Recipe Review

I Tried BTS Jung Kook’s Ramen Recipe and It Was the Cause of My Euphoria

published Apr 25, 2023
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BTS ramen in bowl with egg on top.
Credit: Justine Lee

If it wasn’t for my love for cooking, BTS would be my entire personality. I’ve long since been a Borahae purple-blooded member of Army, the group’s official fan base. I can’t tell you how many times I have sung my heart out to the songs in BTS’ huge and diverse discography, both at the concerts I’ve attended and, on most days, in my home — much to my neighbor’s displeasure (I am who I am). As if I didn’t love them enough for their talent, beautiful personalities with the faces to match, and how they single-handedly changed the music industry, I adore how BTS’ love for instant ramen simply cannot be denied. It’s truly endearing how even with the luxury to get almost any food they want on demand, every one of the members — RM, Jin, Suga, j-hope, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook — readily seek joy and pleasure in a humble bowl of instant ramen. 

Every BTS ramen moment goes viral among their fans, and most recently on Weverse (a K-pop online artist-to-fan community app), member Jung Kook shared a recipe for what he called “Bulguri.” The name is a portmanteau for Buldak Spicy Chicken and Neoguri Spicy Seafood, the two instant Korean ramens he used to create the dish. To gild a lily as he typically does (Jung Kook is known for being great at everything he sets out to do) he calls for finishing the ramen with perilla oil, a deeply fragranced oil produced when the seeds of the perilla plant are cold-pressed. As someone who has starred in a BTS-themed ramyun mukbang and developed my own recipe inspired by the culinary ideas of BTS member Jin, I knew I was going to have to try this recipe for myself. 

Credit: Justine Lee

How to Make Jung Kook’s Bulguri Ramen 

Jung Kook’s method for making this instant ramen Frankenstein is quite specific. To start, you add between 650 to 680 milliliters of water (roughly 2 3/4 cups) into a frying pan and bring to a boil. Add the full sauce packet that comes with the Buldak ramen and half of the Neoguri soup mix packet. Next, add in the two noodle blocks and boil until it reaches your desired texture (I like my noodles to be pretty al dente). 

While the noodles cook, a good amount of soup will cook down (that’s what you want!). Taste the soup; if it’s too salty, add a little more water. Finally, top with the seaweed flake and sesame seed mix that come with the Buldak ramen, sprinkle with more toasted sesame seeds, and drizzle the pan with what Jung Kook calls “an appropriate amount” of perilla oil. 

Credit: Justine Lee

My Honest Review of Jung Kook’s Bulguri Ramen  

Is there nothing the Golden Maknae can’t do? Jung Kook’s bulguri ramen combination wasn’t as showy when stacked against the likes of other ramen hacks I’ve come across (looking at you, Brie shin ramyun and smack ramen), but the subtlety makes it so ingenious. The pairing of the Buldak sauce and the Neoguri soup powder creates a spice-packed soup that coats every strand of noodle like a chili oil or thick sauce would, but you can still take a spoon and slurp on it.  

Although two of my favorite Korean instant ramens coalesced in one dish is certainly better than just one, what really made a lasting impression on me was the deep fragrance of the perilla oil. Its addition wouldn’t have been a typical choice for me, and I did have to go out of my way to buy it at my local Asian grocer. However, the nutty, slightly bitter qualities of the perilla oil tempered the spice from the Buldak sauce and Neoguri soup mix perfectly, adding a savory edge to what could have merely been a burning-hot, one-noted spice dish. Now that perilla oil is in my Korean pantry, I can’t wait to play around with it. 

The amount of noodles here is a lot for one person to eat, but I guess that’s to be expected when you cook two packs of ramen noodles together. I plan to make this again the next time my Army friends get together to celebrate the next BTS member’s birthday on the calendar, which just so happens to be Jung Kook’s in September. 

Credit: Justine Lee

If You’re Making Jung Kook’s Bulguri Ramen, a Few Tips 

  1. Season with a generous amount of perilla oil. I’m not entirely sure how much perilla oil Jung Kook uses, but for me it took about 3 tablespoons of perilla oil before it really enhanced the flavor of the ramen.
  2. Bulk it up. For me, instant ramen is not complete without an egg on top. But this is your bulguri ramen. Try the noodles on their own, then from there add what you wish. Juicy pieces of steak, chewy rice cakes, and/or chopped green onions are strong choices. If you find the bulguri ramen too spicy, a drop of milk or mayonnaise will help make it tolerable and enjoyable.