Don’t really trust me saying I like healthy food, and only eat super healthy stuff… There is a bit of a ‘fraud’ in there. Don’t get me wrong, I do have healthy consciousness, but I also like some… let’s say not so healthy food. Here is another confession — I really really really like oriental instant noodles!!
By ‘oriental’, I just mean the Japanese, Korean and Chinese style instant noodles. Compared to the Western ones, the oriental ones are more tasty to me, the texture of the noodles itself, the seasonings… O, o, yes, the seasonings play a big part! One day I was in a Chinese supermarket, there was an English young couple standing next to me — in front of the instant noodle shelves. The girl was saying, ‘yes, but I am looking for those packages with a separate oil and seasoning sachet inside.’ I could not help smiling — she is kind of expert in this type of noodles. :) — That is the reason I like the oriental ones.
I really like Japanese instant noodles, they are much more ‘lighter’ than the Chinese or Korean style. But unfortunately (to me only), their seasoning packages always contain pork elements, for example, pork fat, which is very popular. Since I don’t eat any porky stuff, I have to give up the ideas of having Japanese instant noodles.
Korean instant noodles are also my favorite, but they can be very spicy, so it really depends on your taste. The noodles themselves come in different types, for example, Wudong noodles. My favorite ones are the ‘cold noodles’, although the texture of the noodles is nothing like the fresh ones, but the alternative taste is great. — Again, very spicy, the spiciness I like very much. :)
Ok, coming back to Chinese instant noodles. Like Japanese and Korean instant noodles, Chinese ones also more or less come with three types of flavors — meat, seafood and vegetables. The package contains three sachets, one is the seasoning in powder, one is (oil) paste sachet, and a dried vegetable sachet. My favorite ones are the ‘red-cooked’ beef flavor, and the seafood flavor.
How to cook these instant noodles? Sounds silly, one can just simply follow the instructions on the package — put all the seasonings together with the noodles, then pour in boiled water. Of course, that is why they are called instant. However, if you are not so in rush, you can actually have a good instant noodle ‘treat’ — to actually ‘cook’ the noodles.
One ‘unhealthy’ aspect about these noodles is that they are fried, and have kind of ‘glue’ to hold them together. Another concern is that the lack of nutrients in a pack of noodles, so it has been strongly suggested that one cannot rely on instant noodles as main meal all the time, the result can be shown in the joints, stomach, for instance.
For the first concern, many people suggest that to boil the instant noodles only first, then rinse it, for getting rid of excess fried oil and ‘glue’, then boil it again with the other seasonings. It is certainly a good idea to be considered. But if you are just like me, having instant noodles once in a while, it should be ok, but there is a way to make the instant noodles taste much better.
It is actually very simple, the trick is not soak the instant noodles straight away by using boiling water, rather to boil the noodles first for around 3-5 minutes, then turn off the fire, and cover the lid, allow the noodles to be soaked for further 2 minutes. This way, you don’t get ‘puffy’ or ‘saggy’ noodles, rather smooth and chewable, better texture noodles. While boiling, you can add in vegetable leaves, (or even meat cubes, or seafood), you can also break an egg in. (So the egg is a bit like ‘poached’ style, with seasonings.)
Oh, don’t worry, it sounds a bit complicated, but it is still instant — to be cooked in 5-7 minutes, instead of 3-5. And you get better taste of it and healthier meal. Have a try, you will agree with me. :)m