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[Dramas and food] For the love of ramyun

By fatcat

I’m a noodler. That’s what I like to call myself. I love ramyun/noodles/anything even remotely noodle-y.

Coming from a country with very different food culture from Korea, my love for ramyun may be considered a big deal. Here, ramyun is perceived as a commercialized insta-food that doesn’t quite count as a regular meal. Despite ramyun companies promoting their products as healthy and nutritious, ramyun’s generally viewed as an alternative to traditional dishes for when you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to cook.

I, on the other hand, could eat ramyun every day. I don’t actually eat it every day for the sake of my worried parents and because I love rice, but I could have it every day (different flavors of course) without getting sick of it. I’ve been a noodler for as long as I can remember and I love ramyun. So nothing appealed to me more than the characters in my K-drama having a variety of ramyun.

At home I’ve had only the regular ramyun, maybe soupy, occasionally with veggies or a boiled egg. (Of Gu Jun-pyo in Boys Before Flowers famously gnawing on raw ramyun and finding it delicious, I totally relate). But everything else I saw was new, with lots of add-ons like bits of meat, or black bean paste, and various stocks as soup base. It all looked so delicious! While the characters devoured their noodles, I drooled while watching my screen.

Where I live, we don’t have a huge variety of ramyun or the typical Korean add-on ingredients here. With the scarcity of variety and ingredients, I don’t have much opportunity to try out all the varieties of ramyun that K-drama characters have. But there was one simple variation on ramyun that I could actually try out. I discovered it in Answer Me 1997.

This endearing and adorable show put us through lots of happy, sad, and bittersweet moments while exploring the highs and lows of youthful days; occasionally testing our patience with the husband guessing game or flashback loops. And like all my favorite shows, some of the moments have stayed with me after all these years. Like Shi-won camping outside her oppa’s house, or having a death fight with her classmate, Yoo-jung breaking up with Hak-chan. Then there was Yoon-jae and Shi-won’s hair being yanked by Dad for having cigarettes, the reunion party, and Yoon-jae whispering into Joon-hee’s ear to not break the eggs in the ramyun (poor Joon-hee).

That egg scene. I remember this scene had given me such long pause at the time. I had stopped the video, stared at it and tried to gather my thoughts. I replayed it quite a few times. I had SO many things and SO many questions on my mind. Would Joon-hee ever get over his first love, Yoon-jae? Someone protect his heart. Appreciation for the show for including a gay character since it’s rarely touched upon in dramas. Ohmygawd if my crush were to do that I’d diiieeee! And most importantly, IF WE BREAK EGGS OVER ramyun HOW WILL IT TASTE???

Over the next few years, I constantly mulled over this very important question whenever I noticed the ramyun-egg combo in other dramas. Now one could ask, “Why not just try it out?” Well, because every pack of ramyun is precious. I couldn’t just experiment thoughtlessly on it, what if it turns out bad and my precious noodles are wasted?

One of my real-life friends said that eggs in ramyun didn’t cook well; tasted raw and not nice. That put me off for years. I preferred to boil eggs separately and have them with the noodles. But I’m lazy and it used to be a double task: boil the eggs, then make the ramyun, then eat together. Ooof. When I finally managed to multitask, I did it simultaneously. But I’m no master chef, and doing even this much took a lot of effort.

Since last year, I’d been living away from home in a hostel for my studies and had very few opportunities to enjoy ramyun. So whenever I came home at the holidays, I’d make myself a bowl of hot ramyun. But I used to be so tired that I didn’t have the energy to boil the eggs. I’d just slurp my noodles and crashed on bed. And in such moments of sad separation from my favorite ramyun and egg duo, a bulb finally went off in my head. *Ding!* “OMG the egg that wasn’t used in the ramyun in the whispering scene in Answer Me 1997!” Why didn’t I think of it before??

After YEARS of thought, carefully looking up the method on internet (“don’t stir, cover for 1 minute on low flame…”), and being told off by mom (“just try it if you want to, it’s just one pack of ramyun. And stop bothering me!”), I finally gave it a go. And…it turned out to be a tasty, efficient, and energy saving success. *Victory dance!* Ever since then, I’ve been enjoying this ramyun-egg combo regularly. My summer vacation has started, and although I’ve toned down my ramyun feast from five times a week to just two times a week, I make sure to always eat this version. Steaming-hot ramyun with a medium done egg on top. Just a simple change but it’s brought me so much joy.

