Thursday, January 30, 2020

Maangchi pulls a Babish

The YouTube channel Binging with Babish is known for showcasing food that comes from movies and TV shows. "Korean Julia Child" Maangchi, by contrast, normally only showcases her own take on Korean food. But the movie "Parasite" has taken the Korean community by storm, so in the video below, Maangchi jumps on the bandwagon and does a Babish-style rendition of a dish that appears in "Parasite": it's referred to as "ram-don" in the English-language subtitles (a portmanteau of ramen and udon), but as "jjapaguri" in the actual Korean-language dialogue (a portmanteau of jjapagetti* and Neoguri** ramyeon). Maangchi even begins the video with her own little parody of the crucial scene in the movie, when the rich Park family surprises the Kim family (illicitly shacked up in the Parks' lovely home) by saying they're driving back home from their rained-out camping trip, they're only eight minutes away, and the kids want ram-don, so get it ready.

Maangchi's version actually looks a bit better than the preparation we see in the movie: the movie version features meat that's still a bit rare. Maangchi also mentions that combining jjapagetti, with its sweet black-bean sauce, with spicy Neoguri ramyeon has been a popular food trend for several years. I've lived in South Korea for almost fifteen years, and I didn't know this. Just goes to show what a shut-in I am, I guess.***

*Jjapagetti is itself a portmanteau of the Korean jjajangmyeon and the Anglo-Italian word spaghetti. It refers to a kind of ramyeon (Jpn. ramen) that is flavored with a powdered version of the black-bean sauce found on regular jjajangmyeon. Just add water.

**Neoguri, pronounced "naw-goo-ree" with a Spanish-style flapped (not trilled) "r," literally means "raccoon" or even "raccoon dog" (see here), but it's also the cutesy brand name for certain food products, which is why I've capitalized the word above.

***Despite being unaware of the actual fad, I've long had the intuition that regular jjajangmyeon is too bland, so I tend to spice it up by blasting it with some sriracha (globally popular Thai chili sauce) or eating it with some sort of spicy cabbage or cucumber kimchi.

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