I am a worldly woman of much class, which is why one of my favourite things about travelling is seeing what the local talent at international McDonald’s have to offer, particularly in terms of dipping sauces and McFlurry options.
I’ve dined on Cadbury McFlurries in England and dipped my nuggets in La Sauce Curry in France, but these instant noodle-flavoured “Shake Shake” fries from Hong Kong are something truly special.
When it comes to chips, fast food establishments do it best. It’s not that they use the freshest potatoes (they don’t), or that they have some secret seasoning (it’s salt), or even the fact that they deep fry (it’s a good tactic, but not necessary). The secret, my friends, is that they’re double cooked.
The fries are a collaboration with Nissin — the Cup o’ Noodles/Top Ramen people — and they are exactly what they sound like: McDonald’s french fries seasoned with instant noodle powder.
Rather than coat entire batches of fries with savoury seasoning blend, the powder comes in a separate pouch, along with a bag for shaking to ensure the seasoning is evenly distributed (hence the name).
Unlike most of the international fast food I have tried, it’s something that’s easily replicated at home. Just order some fries — or make them yourself — then sprinkle on your favourite packet of instant noodle seasoning which, if you are anything like me, you already have a collection of.
You can even match your frying oil to your seasoning. If, for instance, you are fan of cooking your fries in schmaltz, try the chicken flavour, or shake beef tallow fries some with the beef powder (this, sadly, does not work with prawn, as there is no such thing as prawn fat).
Also, I don’t see why we have to stop at fries — why not apply the seasoning to potatoes? Instant noodle-seasoned hash browns topped with a runny egg sound pretty good, as does instant noodle-seasoned mashed potatoes.
Just don’t shake the mashers in a paper bag. That won’t end well.