Although it took me a long time to figure it out, my wish is to visit East Asia and try out all the ramyun varieties. But for now, my next goal is to try jjajangmeyon. With the variety of things easily available and accessible on the internet, unlike several years ago, I’ll surely have no problem in having the ingredients delivered to my doorstep.

In the meantime, this noodler will be watching random K-drama clips online to try to come out of her drama slump but nevertheless happily enjoying her bowl of ramyun.

 
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Iโ€™ve been eating poached eggs on ramen since before I can remember, boiled with my ramen initially, and then boiled in a separate pot when my husband makes it. Then just today, my brother-in-law (lazy youngest son that he is) told me that adding all your ingredients in a bowl including the egg and microwaving it for 3 min 45 seconds will get you a perfect poached egg every time, as he slurped down his microwaved ramen this morning! So, apparently, I have a new way to make this! My cousin would just crack an egg in the bottom of the bowl and then add the boiling ramen on top, and eat the egg at the very end. That was too much delayed gratification for me, so I never did it! Out new thing is making ramen from scratch. Very delayed gratification as well, but so worth it! Thanks for a great homage to ramen!

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Microwave is a new idea! I should try ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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Love noodles and rice.
I eat the cheapest ramen. It's like 4 for a dollar, lol. It was the first type available when young in my town. Now I find more variations in the store, but I still like the cheap ones. It probably doesnt help that the first one I tried had shrimp in it....blech. I didnt check the ingredients close enough.
I'd been afraid to try an egg because I always heard it smelled bad, but when I finally did I just added it right in.

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Rice is our staple food here & imlove it!
Ikr. I too heard that it smelled but it didn't :D

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@fatcat007 I already feel that we have so much in common, even though it's only noodles and maybe cats so far. Just got finished eating my 4th plate of spaghetti in 7 days and if I could eat instant ramyun for every meal, I would.

Welcome to the egg-ramyun life! Although, I'm a bit more extreme because if the yolk gets overcooked, I'll feel as if my perfect meal was ruined. I usually drop it in for the last 20 seconds and then make sure the egg sits on top so that it doesn't continue to cook while I eat. These days, Sunday is the only day I "allow" myself to eat ramyun.

Now if you like spicy food and seafood, you might like jjampong, which is a spicy seafood soup with noodles.

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Hmm. If you love books & flowers then we'll have more in common ^^

Would love to try out jjampong!

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Nice Kitty , I will be expecting my bowl of ramyun tomorrow evening ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿœ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

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Hope you had your bowl of ramyun later? ^^
Thanks May

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I meant I except you to send it over ๐Ÿ’œ

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@fatcat007 Kitty, congrats on getting published!

Despite having loved ramyun for a long time, I don't have it all that often - especially at home. But when I do, I love to have allll the fixings. A bit of gochujang, some scallions, and of course, egg! I still haven't mastered not breaking the egg, though. Sometimes it ends up looking like egg drop soup instead of a nice poach. Must learn patience.

Noodlers unite!

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Thanks bammy!!!

Noodlers unite \^.^/

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Ramen is sooooooo gooood! Every time I see it in a drama my mouth waters. Egg is important, too. But even if you break the yolk, itโ€™s still good.

For jjajangmyun, the closest Iโ€™ve had to the real stuff is the refrigerated package you can get at some stores by Pulmuone. I also like Chapagheti but not everyone does.

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Love pulmuone! They also make my favorite ramen

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It is good !
How does it taste if you break the yolk?

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Hopefully you get out of your drama slump soon @fatcat007!

I usually add an egg to my ramen. Sometimes I break the egg and scramble it in the broth (the broth needs to be boiling to do this, if not it will turn the broth into a milky-ish colour). Sometimes I just dump the egg in and let it cook with the noodles.

I haven't ate ramen for a long time. I'm not an avid noodler and I don't usually have packets of ramen available in my house. But this ramen talk makes me want to eat ramen for dinner. Maybe I will. Haha

Anyways..I'm fine with adding eggs in my ramen. But I can't get past adding cheese into ramen. Have any of you guys tried adding cheese or tried any variation of cheese ramen? How does it taste? ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿœ

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Spicy ramen with egg and cheese is the BEST.

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i am all about the egg and cheese in ramen. that emulsified sauceโ€”drool ๐Ÿ˜

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Hope you had your ramyun after this? ^^
Glad this ramyun talk made you crave hihi

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@fatcat007 I love this piece. I think broadly all things noodles are considered junk food in large parts of our country? You've made me want to eat ramyun too, but it's completely banned at my home. Congratulations on the successful experiment. ^^

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Eat some Maggie outside & don't tell your mom ๐Ÿ˜‰

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๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ what evil influence is this?

