South Korean thriller Parasite from director Bong Joon-Ho made history by being the first foreign language film to win Best Picture at this year's Oscar ceremony! This thrilling, yet often hilarious, tale of class disparities left me gasping for air... and craving noodles! Specifically jjapaguri... a combination of Nongshim's Chapagetti and Neoguri instant noodles, elevated to a higher level with the addition of seared steak.

Setting the Scene: On their drive back from a camping trip, wealthy Mrs. Park calls her poor housekeeper, Mrs. Kim, and requests that she prepare a bowl of “ram-don” for her young son by the time they arrive home. Sounds pretty simple, but what happens next is a frenzy of sizzling steak and searing satire. I won't give away any spoilers of this cinematic masterpiece, but I will walk you through how to make a bowl of these delicious noodles.

The ingredients needed are one package each of Nongshim Chapagetti and Neoguri instant noodles, 6 to 8 ounces of sirloin steak, tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper.

Prepare the sirloin by cutting into 1 inch cubes, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the steak and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on both sides. Set aside.

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add both types of noodles to the boiling water along with the packages of dried flakes from both (do not add the seasoning packets yet) and cook until just-tender.

Strain the noodles, reserving 4 to 5 tablespoons of the starchy water. Return noodles to the pot over low heat and add the Chapagetti seasoning, half of the Neoguri seasoning, and the 4 to 5 tablespoons of reserved noodle water. Stir until the seasonings are well blended and the sauce thickens.

Add the cooked steak to the noodles. Stir and serve!

Simple, savory, complex... make a bowl and watch Parasite tonight!

-David Lynn

Okay... it's 2 o'clock in the morning and you just got home from work or maybe a night on the town (this is a no-judgment zone)! Either way, if you're like me, you just want to slurp up a hot bowl of ramen before tucking in. My cupboard is typically stocked with oodles of noodles, but last time browsing the aisles at Pacific Rim Foods, a particular brand was calling me...

The first thing you'll notice about Itsuki brand ramen is the tall packaging, which includes long, straight dried noodles, powdered soup base and a packet of oil. These noodles were fantastic! I seriously only boiled them for a minute, took them off the heat, stirred in the powdered soup base and poured on the oil. The advantage of the dried noodles was clearly evident... clean taste and texture, as well as fewer calories.

The powdered soup base presented a pleasant surprise... an umami rich, creamy pork bone-style soup accented with soy, miso, scallions and spices! Definitely one of the better instant bases I've tried. After preparing the ramen, I added an over-easy egg, a sprinkling of roasted sesame seeds, a big pinch of scallions, and a dash of chili oil!

Not too bad for only taking 3 minutes to prepare and much more satisfying than just pouring boiling water into a noodle bowl and watching the clock slowly count down for 5 minutes! Itsuki offers several varieties of instant ramens which will definitely cure your late night cravings!

-David Lynn

Late Night Ramen Review #1

One of my guilty-pleasures in life is late night ramen. "you should do a review on them.", my wife randomly suggested. What a great idea!

When the Shin Black came out a few years ago, I thought it was just a "hype" version of the regular Shin; packaging was nicer and indeed, it does offer more for your money, so instead of just 2 flavoring packs, the Black edition comes with 3. Cooking it is very straightforward. I will share some of my normal routine next to the photos.

A tablespoon of miso creates a deeper complex broth and helps the soup cling to the noodles

Shin Black has much richer broth compared with the regular Shin (which we all know and love), and hint of onion flavor as well. The noodle is classic Nongshin, thick, good quality. If you do it right, the texture is chewy and have some bite to it.

Gently drop and poach an egg before serving... the yolk is pure liquid gold

Is it worth the extra money? That's up to you to decide, for me however, I found myself preferring the richness of the broth, and every time I go back to eat a regular Shin ramen, the broth felt light in comparison.

A dash of green for color and a pop of fresh flavor is a great addition

Until next time.




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