That’s using your noodle: An instant noodle review

Instant noodles are the lifeblood of students and the lazy. Maggi two minute noodles lurk in the shadows of most cupboards. But let’s have real talk, they have less nutritional value than cardboard and the three dehydrated peas and sliver of capsicum in the flavour sachet is neither tasty nor delicious. But not all noodles were created equal. I’ve branched out and bought some alternatives from K T Mart, the Asian grocery store. To all the foodies out there, I apologise. Let the noodle off begin!

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Korean homemade tempura udon bowl

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Oodles of noodles! |Credit: my dinner

Look at that prawn tempura on the package! How impressive! It comes with three sachets: dried flake, soup mix and tempura. Surprisingly the soup mix is a liquid rather than a powder sachet. Fancy! I combine the soup mix, noodles and water then microwave.

Whiles it’s cooking, (can you call this cooking?) I open the tempura sachet. It looks like a dried out biscuit or a prehistoric fossil. It has the faint aroma of a sad prawn cracker. I was impressed by the liquid soup base, but this isn’t looking too promising. The dried flake (yes the packet says flake, not flakes) smells likes seaweed and looks like dried grass/straw. Oddly it’s still more appealing than the Maggi capsicum and three pea combo.

Suddenly my kitchen fills with a burning smell. I quickly I realise it’s the Udon and hastily remove it from the microwave.  Yep, it’s definitely the Udon. The container has scorch marks on the bottom. (For those of you playing at home, this is why you don’t put paper in the microwave. Class dismissed.)

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Fossilised biscotti |Credit: Martha Stewart (AKA me)

I’ve got no choice but to use a real bowl. This totally defeats the point of buying an instant meal. I did not sign on for domestic duties such as ‘washing a bowl’. Anyway, since I’m now Martha Stewart, I resume microwaving and OMG it takes way longer than 3 minutes to cook. I give up and decide to eat as is.

I add my fossil and flake. I don’t know if it’s because of the ceramic bowl, but it actually looks good. And guess what! It tastes amazing! Like a meal you might eat in a  restaurant. Well, a shit restaurant but it’s still better than your regular noodle.

I highly recommend this, the added thrill of almost burning down the house was free entertainment. Think of it as dinner and a show. What more could you want?

 

JaJang Topokki

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Brown macaroni and cheese? | Credit: me

Is that the name of this dish or the brand name? I have no clue. What am I eating? The package contains what looks like styrofoam pellets, a sachet and a spoon. Everything on the package is in another language. There’s no way this can go wrong…right?

Since I can’t read the directions I just guess. I mix everything with water and microwave. I’ve learned much since my last meal, the packaging is cardboard so I use a plastic cup. It smells really good while cooking.  But after three minutes it’s clear.  I’ve fucked up. It looks like sad gravy soup. Too much water? I keep on microwaving in the hope it will thicken. It doesn’t. This is a fail.

 

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Sad gravy soup |Credit: #FAIL

I eat it anyway. I wish I didn’t. The styrofoam tastes like cooked Clag. It could be overcooked or undercooked, I don’t know. And this bastard is spicy! It’s so sticky in my mouth I can’t chew or swallow. After a few bites I give up.

I think in a former life this may have been some kind of rice noodle and black bean sauce. Either way I don’t recommend. Instant noodles should be idiot proof. This is not. Fail

 

Um…huh???

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WTF is this? | Credit: me

I move on to…whatever the fuck this is. Seriously, what is this? It looks like noodles with a dried out sponge and a flavouring sachet. Even though I can’t read the instructions, I can tell this is your typical chuck in some boiling water and let sit scenario. After pouring in boiling water I tear open the sachet. The smell of fish is overpowering but I add it in anyway. I use my TV remote to hold the lid down while my meal cooks (rehydrates?).

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Sponge worthy? |Credit: Seinfeld quote

I take a bite. Guess what? It tastes great! The sponge has magically turned into some kind of sweet tofu. The broth does not taste of fish, thank god, it’s more of a beef flavour. I found a couple of chunks of imitation seafood so I think this is meant to be some kind of seafood soup?

You can’t go wrong pouring boiling water over noodles. This is idiot proof and tastes good. Two thumbs up.

 

Conclusion:

The Korean udon bowl is the winner! It’s fancy as fuck with its liquid soup base and has the added danger of being spontaneously combustible. Thrills, spills and tasty to boot. My advice, put down the Maggi noodles and get to the Asian grocery store.

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Miso tasty! |Credit: me (Ignore the chipped bowl guys, I’m poor)

Good luck trying to find it at KT Mart!

 

What’s your favourite instant noodle? Share it below!

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8 thoughts on “That’s using your noodle: An instant noodle review

  1. Okay, so I’m reading this and thinking about the capsicum and 3-pea noodles I have planned for dinner tonight and feeling rather unenthused about it now. Those Korean udan sound much more appealing. I do have the advantage that 3 peas are easy to pick out (peas taste like vomit). But next time I’ll try a more authentic version of instant noodles thanks to your excellent review. Bon appetit.

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  2. As a student/lazy person/noodle aficionado, this piece really speaks to me. Thankyou for walking the path so many fear to tread and giving me a heads up on what’s good, and what’s likely to cause some kind of internal injury.

    Like you, I’m hugely surprised that the tempura prawn survived the freeze-dry process. I’ll be looking out for that one on my next noodle trip.

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  3. This post may just change my life. I feel inspired to head out into the vast Noodleverse to expand my view of what noodles can be. Plus the idea of burning down random businesses with free access microwaves sounds like fun on the side.

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  4. I was once at a film shoot with a friend who said they would be supplying ‘dinner’. Dinner turned out to be some form of nameless two minute noodles that were so salty I had to scoff them down as quickly as possible before running to the kitchen to down some water and Fanta. So glad to hear that at least some of your experiences weren’t as unfortunate as mine because I still have nightmares about that evening. As someone who is always keen for a quick cheap meal, I’ll be on the look out for that udon.

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  5. This is amazing Kate! Thanks for going to that styrofoam clag noodle place, so we never have to! This is making me question my pizza plans for tonight. If only there was an instant noodle delivery service, I’d have been won over. I’m definitely a basic mi goreng kind of guy, but damn that sponge mess has me dreaming bigger dreams that I thought possible! Time to branch out I think.

    PS
    Could there be any practical applications for the sad clag noodle? Arts and crafts? Never give up on a noodle, they are so full of possibilities.

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  6. I’m not usually one to be very adventurous when it comes to packaged foods with mystery ingredients but I do love a good noodle (mind out of the gutter please!). I very much appreciated your punny title. I found the tempura a little disconcerting but would give that tofu a crack. Thanks for going where others fear to tread.

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  7. I only recently discovered the existence of mi goreng and love it, so thank you for taking one for the team! The udon bowl looks promising.

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