Tired of Boring Instant Noodles? These Recipes Will Spice Up Your Bowl

tired-of-boring-instant-noodles?-these-recipes-will-spice-up
your-bowl

There’s something special about instant noodles. Sure, they’re usually about as nutritious as the packaging they come in, but they’re cheap, easy to make, and absolutely delicious. David Yew has been slurping down instant noodles for as long as he can remember. Today, he’s helping the world connect with the dish, in all its forms, as Brother Noodle on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

 

 

“My mom used to make instant noodles for breakfast or an afternoon snack on weekdays,” Yew tells Men’s Journal. “Apart from the nostalgia, instant noodles are one of the first Asian dishes to be universally loved. They’re quick to make and packed with flavor, and they can make any top chef or broke student salivate.”

As Yew demonstrates on his social media channels, instant noodles now come in thousands of varieties—some of which are even somewhat healthy. And with a little creativity, what might look like a boring and nutritionally barren meal can transform into the total opposite.

“Instant noodles have a bad reputation, but with the right ingredients, they can be a nutritious, delicious, and quick meal that hits the spot,” he says.

Whether you’re trying to spice up your workday lunch or you’re looking for a healthier, tastier remix of a classic dish, Brother Noodle’s recipes will help you put a new spin on your noodles. Here are five recipes to try next time you’re in the mood for some noods.

1. Miso Corny Ramen

This recipe will work with any instant noodles because it doesn’t actually incorporate instant noodle seasoning. Yew likes this one because it’s easy to make and because miso, butter, and corn compliment each other so well.

“To be a bit more adventurous, fry a teaspoon of curry powder with your miso paste,” he says.

Ingredients:

  • Any pack of instant noodles
  • 1 small can creamed corn
  • 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp of miso paste
  • Salt (to taste)

Instructions:

Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water according to instructions on the package. Dispose of the seasoning packet. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Fry miso paste until fragrant—roughly 1 to 2 minutes. Add creamed corn to the pan and season with salt to taste. Add cooked noodles to the pan with roughly two tablespoons of the water they were cooked in. Mix everything together and plate. Garnish with green onion and enjoy.

2. Black and White Noodles

For this recipe, Yew recommends using an instant version of jajangmyeon, a Korean noodle dish. Try the Paldo brand, which you can find online and in many Asian grocery stores.

He likes this version because it’s a great way to add protein to your instant noodles, and it’s easy to make.

“The contrast of the black jajangmyeon noodles and the egg whites make for a playful dish that can be whipped up in 10 minutes or less,” he says.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package instant jajangmyeon noodles
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp neutral oil (like vegetable or canola oil)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Instructions:

Cook noodles according to the instructions on the package. Empty seasoning and sauce packets from jajangmyeon noodles into a bowl. In a pot over low-medium heat, add neutral oil and egg whites. While egg whites still have some translucency, season them with garlic powder, chili flakes, and sliced green onion. When noodles are cooked, drain and mix them with the sauces in the bowl. Place cooked egg whites on top of noodles. Mix and enjoy.

3. Budget Pad Thai

This recipe allows you to capture the essence of pad thai, Thailand’s most famous noodle dish, with more affordable ingredients and less preparation.

“Shin ramen with peanut butter mimics the savory punch of pad thai, and it can be made on a hot plate in any college dorm,” Yew says. “The strong flavors of this dish can bring back to life any leftover protein in your fridge.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Shin ramen
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (choose a brand you like)
  • 1 serving of leftover cooked chicken
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro or green onion

Instructions:

Cook noodles according to instructions listed on the package. Warm leftover chicken in the microwave. When noodles are cooked, add them to a bowl along with two tablespoons of the water you cooked them in. Add 3/4 of the seasoning packet from the instant noodles package, peanut butter, chicken, and hot sauce. Mix together. Finish with chopped cilantro or green onions and serve with a lime on the side.

4. 2X Fire Noodles

This recipe is a scorcher, so skip it if you have a hard time with spice. While the heat is balanced by the sweetness of the pepper and the richness of the egg, Yew still advises caution.

“These noodles could ruin your plans for a night out,” he says.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Samyang 2X Spicy Buldak Chicken
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp neutral oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha

Instructions:

Chop yellow and green peppers. Add oil to a pan over low-medium heat and cook egg sunny side up. In a pot of boiling water, cook noodles according to the instructions listed on the packaging. In a bowl, combine Samyang sauce and seasonings from the package of instant noodles. Remove cooked egg from the pan and fry peppers for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat. Drain cooked noodles and mix with sauce and seasoning in the bowl. Place fried egg over noodles and finish with fried peppers and sriracha.

5. Nigerian Indomie

Indomie is an Indonesian noodle dish that has taken Nigeria by storm, and it’s readily available in instant form. For this recipe, you want Indomie Mi Goreng, which is available on Amazon and in many chain supermarkets. You’ll also want Maggi seasoning, which you can also find on Amazon and in most Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, soy sauce will also work.

Yew likes this dish because it bulks up what would otherwise be a pretty meager meal. It’s a little more elaborate than the recipes listed above, but it’s well worth the effort. And it’s still super simple when compared to most other meals.

“Indomie packages are generally smaller than most instant noodles,” Yew says. “The hard-boiled egg and veggies transform a small packet of Indomie into a real meal.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Indomie Mi Goreng
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 stalk green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • Maggi seasoning (to taste)

Instructions:

Boil egg for 9 minutes. Remove from pot and run it under cold water. When egg is cooled, peel and set aside. Cook noodles according to the instructions on the packaging. Put the seasonings from instant noodle package into a bowl. Add the cooked, drained noodles and mix with the seasoning. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and fry red onions. Once onions are translucent, add frozen peas and carrots. Add Maggi seasoning to the pan. Add noodles to the pan and fry everything for 2 minutes. Plate noodles and top with boiled egg and chopped green onions.

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