DIY Instant Noodles That You Can Make Just About Anywhere

Homemade instant noodles

I was going to call these “Intrepid Noodles”, but I thought I was pushing it a bit. North American college students call them “ramen”, here in New Zealand we usually say “2 minute noodles” and in Asia it’s “easy noodles” or “Mama” in Thailand. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about. We’ve all resorted to eating them when too tired to cook or just in need of a bit of warm, soupy junk food after taste testing too much local beer. But, did you know it is very easy and cheap to make your own? You can even, and I know this sort of defeats the purpose, add vegetables to make them nutritious.

These are really great for the first day of a trek, or even later in the trek if you use dried veggies. They are also good for long train rides where you haven’t got a cooker but may have access to a samovar and can stop at a market before boarding. I used to make these in the computer lab at my university when I was there for hours on end working on my dissertation. Really, you could make this in most corners of the world as long as you can access the rice  noodles (noodles, such as wheat noodles, that require boiling will not work). What follows is a dry noodles version, but you could make wet, or soupy, ones if you are using the stock cube.

DIY Instant Noodles You Can Make Anywhere

Here’s what you need:

A bowl with a lid, or some foil, or a plate, or a takeaway box, or a mug you can cover or just something you can rig up to let the water out without losing your noodles. Hmmm, perhaps you could even do this in a metal water bottle ! Perhaps not.

Dry rice noodles such as Thai rice sticks- Be sure to get thin ones as the spaghetti-like thick ones will not soften enough without boiling. Enough to fill your container whilst dry should cook down to be just the right amount.

Seasoning-I make a mix of soy sauce, kecap manis (sweet soy) and chili sauce up ahead of time and put it in a little plastic bag that I can clip the corner off of. It’s also nice to have something you can just roll up when empty, but obviously it would be more green of you to bring it in a reusable container. You need about a tablespoon or less depending on personal preference. Another option would be to simply use a bit of a stock cube or Vegeta.

Veggies-Bean shoots (bean sprouts) are great as are chopped pieces of Chinese cabbage (won bok) and slices of spring onions. You can also just use dried veggies such as peas, carrots and onions.

Toppings-Herbs such as coriander/cilantro, mint or other pungent items will fancy up your dish in no time. Also great are sesame seeds, fried shallots or garlic such as you can get in Asian grocers, and any other seasoning mixes you can find in the area of the world you are in such as Japanese furikake .

Access to boiling water

Homemade 2 minute noodles

How to make your instant noodles:

Pour boiling water over the noodles and veggies and cover for two-three minutes.

Homemade 2 minute noodles

Test the noodles for doneness and drain.

Add the seasonings, put the lid back on and shake gently to distribute.

Homemade 2 minute noodles

Remove lid and add your toppings. Ta da!

Homemade 2 minute noodles

What’s your go-to, easy cook thing when you can’t or don’t want to cook?

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