The Ramdon from Parasite

January is winding down, and instead of opting for another uber-healthy dish let’s reward ourselves with something fun and indulgent. Around this time last year, everyone was talking about the movie Parasite by Bong Joon-ho and rightly so, Parasite is a near-perfect film that no one should have any trouble in describing as a masterpiece. 

‘Ramdon’ or chapaguri in Korean is essentially instant ramen noodles topped with expensive cubes of beef. Chapaguri, is a combination of two instant noodle packs by the brands Chapagetti and Neoguri. The term Ramdon was created for audiences out of Korea who would be more familiar with the ‘ramen’ noodle aspect. In fact, the impact of the ‘Ramdon’ from Parasite was so profound that the export of Korean noodles exceeded $400 million

Among the many awesome features of Parasite such as the cinematography, scriptwriting and symbolism of the movie, the fabled Ramdon scene was one of the most memorable moments from the movie. In the film, ‘Ramdon’ was seen as a symbol of the insane gap but similarities of the rich and poor family.

A central metaphor in the film, Mrs Park’s request that the noodles be topped with high-quality beef upgrades what is is essentially junk food, revealing that even if the rich characters desire something common, the economic gap will still be there.

“To add a steak on top of the cheap instant noodles is an act of qualifying and justifying Mrs Park’s enjoyment of a “lower-class” dish.”

Bong Joon-ho on an interview with GQ.

The fact that the dish was so central to the underlying theme of class divide is testament to the craze that followed. Both Chapagetti and Neoguri are very cheap instant noodles that can be found in any Korean supermarket, affordable for everyone. Mrs Park’s requests for adding expensive beef ( in the movie it’s Hanwoo — a luxury Korean beef that’s more expensive than Wagyu), just shows how differently the two families live.

#ramdon trended like crazy on social media with people out there recreating the dish and posting online and even several high profile restaurants in NYC added the dish to their menus during the craze. 

Let’s be real, this dish is more a fun way to relive the taste buds of the characters from Parasite. If you haven’t seen it, it might be a good movie to have as you eat your first Ramdon (this may not be the last!). Or, a more novel way to revisit the moments of one of Korea’s best movies. Either way, it makes for a fun weekend recipe to cap off your healthy January.

What you’ll need:

Kasumi Hammered 20cm Carving Knife

Saucepan

Large frying pan

Chopping board

Ingredients:

  • 1 well-marbled sirloin  or ribeye steak (anywhere between 170 – 220 grams)

The ‘movie recipe’ calls for using Korean Hunu Sirloin but this is pretty damn rare to get outside of Korea. If you are in the mood to keep it fancy like the Parks, use Kobe beef. But realistically, any fancy cut of beef is fine.

  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 instant noodle packet of Chapagetti
  • 1 instant noodle packet of Neoguri

If you want to add more to this recipe, frozen vegetables that can boil along with the noodles would be a welcome addition.

Instructions:

Instant Noodles:

  1. Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover two noodle packets, bring to a boil.
  2. Add both noodles from both packets into the boiling water. Boil for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Just before you take the saucepan off the stove and drain the noodles, add the components from the Neoguri packet.
  4. Strain noodles and add back to the saucepan.
  5. Add the components from the Chapagetti packed.
  6. Mix everything up with the boiled noodles.

Set aside.

Steak:

Make sure to take out the steak/s from the fridge and allow it to reach room temperature.

Using the Kasumi Hammered Carving Knife:

  1. Cut off some of the excess fat and silver skin from the beef.
  2. Cut the beef steak (or steaks) into cubes, cutting across the grain, making slices that are roughly 2 inches thick
  3. Rotate the cut slices and cut crossways about 1 ½ – 2 inches thick – always try to make the cubes uniform in size for even cooking.
  4. Add salt and pepper onto the beef cubes and allow to rest for a few more minutes.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place the beef cubes in the frying pan in a single layer (you may have to work in batches depending on the size of your pan.) – do not crowd the pan with too many cubes. You want to ensure there is enough space between each cube. 
  7. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping occasionally, until golden brown. Repeat with remaining meat if needed.
  8. Add the seared steak cubes to the noodle mixture.

…and that’s it!

This is more of what can only be described as a novel meal. Very quick, very easy but of course not necessarily the cheapest dish if you think about the expense of the meat involved. 

It’s known that Kasumi knives are the symbol of Japanese quality – high-quality knives designed and forged using the same sword-making techniques that have been used over hundreds of years. Almost all of the Kasumi knives are made with VG10 steel, resulting in an extremely hard blade that maintains its sharpness longer.

Kasumi, when translated into English means mist. The pattern of design towards the edge of the blade looks like a coming together of beautiful swirls of mists, adding to the already remarkable form of the Kasumi Hammered Carving Knife. The most noticeable feature of the knife is the hammered tiny indentations on the side of the blade that creates air pockets when cutting to prevent food from sticking. This allowed for simple and easy slicing motions all the way through the Sirloin steak without ever worrying of the meat sticking.

The Kasumi Hammered Carving Knife features an ergonomic handle made from POM material. The handle is shaped to fit comfortably into your hand and the durable material of the handle has a high gloss finish. This blade is extremely sharp and over time you’ll notice the edge retention of the blade to surpass those in your kitchen, thanks to the special tempering of the VG10 blade core.

Realistically you can use the Kasumi Hammered Carving Knife for way more than just cutting the steak into cubes. As its name suggests, you can effectively use this knife to cut into large joints of meat. You’ll have a blast holding and using the Kasumi carving knife. Please do remember, that all Kasumi knives are not just sharp, but extremely sharp so do take your time and practice caution with every slice you perform.

Bon Appetit!

Summary

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