So it’s Monday, I know, but it doesn’t mean this recipe can’t keep still be of use. As mentioned in my previous post, I survived for almost 2 months on various presentations of the same dish – instant noodles. Below I will chart 3 of the best and easiest ways to make noodles still appear edible after the umpteenth time of consumption. But first, a shopping list.
Considering Broke Friday Meals are for just that – Broke People at the end of a working week, all the ingredients i’ll be listing should be within any good supermarkets basic range. Of course if you have more money to spend you might just do that and be more ethical in your shopping, but if you’re scraping pennies, these menus should help you to at least subsist.
- 1 packet of Instant Noodles (I prefer Koka which should cost about 20p per packet, but you can get basics for 11p).
- Some remnants of an onion or a leek – you don’t need much
- 1 egg ( you can get a pack of 6 for under £2 which means 1 egg should = 30p or so)
- Tin of mackerel/sardines/tuna – again should be around the 99p mark and it’s good protein
- mushrooms and sweet peppers (these could be half dead leftovers, or fresh basics, which puts it at around the £2 mark – a pack of mushrooms is around £1 and a pack of 6 sweet peppers is around 80p-£1).
Basic should be no more than 50p in total. If you want added ingredients you’re looking at a split cost (you won’t use e.g. every pepper in the packet) of around £1.50
Miso Noodles Method (Noodle Soup):
- Place noodles in a bowl with the sachet of seasoning (if no sachet, improvise with All Purpose Seasoning, Salt, Black Pepper and/or Curry Powder)
- Boil some water in a kettle
- Pour water over noodles until it is just covering (if you want it extra soupy add more water, but be aware the flavour will be reduced).
- Place a lid over bowl, wait till noodles are soft.
- Time: 5mins max
- If no kettle, do the same thing in a pot and leave on stove for appx 5mins also
- Place noodles in bowl with seasoning and water just covering
- Place bowl in Microwave for 6mins
- Water should be absorbed leaving hot, well seasoned noodles
- Time: 6mins max
- If no microwave, do the same thing in a pot, just use a little less water so it absorbs faster without becoming mush
Broke Bibimbap Method (stolen from the exquisite Korean dish, Bibimbap):
- Fry onion/leek leftovers with a little bit of oil (if no oil use water until onions/leeks are soft).
- Add peppers, mushrooms and seasoning
- Boil noodles in a separate pot/microwave/kettle and bowl
- When noodles are soft add to frying pan (try not to add the water with it)
- Sprinkle seasoning over the concoction
- Add fish/meat supplements if you so wish/have
- Once cooked through (noodles should start sticking to the bottom of the pan), crack egg over the stir fry. Leave to fry a little (depending on how much you fear salmonella), then transfer to plate/bowl
- Should take 10-15mins max
Now that you know the basics, there’s a wide variety of meals you can make depending on what’s at your disposal. You can also add vegetables to the Miso Soup or Microwave-Fry extra, or boil an egg separately and add to either of the dishes – you get the idea, go experiment. You can also find your perfect softness point for noodles, whether it’s closer to al-dente or more like pulp.
Don’t ever presume this is the authentic way to either cook or eat noodles of any kind. Once you have money treat yourself to some authentic Korean, Chinese, Japanese or Singaporean food and savour the quality of their cuisine whilst apologising for butchering it in your poverty. But while your poverty remains, this is a cheaper (and to all accounts far healthier and faster) form of consumption than the £5 McD meal, even with the extra burger from student discount, or the sandwiches, or baguettes or w/e else you might wish to buy. It is also surprisingly filling either with the Miso Soup form (hot water fills you up quickly) or in the stir fry form as noodles swell.
Got a better way of making Instant Noodles tasty, put it in the comments section below.