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I've never been a good influence ๐Ÿ˜ˆ i always help you to de-de-stan things... ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰

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Hahahha that's right. You're kind of jinius that way.

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But the world of noodles is vast and wondrous. It's one of humankind's great achievements.

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I adore noodles. Sadly, my very-rajasthani-food-loving mother disagrees. Noodles are junk to her. On that note, I must say I love your new handlename. Is it, by any chance, a reference to maggie noodles much beloved across India?

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I have no idea what Maggie noodles are but I'm sure they are delicious.

@bcampbell1662 inspired the name change here http://www.dramabeans.com/members/hades/activity/781890/#acomment-781947

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I'm all too familiar with the crazy quest for ramen.

As for the egg thing - I'm an early adopter. I add my egg as I add my noodles and by the time they're ready the egg is perfectly poached. Ironically, that's what I had for dinner last night. Adding egg to spicy food is the best.

BTW, the thing that made me laugh the most in this is the quote by your frustrated mother โ€œjust try it if you want to, itโ€™s just one pack of ramyun. And stop bothering me!โ€.

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๐Ÿ˜‚
I bothered her for too long "should I do it or not maa????" XD

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Woah! That was ultra-fast overlords!
Thank you very much for publishing this ^^
Also thank you for the proper editing ๐Ÿ˜…

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my daughter asked me recently, "why do you make it so difficult to make ramen?" because she said her friends just dump everything into the water that boils the noodles...

i boil the noodles until they barely start to loosen, then i strain them and run cold water over them in a strainer. you will see the cloudy (sometimes slightly brownish) water that the noodles were in? that's the starch and oily residue from being flash fried in oil for packaging...

then i have a kettle of boiling water on the side to use to put half the amount of water back into the rinsed pot with the seasoning packet(s), which comes to boil quickly using boiled water.

i pour the boiling water over the noodles in the colander to heat them up and get rid of the last of the residue oil. dump noodles into pot and add remaining (boiled) water to cover. it all remains at a boil - and the noodles are not overcooked - so the noodles remain in the water for less than 3-4 minutes (too keep them al dente).

crack egg(s) into the pot, gently let sink (pot still on burner), but then turn off heat and remove within 30 seconds.

we (now) eat straight out of the pot, as we've realized it's dumb to dirty bowls! carefully swirling the noodles so as not to break the yolk, i break up the white gently with chopsticks and leave the yolk to thicken a bit while beginning to eat.

after a minute or so, use a spoon to catch the yolk near the bottom - and it is thicker by then, i pop the yolk keeping it in the (chinese soup) spoon and then dip my chopstick grab of noodles into it for each bite!

it is thick and creamy and DELISH!!

yes, it is very fussy -- but i think it's worth it and i'm not eating the residue (sometimes old, bitter tasting) frying oil and excess starch from the noodles...

do not overcook the noodles and the japanese rule in Ramen Shops is to eat it within 7 minutes of being served (i think it's gone in 4-5) such that the noodles do not bloat and flop...

and okay, yeah, i have issues with OCD.....
but my ramen with egg is delish.
*winks*

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You sound like my husband. Making instant ramen is a production with him. Have you seen the Chinese movie, โ€œThis is not what I expectedโ€? The ML is very particular about how he makes his ramen as well!

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i haven't seen this movie, but now i will search for it...

we "fussies" rather like to watch shows about people like us... it just validates ourselves and makes us worse....
: D

but, no one complains when they eat our food. they'd rather not do it our way, but our food is actually pretty damn good....
; )

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Itโ€™s on Netflix. Itโ€™s a foodie show for sure! And yes, although he can be a little like Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen, the food is pretty spectacular, so I canโ€™t complain!

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I just thinking about this movie. I LOVE it. ramen making scenes were so funny. The actors were amazing, especially the lead female. I am not one for slapstick, but she is a human rubber band. Of course I don't recall her name, but I watched her in a couple of other films and she is outstanding.

It is on U.S. Netflix.

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Sheโ€™s at Cannes right now with a new movie! ZHOU Dongyu!

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@spazmo, @ally-le,

One of my all-time favorite movies is the surreal Japanese flick TAMPOPO. It is hilarious. A pair of truckers know every ramen joint on all their routes -- long before GPS. They enlist the aid of an elderly ramen guru to assist a widow whose ramen is terrible. Classic! And it makes me hungry as heck. The ramen "appreciation" scene is pure gold.
http://www.dramabeans.com/members/pakalanapikake/activity/782317/

Bon appรฉtit!

