Five ways to spice up your instant noodle game
Sick of eating the same old instant noodles? Here are some unconventional ways to turn ordinary noodles extraordinary.
Imagine this, you’ve somehow forgotten to buy dinner and it’s now 11pm and all the stores around are closed. You consider ordering delivery but your total for a bowl of noodles suddenly jumps to $12 at checkout.
You look to your kitchen and sigh as you reach for the same packet of instant noodles. Again.
While instant noodles can get pretty repetitive (even the famed Indomie isn’t safe!), we’ve found a few ways to spice the dish up.
Some of these ideas may seem a little unorthodox but, trust me, they’re definitely worth a try.
1. Peanut butter and honey in Samyang noodles
I know, I know. Peanut butter? I thought the same when I first heard about it as well. The idea of mixing something with the consistency of peanut butter and noodles just seems so foreign.
But hear me out. The peanut butter lends the normally dry noodles a nice creamy texture, while the honey provides a hint of sweetness to the fiery spice of the Samyang noodles.
Adding some seaweed flakes on top also gives a good crunch and small bursts of flavour. The end product? A creamy, delicious instant noodle dish bursting with umami.
While I chose to use Samyang spicy noodles, any spicy noodle should do the trick here. If you lack honey, syrup will do the job just fine.
Boil the noodles until they are about three quarters done before draining them, leaving in a small amount of water. From here, set the heat on low, empty the flavour sachet and add in one tablespoon of peanut butter followed by a few drops of honey.
End off by sprinkling some seaweed flakes over and enjoy!
2. Tuna-mayo in Samyang
Another spicy noodle hack, this time with some slightly less controversial ingredients. If you have ready-made tuna-mayo, feel free to simply place a generous amount on top of your spicy noodles.
This is a good combination for those who love spicy food but don’t have much of a tolerance as the taste of the mayonnaise offsets the spice from the noodles. The onions provide a nice difference in texture while the tuna fulfils your protein needs.
To make homemade tuna-mayo, you will require canned tuna chunks, mayonnaise and onions. All you have to do is mix one can of tuna with four tablespoons of mayonnaise and briefly fry half a diced onion before placing it on top of your spicy noodles.
3. Miso ramen
Want a quick healthy way to enjoy some instant noodles? Substitute the flavour packet for a scoop of miso and some dashi stock for some gut-friendly ramen.
It tastes exactly like what you would expect it to taste like: Miso.
To prepare, you need dashi stock and miso paste. While smaller supermarkets might not carry them, larger ones will for sure. If all else fails, a trip down to your nearest Daiso or Don Don Donki will do the trick.
Cook the noodles as usual while replacing the flavour sachet with a scoop of miso and one sachet of powdered dashi stock. I decided to jazz it up further by adding in some seaweed and a soft boiled egg.
4. Cheese, egg and butter soup ramen
What better way to follow up the healthiest choice on this list with perhaps the most sinful one! The cheese, egg and butter soup ramen is for when you really feel like you deserve a treat and can afford a small boost in cholesterol levels.
The butter and cheese present an interesting combination of flavours and gives the soup a slightly thicker consistency. You can choose any flavour for the instant noodles, but I found that Myojo’s curry flavour works pretty well.
Adding in spring onion also gives a nice crunch and bursts of sweetness to counteract all the other savoury ingredients.
To prepare, you need two slices of American cheese, one large egg, one teaspoon of butter and some spring onions. Cook your noodles as usual, including the seasonings, until it is about halfway done. Then crack the egg into the pot and constantly baste it to get it to cook slowly.
Next, add in the cheese and butter and let the cheese melt completely. At this point, sprinkle some spring onions over your noodles before letting it cool.
5. Garlic smoked duck Indomie
For when you want to give your noodles an extremely Southeast Asian vibe, pan fry some slices of smoked duck along with some garlic and ginger.
The mixture of the oil from the Indomie and the duck’s fat complement each other nicely while the garlic and ginger give off an extremely fragrant aroma.
To prepare, you need some slices of smoked duck, three cloves of garlic and ginger to taste. Any type of dry noodle would work fine but Indomie is my personal favourite. The duck is a good choice of meat due to the flavour from its fat but otherwise, it’s down to preference.
While your noodles are boiling, grab a frying pan and mix the flavour seasonings there. After your noodles have finished boiling, mix it in with the sauce in the frying pan before transferring it to another plate.
In the same frying pan, throw in your garlic, ginger and duck for about two to three minutes before serving with the noodles.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you level up your instant noodle game – and trust me on the peanut butter one. It’s my favourite.