What a year for movies! Wow! 2019! Phew! We wish 2019 had never ended! (In some ways, it never will! Amazing! Parasite!)
To commemorate the stellar year in cinematic arts, as they do every year, even for years that are less stellar for the cinematic arts, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have nominated a bunch of guys and films for awards, which people call the Oscars! And as we do every year of late, we offer a movie-themed menu for the Oscars! Hurray!
This year, we thought about trying something new and turning this task over to someone who actually watches and likes movies to write up a menu for you all. But, like last year, that theoretical person has a million other, better things to do, so we had to use…me*! Again! This is the fourth year in a row! What are we doing?
*Of the movies released in 2019, I saw Parasite! And The Irishman but only because it was on Netflix! Haha! 2019! What a world!
So gather ’round folks, scootch your butt forward in your seat and bring your phone screen just a wee bit closer to your face: We’ve got a full menu of food filled with bad puns I did not create. And while you may take issue with the person we had to settle on for our culinary pun gatekeeper, know that I killed some truly terrible ones, like “Saoirsheet Ropan Meals,” and that I picked more than a few puns created by women, which is more than anyone can say about the choices made by members of the Academy.
Congratulations to All These Men
Granted, I think ramen is an appropriate repast for any and all occasions and each and every meal, but it is doubly so this year, given the winner of the Best Picture award—to be clear, Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho and the only good movie made in 2019 that I saw in 2019—contains a scene in which ramen figures heavily. Not just ramen but classed-up instant ramen, which the recipes contained in the article below essentially give you.
Okay, a little bit of a stretch, but what if you wanted to serve non-instant ramen? You’d start with picking a broth, whether that’s a clear one or a thick one (chicken or pork), but then you’ll definitely want some chashu, Japan’s version of Chinese roast pork, or char siu. Even there you have choices: Below, I’ve linked to Kenji’s recipe for braised belly, but you could also go the slow-roasted or sous vide shoulder route.
Both methods are pretty hands-off, which means you can spend the two-plus hours it takes to cook them wondering why, despite netting six nominations, not a single actor or actress from Parasite got a nomination.
Pun aside, it’s never not onsen tamago time—in Hollywood or in…wherever—because an onsen tamago is a culinary wonder. The name means “hot spring egg” and describes the way they were originally made: eggs dunked into water a little cooler than boiling for a decent period of time, long enough for the eggs’ interiors to take on an appealingly viscous consistency, one that is particularly great for eating with rice or noodles.
But since this is the men portion of this menu for the 2020 Oscars celebration of men, why not plop that onsen tamago on top of a pile of silky XO mazemen? Men! Who doesn’t love ’em?
You get bonus points for serving this dish because it vaguely resembles the “ramdon”—a nonsense English portmanteau of the words “ramen” and “udon” meant to approximate “Chapaguri,” a portmanteau of two noodle brands, “Chapagetti” and “Neoguri”—in Parasite. (Oh, do you want to make that Chapaguri? Maangchi has you covered.)
The pun pickings were a little slim this year, and as such, in honor of the mess that is the Oscars, this menu will be less of a menu than a rapid-fire listing of the usable puns we came up with. Unfortunately, the pun above, which is fantastic, happens to not have a one-to-one correlation with a dish, so it’s up to you what you choose to include here—heck, you could even devise a whole menu around the wok pun.
But no matter what set of dishes you pick, you’ll want to include Martin Scorsesame Chicken, ’cause he’s a legend and his movie will probably lose out to Bong Joon-ho’s repeatedly, which I guess he won’t feel too bad about because he doesn’t need the awards. Because he’s Martin freaking Scorsese!
We all know that’s not how you pronounce “sopes,” but how funny would it be if we pronounced “popes” like sopes? The Two Popes!
Take your pick, chicken or vegan, but either way, did you know that both the fancy house and the entire neighborhood outside the non-fancy apartment in Parasite were built from scratch on set? Amazing!
Maybe you’ll want some snacky stuff to serve alongside whatever else you’re whipping up to watch Parasite take home every single award it’s up for, and maybe you’ll have, I don’t know, crudités to offer your guests. Skip the bottled ranch and just set a big bowl of toum
Look, you’ll want some drinks around. Sure, alcohol works, and beer and spirits are all great and all that, but you’ll want something a little caffeinated to keep you going through the doldrums of the ceremony, a.k.a. all of it. Chai is good at any time of day, but maybe you’d like a little alcoholic pick-me-up. Just be sure not to overdo it, or you’ll be the wobbly human equivalent of the weird de-aging CGI in The Irishman. (Honest question: Did anyone like the de-aging effect?)
You have a fair number of options for all the other stuff you want to serve, but if you aren’t ending a pun-filled menu for the night Bong Joon-ho’s movie wins six awards with a dessert that features a pear, then what are we even doing here?
Think you can do better? We believe in all of you, so we’re sure you can! Let us know what puns you plan to put out for the celebration of Bong Joon-ho that we call the Oscars!
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