The movie's subtitle translator Darcy Paquet 'invented Ram-don' because it was too difficult to translate the Korean word, jjapaguri, into English
Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning movie Parasite won viewers' hearts with its nuanced portrayal of the interdependence and tensions between rich and poor in South Korean society. However, film-goers may have missed the significance behind one of the film's most memorable scenes " the one featuring the "Ram-don" noodles.
The climactic moment involves the young mother, or mistress of the house, calling the housekeeper to ask her to prepare the noodle dish with premium Hanwoo beef. There was a palpable sense of tension evident during the preparation and consumption of the dish.
So what is Ram-don? The Washington Post says the word was "invented by subtitle translator Darcy Paquet, who found the actual Korean word for the dish, jjapaguri, too difficult to translate into English".
A post shared by Jun Hyung Yim (@jun_h_yim) on Feb 13, 2020 at 8:15pm PST
If you look up jjapaguri, it's essentially the mixing of two instant noodles packages together, Jjapaghetti and Neoguri.
Jjapaghetti is an instant version of Korean black bean noodles and it is served dry, while Neoguri is an instant version of udon " a slightly thicker version with a bit more chew " noodles that is served in a spicy soup which has a bit more umami. By all accounts, it's a great combination with the salty, sweet flavours of the black bean in the Neoguri, with a spicy umami kick from Jjapaghetti to finish.
A post shared by 자유로운 영혼~^^♥ (@jingpyokang) on Jan 6, 2018 at 6:44pm PST
Instant noodles are food for the masses, and finding creative ways to make wallet-friendly products interesting is common within the working class.
Hanwoo is premium Korean beef produced in small batches that is as expensive as Japanese Wagyu.
A post shared by Food Photography + Videography (@danahn17) on Feb 11, 2020 at 9:29am PST
The rich family insisting on adding premium Hanwoo beef, to this common dish offers up a veritable mix of rich and poor on a plate, so different yet all mixed up, which epitomises the societal undercurrents running throughout Parasite.
Regardless of its symbolism, the sequence showing the chopping of beef until the young mother eats it has stimulated the taste buds of the audience. In the wake of Parasite's success at the Oscars, the internet has exploded with people demanding recipes for this dish.
But remember, it's only authentic if you can get your hands on Jjapaghetti and Neoguri, and by adding quality beef to your bowl, you'll pay homage to Bong Joon-ho's original screenplay.
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