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Tampopo was SO FRUSTRATING to watch when it came out -- in the mid80s?? after watching the movie, my BF (now husband) were just drooling to have a bowl of ramen -- but NONE WERE TO BE FOUND in Seattle!!! just in the last decade have we been blessed with authentic Japanese style ramen restaurants...

so we went to the supermarket and bought instant ramen -- but... it just was NOT hitting the mark!!!

so i've been chowing down on japanese ramen (but have had to hold back, as my favorite thick tonkotsu with black garlic ramen with the soft boiled gooey egg is so caloric, not to mention salty)...

but at home, yes... i must have the occasional instant ramen -- Charumera brand (with the man tooting a horn) Tonkotsu flavor is my go-to late night snack -- but i refrain from drinking all the dashi.

of course, when i'm in Kdrama mode, my Shin Ramyun or Neoguri brands make me feel like i'm sitting on the floor with the characters in the dramas...
; )

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I'm gonna show your ramyun step-by-step to my family. They tease me (bordering on complaints) for being too fussy with food prep but I've got nothing on you. I've heard that thing about not eating instant noodles in the same water you boiled them in, but couldn't be bothered to do it properly like you. T__T

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it actually hurts my stomach to eat the ramen without rinsing the noodles... i believe rinsing lets you enjoy the clean taste of the noodles and dashi/broth...

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Oh, yes, my hubby insists on boiling the noodles separately.

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Cleaning the noodles and not using the water the noodles were boiled in, is the correct way to make ramen. So sayeth my Mother, and sheโ€™s always right!

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That is an elaborate method, but the noodles will turn out yummy. I'd like to try it someday ^^

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IF WE BREAK EGGS OVER ramyun HOW WILL IT TASTE???

NEVER BREAK THE YOKE WHEN YOUโ€™RE COOKING!

While the adding an egg as the final step will make noodle smoother (or slimier), stirring over heat does the opposite โ€” the over cooked eggyolk just makes a rubber pulp and dirty up that soup. So... youโ€™re supposed to crack it in just before you turn off the heat and mix when youโ€™re about to eat.

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I don't mix at all for the fear of the yolk ruining the soup.๐Ÿ˜…
I just drop it & let it be.
There are so many techniques to this, I must look up more!

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@fatcat007, you have convinced me to try egg the next time I make ramen

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Yay.
Do tell me if you tried & how it turned out ^^

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I totallyyyy thought you were going to be talking about shiwon dipping raw ramen noodles in the flavored powder!!! as a Korean it never occurred me to NOT add egg to the ramen. thanks for the insight of another culture! so glad you have discovered the joys of ramen and eggs :). as a side-note: my husband likes the eggs really well mixed. each to its own!

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Haha this concept really is rare here.
People add veggies, cheese, and all local variants but not eggs.
I'm glad I finally tried this ^^

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I love ramyun! I love to eat just those favoured instant noodles instead of crisps when craving for some junkie food. When I don't have one at home I make myself one from scratch with plenty of vegetables. I add some chilly flakes paste, don't use the oil pack instead I use some organic sesame oil. My taste buds don't like runny eggs so l have to skip that one and I love to eat it now with sauerkraut, because I'm sooooooo lazy to do kimchi and I think the nearest korean shop is like 600km far away that is quite a ride to do to get something. My son loves this mommy's spicy noodles, he's 4, but that's a feast food for us when dad's not at home. I add some flax seeds to it as well.

Two years ago while in Ireland, there was a Korean grocery store and I was like in heaven, but had to cut it short because I bought stuff like different styles of bean paste, smoked seaweed, different soy sauces etc. Unfortunately there was no ramyun suitable for vegetarians so I had to skip on that one with teary eyes of mine.

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*drools* ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹
All this is making me hungry!!!

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I've made a lot of different ramyun over the years, but this by far, is my favorite recipe with Shin Ramyun:

In stone pot - fry up some bacon, onion, and garlic. Add the water and spice packet(and I add other veggies like zucchini and carrots. Let it come up to boil, add red pepper flakes and a bit of red pepper paste, eggs(I like 2 eggs) and spinach.

In another pot - boil the noodles until they loosen, rinse and drain.

Once eggs are done to your preference, add the noodles to broth to heat up and cook a bit longer. Then add sliced Parmesan and green onions.

So yummy!!!! Its a bit of work, but so worth it!!!

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I was with you until you said Parmesan. Never have I seen cheese in ramen.

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This post has an easter egg. :)))

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