11.150 Jin Ramen


3 (Wed) June 2020

Jin Ramen


by me

at the cabin

-Changchon, Seowon, Hoengseong, Gangwon, Republic of Korea-

with the Family

Quarantine Day 3 of 14.

After living and working 6.5 years in the Philippines, we’re back in Korea, for good (for now).  We arrived on 1 June 2020.  As required by Korean regulations in response to Covid-19, we will spend 14 days under quarantine.  Fortunately, we have a family cabin, so it’ll be more like a long holiday, a well-deserved vacation.  Even if we didn’t have to quarantine, our new apartment will be empty until our stuff arrives from Manile, sometime towards the end of the month, so this is the most comfortable place for us to be (for now).

We were also given a swag bag of cleaning supplies, sanitizers, disposal thermometers, and biohazard trash bags.

During our visit to the regional health center for coronavirus testing upon our arrival a couple days ago, the center gave us a box of food, emergency rations originally intended for those who might encounter difficulty obtaining food in case of a lockdown (Korean never really locked down), saying that the boxes were piled up, not a lot of demand.

The box contained a couple bags of soup, a couple packets of instant noodles, and a couple microwave rice bowls, perhaps enough for 4 small/simple meals.

Very very odd that it’s spelled “ramen” in the Japanese way, rather than “ramyeon/ramyun” in the Korean way.

Just for fun, I made the noodles for dinner, plus a few other items (not from the box).

Jin Ramen is a Korean brand of instant noodle, made by food producer Ottogi.  Launched in 1988.  In 2019, the brand ranked second in sales with a 14% market share – I find that impossible to believe, as I can’t recall ever seeing anyone buying/serving/eating it, so I would’ve guessed 5%.  (The market leader is Shin Ramyeon with 15% – I find that impossible to believe, as it’s ubiquitous throughout the country, including in restaurants, airports, etc. (see for example 2.033 Roast Duck Noodle Soup), so I would’ve guessed 60%.)

Along with a packet of soup seasoning, the package comes with a packet of dried scallions, carrots, seaweed, and bits of dried meat (not sure if it’s even actual meat), which get rehydrated in the soup to become bits of spongy meat, so gross.   I usually toss the packet altogether and add fresh vegetables.

I don’t remember when, if ever, I had Jin Ramen prior to this occasion, but for whatever reason I’ve always had a bad impression.

That bad impression was confirmed tonight.  The broth was bland.  The noodles were limp.

Not to be an ingrate, I would like to express my appreciation to the government of Heongseong-gun for their generosity.  I am sure that the food boxes did a lot of good for a lot of needy people, despite what the surplus would suggest.


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