A massive snowstorm is supposed to hit New York tonight and in readiness I’ve hunkered down on the sofa with a cozy blanket, pillows and lots of hot tea. This is the perfect opportunity to marathon view a South Korean reality television show I’ve been meaning to watch for months now.
The tv show is called “Dad, Where Are We Going?” The premise is this: the show follows five celebrity fathers and their kids (ages 6-10). One dad is a professional soccer player, two are tv/film actors, one’s a MC/broadcaster, and one dad belongs to a popular singing group. Due to the schedules and demands of their jobs these men don’t have the closest relationships with their children. What the show does is send the fathers and kids to rural locations (e.g. small villages out in the countryside) for a couple of days/nights at a time and have them fulfill various “missions” (i.e. pitch a tent, prepare a meal, learn how to ice fish, etc.) as bonding experiences.
A lot of these men have very traditional households where the wives are stay-at-home moms and do all of the cooking, so for the fathers sometimes it’s the first time they’ve ever cooked a full meal. Oftentimes they don’t have access to modern conveniences like microwaves or running water, so the dads have to learn how to build their own fires for heat and cooking and gather water from nearby streams.
For most of the kids this is the first time they’ve ever been away from their moms for a full day and for the dads this is the first time they’ve had to manage the kids all on their own, so all of the dads and kids are kind of awkward with each other at first. Unsurprisingly, that makes for a lot of comical moments. Mostly, though, the show is cute and squishy. The kids are so innocent and genuine and it’s heartwarming watching the fathers and kids bond and become closer through the course of the show.
The first season of “Dad, Where Are We Going?” ended not too long ago. It was hugely popular and I believe other countries, like China, now have their own versions of it too. I wouldn’t be surprised if America ends up making their own version one day but somehow I doubt it would possess the innocence and sincerity of the original. It would probably become something like The Real Househusbands of Beverly Hills.
I’m hoping to barrel through all of the Dad? Season 1 episodes this weekend. I’ve already made it through the first 10 episodes but I had to put it on pause because the show was making me hungry for noodles. In one of the episodes the dads are supposed to prepare a meal from scratch but one of the dads decides to mix two types of instant noodles together for his “homemade” meal. It turned out to be a major hit with all of the children and became a bit of a phenomenon with viewers. It’s not shocking. Yoon Hoo makes anything he eats look super delicious. He always has me craving fried eggs. That kid can eat eggs like nobody’s business.
To make Chapaguri all you need to do is take a bag of Chapagetti noodles and mix it with a bag of Neoguri noodles (recipe here). Chapagetti is a jajangmyeon style instant noodle meaning it’s a soup-less, saucy noodle with chopped carrots, cabbage and onions flavored with a salty black soybean paste. Neoguri (one of my all-time favorite instant noodles) is a seafood noodle soup that’s garlicky and spicy with diced carrots, scallions, shiitake mushrooms and kelp. I was worried that the combination would be too salty because normally the Neoguri seasoning packet needs to be diluted with water to form a soup but it’s not. I mentioned Chapagetti a long time ago on my blog and found it to be kind of bland, so mixing it with the Neoguri actually works well.
The combination of the two noodles is savory, saucy, and only mildly spicy. I wouldn’t eat it everyday but it’s a nice change of pace if I ever want something cheap and easy to make for lunch or dinner.