If you’re one of the millions of people who’ve watched the 92nd Academy Award-winning Best Picture Parasite, then you’ve probably been intrigued by that famous Chapaguri scene (english subtitles used the word “Ramdon” to describe it). If you haven’t already watched it, I highly suggest it to all. The film is still playing in most movie theatres, and this is truly a masterpiece you’d want to see on the big screen with absolutely no distraction. I don’t suggest anyone to watch it at home unless it’s your second, or third time. Trust me, I know many people who felt the need to watch it a second time to catch every single detail.
This isn’t a spoiler, but there is a scene where one of the characters quickly makes this mouth-watering dish that carries an overall significance to the narrative of the film. The entire film is set upon the dividing societal class. But first, let’s break down what makes a Chapaguri before I explain the significance in the film:
Chapaghetti is a type of instant noodle mixed with black bean sauce. It was first created by Nong Shim as the interpretation of jjajangmyeon “instant” style. The package includes the dried noodles, and packets of dried veggies, black powder, and vegetable oil.
Neoguri is also an instant meal, but it resembles the instant ramyun noodles, although made with udon noodles which are slightly thicker. As opposed to other spicy instant ramyuns, Neoguri is more seafood-based. This package includes the dried noodles, a packet of dried seaweed, and a spicy powder.
The name Chapaguri is essentially derived from the mix of the two: [Chapa]ghetti and Neo[guri].
The third ingredient to Chapaguri is the meat, and it’s not just any meat, it’s a mouth-watering, beautifully-marbled steak. The irony of this meal directly goes in line with the storyline of the film. It’s the symbolic clash of the lower and upper class. The instant noodles represents the food of the less fortunate or the poor, whereas the rib steak is something that only the riches indulge in. Chapaguri mixes in the same bowl the cheap $1 meal with steak that could go up to $30. Such irony, isn’t it? But they work so perfectly well together!
Now that we know the origin and the basics of what a Chapaguri is, let’s get down to it. The serving size for the recipe below is for 2 people. If you wish to eat this meal alone, I would suggest using half a pack of rib eye steak (freeze the other half for next time!) and using only 1 package of Chapaghetti and 1 package of Neoguri.
- 2 packages of Chapaghetti
- 2 packages of Neoguri
- 1 pack of rib eye steak (with good marbling)
- salt & pepper
- garlic cloves
In my mind, I think of this recipe as a three-parter. There are 3 major steps: Making the noodles, cooking the steak, and then assembling it all together.
[PREFACE] Prepping the ingredients
Start by chopping the garlic cloves. The number of cloves is dependant on how much you like garlic. In my case, I used 3-4 cloves. Chop them into tiny pieces.
Now, the meat. Chop the rib eye steak into large cubes. The larger chunks makes it more appealing than tinier pieces. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and don’t be afraid to lightly tap or get your hands dirty by giving it a light mix so that the seasoning could stick.
[STEP 1] Making the noodles
Boil water in a large pot enough to fit 4 packages of instant noodles. Add the 4 noodle pucks, along with the dried veggies and dried seaweed. It should take about 4 minutes to cook, but I would check by trying a noodle. Tip: Make sure to slightly undercook it because you will later need to cook it a little more once we assemble it with the meat. Important note: When the noodles are done, you need to SAVE that water from the boiled noodles. Use a large strainer with a large bowl underneath to drain the water that you will later use for assembly. Set the noodles aside.
[STEP 2] Cooking the meat
In a frying pan, melt some butter under medium-high heat. Throw in the steak chunks along with the chopped garlic cloves. Cook until medium-rare; it should look cooked on the outside, but pink on the inside. You may add more butter as you cook it, if needed.
[STEP 3] Putting all the pieces together
In a large wok (or a big enough pan) under a low heat, add the cooked noodles along with the 2 packets of black bean powder and 1 1/2 packets of the spicy powder. If you like it spicy, by all means, you can just add the whole 2 packs. Remember that water you saved from boiling the noodles? Well, add a bit of that in gradually but only enough to make it all saucy, but not soupy! Mix it all together well.
Once it looks all brown and yummy, add the meat with all the little cooked cloves for that extra flavour.
The final step is to add the 2 little vegetable oil packets that came with the Chapaghetti. You can use olive oil as an alternative, if you wish.
And that’s it! The entire process including the prepping of the garlic cloves and chopping the meat shouldn’t take you more than 20 mins. It’s pretty quick and it’s so freaking delicious!
To add to the experience, I turn on the “Zapaguri” song from the Parasite soundtrack on my Google Nest Hub Max while I cook. It gives a real great ambiance while you make this dish.
Seriously speaking though, if you haven’t watched the film, go watch it. And then make this dish while listening to the original soundtrack. You won’t regret it. 🙂