Parasite's Oscar sweep throws Frankenstein bowl of instant noodles into online spotlight

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : Febuary 12, 2020, 15:52 | Updated : Febuary 12, 2020, 15:52

[Jisun's Kitchen YouTube]

SEOUL -- A weird dish of "Ram-don" that meticulously illustrated the gap between high and low class families in Parasite, the Oscar-winning film directed by Bong Joon-ho has gained unexpected attention online.

Ram-don is the witty brainchild of film subtitle translator Darcy Parquet. Originally known as "Jjapaguri" (짜파구리), a mixture of two different instant noodles, was translated into Ram-don in Parasite to help the understanding of the non-Korean speaking audience around the world.

Parasite used Ram-don to depict the rich-poor gap. In the film, the rich housewife asks her housemaid to prepare a bowl of Ram-don for her son while driving back from a camping trip. Not exactly knowing what the recipe was, the housemaid rummages through the kitchen, imagining what Ram-don is, to finally create a bowl of noodles.

It was a combination of Chapaghetti, an instant black bean sauce noodle, and Neoguri, an instant noodle with spicy seafood soup. Both instant noodles were made by Nongshim, a South Korean instant food maker. Luckily, the housemaid's imagination was what the house owner had meant. Ram-don was served with cubes of expensive sirloin.

Bong said he had tried to show the class division through a mixture of two cheap instant noodles, which are popular among kids regardless of their class. "Even the rich kid, he's still a kid. That's why he loves this dish," he said in an interview in October last year. "But the mom can't accept the fact that her son eats such a cheap dish. So she has to add the topping fit for the rich, sirloin."

Hooked to the live broadcast of the Oscar awards ceremony in Los Angles on February 10, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris congratulated Bong in his Twitter message and said he was watching the ceremony while eating Jjapaguri with his embassy colleagues.

To promote sales, Nongshim unleashed an official YouTube video about how to cook Ram-don in many languages on February 11, just after Bong and Parasite won four Oscar titles -- best original screenplay, best international feature film, best director and best picture.

However, Nongshim's official video recipe guide was only watched some 21,000 times in 24 hours of release, compared to a countless number of YouTube video content related to Ram-don.
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