Recently I’m hooked onto a Korean variety show known as Appa Oidga (아빠, 어디가), which translates to Dad, Where Are We Going? The show features 5 celebrity fathers bringing their child, ranging from 6 years old to 10 years old, to a 2-days-1-night vacation to various parts of Korea (mainly to rural areas like villages). This show explores the relationships between the fathers and their kids – as these fathers are usually busy at work, they don’t have much time to spend with their kids, so this variety show gives them the opportunity to interact, converse, understand and build-up bonds.
What I really like about this show is that it is largely unscripted. There is no way you can predict how the kids will react under different circumstances and as kids, they do not know what it really means to be tactful, so sometimes the things they say are very direct but they actually do not mean any harm. The interaction and conversations between and among the fathers and kids are very real, and can be funny, heart-warming and touching all at the same time!
So what does this show have to do with this dish?
During one episode, the fathers are required to do a cooking showdown by preparing a dish that would appeal to the kids most. One of the fathers combined two different types of instant noodles – jjapaghetti (짜파게티) and neoguri (너구리) – together into one dish. He used jjapa from jjapaghetti (짜파게티) and guri from neoguri (너구리) and called the final dish jjapaguri (짜파구리). Being instant noodles, the dish was a hit with all the kids and the father won the cooking showdown. What made this dish so popular is that the scenes where the kids (especially Yoon-Hoo) are devouring the noodles were so cute and loveable!
Jjapaghetti (짜파게티) is actually black bean sauce noodles served dry, while neoguri (너구리) is noodles in a spicy soup base with kombu, or known as kelp.
I try not to eat instant noodles because they are unhealthy and are made with I-don’t-know-what, but when the kids are eating it, it looked so delicious that I want to try it! And here’s how to make it!
|1) Add the noodles into hot boiling water.
|2) Add in the dried vegetables packets and the kelp.
|3) Drain the noodles when they're cooked.
|4) Add in all the jjapaghetti powder.
|5) Add in some neoguri powder.
|6) Oil and water and stir them together.
Taste-wise it’s just like how most instant noodles will taste like – addictive! I will not make this often as instant noodles aren’t healthy, but if you are craving for a quick meal fix, here’s an idea! If you are making this for kids or don’t take spiciness very well, go easy on the neoguri powder as it can get pretty spicy. I accidentally added too much neoguri powder and I had to keep a large cup of water next to me while I wolf down the noodles 😉
- 1 packet jjapaghetti, 짜파게티
- 1 packet neoguri, 너구리
- Side dishes - eggs, vegetables etc.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add in the jjapaghetti and neoguri noodles and their vegetable packets. Boil the noodles, stirring it occasionally until the noodles are al dente. If you'd like your noodles softer, cook a bit longer, if you'd like it firmer, cook it for a shorter time.
- Once the noodles are to your liking, reserve 125 ml (1/2 cup) of cooking water. Drain the noodles and return it back to the pot. Add in all of the jjapgaghetti sauce, 1/4 of the neoguri powder, all of the oil and 60 ml (1/4 cup) of the cooking water. Toss it together and add in more cooking water, spoonful by spoonful until the sauce coats the noodle well. Taste and add more neoguri powder if desired.
- Serve immediately with the side dishes. For me, I chose to serve it with poached eggs!