There is definitely a smell of fall in the air and these cooler days are making me think about Ramen or Ramyeon (라면) in proper Korean… Piping hot instant noodle soups..there’s nothing that can warm you up instantly, both physically and mentally on a cold day – warming you all the way to the deep inside your stomach. When I was in college at Ewha woman’s University, I think I had Kimchi Bowl Noodle Soup (사발면 Sabalmyeon) and a peach yogurt for lunch, at least 3 times a week!! The main reason for this limited, not so healthy 🙂 lunch menu was because our engineering department building was at the highest elevation within Ewha’s campus. My friends and I used to joke that one of us should strike it rich and install an escalator going up to the building.. because it was just too &*!# many stairs!!! The closest cafeteria or snack shop was just too far and too many stairs to climb back up.. especially when I had tons of programming homework to do. I also wore high heels a lot — I was young and foolish.. haha
The first Korean instant noodles company, Samyang Ramyeon, produced its first batch of ramen in 1963. Samyang started ramen with the help from Japanese Myojo Foods by importing their machines and recipes. The Japanese version of somewhat bland (for Korean taste) chicken broth really did not do much for Koreans. You know how Koreans love spicy foods. But once Samyang changed the soup recipe by adding Korean red chili powder and garlic, Koreans have been hooked on Ramen ever since. Today, there are over 100+ different kinds of Korean Ramen in the market and Korea is world’s top consumer of ramen based on number of ramen consumed per person.
Korean ramen has come a long way since the 60’s, now MSG are no longer in most ramen and most noodles are no longer deep fried. Even if the noodles are fried, it is fried using good quality vegetable oils.
Recently, mixing or blending ramen has become a popular trend in Korea. Ramen Blending is a term created by Koreans – for mixing two or more instant ramens to achieve a new flavor. This new style of making ramen all got started with a TV show called “Dad! Where are we going?” where singer Yoon Min Soo’s son Yoonhoo decided to mix Chapagetti and Neoguri together and called it Chapaguri!!! LOL! I loved watching the show when I was in Korea… so fun and so heartwarming.
Below I introduce 3 easy instant ramen noodle recipes:
- Chapaguri(짜파구리) – Chapagetti + Neoguri
- Kimbura(김버라) – Kimchi + Butter + Ramen
- Golbim Men (골빔면)- Golbaengi (Whelk) + Bibim Men + Cucumber + Green Onion
#1 HOW TO MAKE CHAPAGURI – CHAPagetti + NeoGURI
Servings: 2 Time: 5 min Difficulty: VERY EASY!!
- 1 packet Chapagetti (짜파게티)
- 1 packet Neoguri (너구리)
- 5 cups water (1200 ml)
- 1 green onions, chopped (optional)
- 1 small handful of cucumbers, julienned(optional)
- Boil 5 cups of water.
- Open dry flakes packet from both packages and add to pot.
- Add both noodles to pot and boil for 2 min.
- Drain water (about half) from pot, still leaving enough water to just barely coat noodles.
- Return noodles to heat. Lower heat to medium low and let it simmer. Add all of Chapagetti seasoning packet and 1/2 of Neoguri packet. Simmer noodles for another 2-3 min until most of the liquid is gone and noodles are coated in sauce.
- Serve with lots of fresh chopped green onions (this really adds freshness) and optionally julienned cucumbers. Kimchi or Danmuji (pickled daikon radish) is a must side dish.
Here is how it looks and it actually tastes as good as it looks!
#2 HOW TO MAKE KIMBURA – KIMchi BUtter RAmen
Kimbura was introduced on Korean TV show Happy Together by girl band Spica’s Yang Jiwon as her favorite night time snack. This instant ramen noodle recipe was surprisingly delicious with the butter rounding out the spiciness of ramen while enhancing Kimchi’s flavor.
Servings: 1 Time: 8 min Difficulty: Easy
1 packet of regular Korean ramen (Ottogi Jin Ramen or Pulmuone Ramen)
1/2 cup of kimchi, cut thinly
1 Tbs of butter
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cups water (follow package directions)
- In a pot, saute kimchi and onions with butter for 2-3 min.
- Add water to sauteed kimchi in 1.
- Bring to boil and then add ramen and soup powder and cook according to package directions.
Kimchi Butter Ramen is Korean ramen at its best. A must try variation with the addition of rich butter which rounds out the spicy flavor.
- 1 packet of regular Korean ramen (Ottogi Jin Ramen or Pulmuone Ramen)
- 1/2 cup of kimchi , cut thinly
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 2 cup water (follow package directions)
In a pot, saute kimchi and onions in butter for 2-3 min.
Add water to sauteed kimchi in 1.
Bring to boil and then add ramen and soup powder and cook according to package directions.
I started out thinking that I will taste a little bit of Kimbura ramen but ended up eating the whole bowl! I almost didn’t get to take this picture because I was so busy eating it. haha
Here is a picture of Kimbura in my special noodle bowl made by my daughter when she was like 10..I’m so happy I remembered to use the bowl in my pictures! Note the little heart on the side of the bowl.. brings a smile to my face. 🙂 Who knew mom would use it for her blog someday…
#3 HOW TO MAKE GOLBIM MEN – GOLbeangi + biBIM MEN
Golbim Men is the last instant ramen recipe. The idea for the recipe was introduced by boy band Shinhwa’s Kim Dong-Won, also on Happy Together (Korean TV show). He says he got the recipe from a friend who went to Paris to attend culinary school. I love Golbaengi so I was really excited to make this recipe! Golbaengi (Bai Top Shell Meat) or Whelk (small sea snail) comes in canned form in most Korean markets. Here is what it looks like:
If you can’t get Golbaengi or don’t like the idea of it (very understandable), substitute with cooked squid or calamari.
Servings: 1 Time: 8 min Difficulty: Easy
- 1 Korean Bibim Men
- 2 green onion or 1 korean daepa (young leek)
- 1 handful of cucumber slices
- 1 handful of golbaengi (whelk or bai top shell meat)
- sesame seeds
- sesame oil
- Cook bibim noodles according to package directions.
- Rinse cooked noodles in cold water 2-3 times and drain. Set aside.
- Cut green onion into thin slices and soak in cold water for 2-3 min. Drain. (See my Chapsal Bulgogi post for more details on how to make those curly Korean green onions)
- Cut cucumber into thin oval slices and then in half.
- Cut golbaengi into smaller bite size pieces.
- Toss cucumber and golbaengi with the bibim sauce that comes with the packet.
- Serve noodles with the tossed golbaengi and cucumber in bibim sauce along with green onion slices. Sprinkle sesame seeds and some sesame oil as a finish.
Note – The bibim sauce is not very spicy. Make some additional home made chogochujang sauce and add for more spicy flavor. Chogochujang (sour and sweet red chili bean paste sauce) recipe can be found on my Korean Sauces Post.
Well, I hope you have fun making these recipes and hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
take care ♥