The noodles from ‘Parasite’ are stirring up a craze

Restaurants are attaching a hefty price tag to what’s normally a bargain-basement dish. Once again, Bong Joon Ho gets the last laugh.

March 9, 2020

The noodle dish from Parasite is going high-end. A slew of restaurants across New York and DC are spooning out bowls of ram-don, hoping to cash in on the meal requested by the wealthy Park family toward the climax of the Oscar-winning film.

But the restaurants are attaching hefty price tags to what is typically a very cheap dish. In New York, menu prices range from $13.95 to $25, and according to NBC News, almost every person ordering fancy ram-don has one thing in common: They’re white. 

So what exactly is ram-don?

If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. The film’s subtitle translator, Darcy Paquet, invented the term — meant as a mashup of “ramen” and “udon” — for the subtitles of Parasite

In Korea, the noodle dish is called jjapaguri, and it blends 2 widely available instant-noodle brands, Chapagetti and Neoguri.

Meaning: It’s extremely cheap to buy and make. In the film, the Park family requests jjapaguri with steak on top, unaware of the contradiction between instant noodles and premium meat.

But ram-don enthusiasts might have missed the punchline 

With some white Americans ponying up $25 for an instant-noodle dish, Parasite director Bong Joon Ho — who has already pointed out that the US isn’t the best at reading at the movies — once again gets the last laugh. 

In fairness, the chefs whipping up fancy ram-don note that the steak and homemade broth are driving up the price. But still, you can buy the instant noodles in jjapaguri for less than 50¢ per ounce.

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