How to Transform a Bowl of Instant Noodles

Instant noodles are a hungry man’s best friend. Whether you’re in the mood for a midnight snack or a substantial meal, instant noodles can always fill the spot. Ready in two minutes, Asian instant noodles are one of the quickest meals to prepare. However, noodles alone can be a little one-dimensional. Try these easy tips to turn a simple snack into a flavorful, nutrition-packed meal.

1. Add protein

Boil a packet of instant noodles for two minutes and you’ve got a ready meal at hand. However, it would be more substantial if you added some protein to your simmering pot of instant noodles. Try adding an egg or some ready-cooked sausages to the pot of boiling water or even some strips of leftover meat from last night’s dinner. Whether it’s some fish balls or my personal favorite, frozen dumplings, adding some protein to your instant noodles will instantly transform your snack into a meal.

2. Add vegetables

A balanced meal isn’t complete with some greens so throw a handful of vegetables into your pot. Instant noodles cook very fast, so go with leafy greens or bean sprouts that have similarly short cooking times.

3. Add spice

Instant noodles usually come with their own spice packet but sometimes the flavor kick just isn’t enough. Adding a bit of your own spices will help to jazz up a plain bowl of instant noodles. Being an Asian dish, more “western” herbs like oregano or rosemary are unlikely to work with instant noodles. However, you can try adding a bit of heat to your noodles with some dried chili flakes. Thai tom yam paste also goes very well with instant noodles – simply add a spoonful of the spicy and sour paste to your pot of noodles.

4. Go dry

Instant noodles are typically served in a bowl of soup. However, you can always choose to go dry to get the most flavor out of your soup seasoning. Simply blanch the noodles in a pot of water, drain them in a colander, then toss the noodles with the contents of the spice packet. Alternatively, add a dash of sesame oil and dark soy sauce to your noodles in place of the seasoning packet and serve with blanched vegetables and maybe some leftover Chinese roast pork.

Instant noodles can make a light snack or even a substantial meal depending on how many packets you use and how many extras you add to your bowl. Have some fun, experiment a little, and see how you can transform a bowl of instant noodles into a deliciously satisfying meal.