’ll make again? Certainly! One serving is good for 2 people too, so the price is reasonable. But on my next attempt, I’m thinking of experimenting using another kinds of ramyeon—like my ever favorite Ottogi Jin Ramyeon.
Have you tried making your own jjapaguri too? Let us know about your experience in the comment sections below.