By Jane Han
SEATTLE -- As the rapidly spreading coronavirus forces more people into self-quarantine here in the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, toilet papers and hand sanitizers aren't the only items they're buying up.
''Chapaguri,'' the signature noodle dish from Oscar-winning Korean film ''Parasite,'' is renewing its popularity as an ideal quarantine meal with COVID-19 preppers adding ingredients for the popular mash-up dish to their grocery list.
On numerous online forums discussing self-quarantine tips and ideas, questions and answers went back and forth regarding the recipe for the popular combination of two Korean instant noodles Chapagetti and Neoguri.
''Does it have to be Chapagetti?'' one user asked on a Facebook group comprised of residents in the Seattle-Tacoma area, the hardest hit region in the country from the coronavirus. ''I can't find the product in my local grocery store. Can I use Zha Wang instead?''
Zha Wang, similar to Chapagetti, is another black bean noodle product based on a more rich and creamy sauce.
For those who can't get a hold of the ingredients at a nearby store, multiple sellers on Amazon currently sell so-called ''Parasite'' ram-don sets, which typically include five packs each of Neoguri and Chapagetti along with disposable chopsticks. Prices generally range from $20 to $25, markedly higher than the price at Asian grocery stores.
On Reddit, a social media platform with topic-based communities, users shared recipes and photos of their version of the five-minute dish, widely known as ''ram-don'' (a portmanteau of ramen and udon) in the U.S.
''Sirloin works, but try wagyu and it's out of this world,'' wrote one user, who exchanged replies with other users on whether marinating the meat makes the dish even tastier. ''Marinating the beef in bulgogi sauce brings the flavor to a whole new level of richness.''
The quick and cheap noodle creation continues its popularity outside of Korea as even fancy restaurants in New York City are replicating their own versions of ram-don.
Michelin-starred New York City steakhouse Cote is currently offering the instant noodle dish with some high-end additions for $18. Other area restaurants including Mokbar and Haenyeo also have on the menu their adaptations of the ''Parasite'' icon.