The latest season of MasterChef Australia has been a vibe, especially the 15-minute immunity challenge where contestants — including fan favourite Jess Lemon — had to serve a banging bowl of instant noodles. If you’re on a budget or just need a quick meal to fill you up, we’ve got a flavour-packed list of ideas to help you pimp up your own serving of packet noodles.
Instant noodles are the saviour of broke uni students and anyone who doesn’t have the time or skills to whip up a full meal on a whim. I’ve been there, we’ve all been there so no judgement here please.
In fact, MasterChef judge Melissa Leong’s tweet (below) just goes to show we’re all probably well stocked up on instant noodles, including Aussie favourite Indomie Mi Goreng, so you might as well put them to use and experiment a little in the kitchen. We’ve got a mix of saucy, soupy, and dare I say cheesy, recipes for you to try out.
Very important note: We all know adding an egg is the ultimate instant ramen hack so we’re not going to get into that today.
Before anyone asks, there are no IndoMie Mi Goreng noodles on the table because: a) it was the very early stages of Covid and y’all bulk bought them out of circulation. b) we needed to challenge these talented contestants a little further than the OG. ???? #MasterChefAU
— Melissa Leong (@fooderati) May 21, 2020
Make an easy ramen noodle stir-fry
Noodles are the perfect comfort food, especially on chilly evenings when you’re curled up on your sofa binge-watching TV.
This ramen noodle stir-fry recipe from Damn Delicious makes the perfect non-soupy but saucy, wholesome dish.
What you’ll need:
- 2 (3.5-ounce) packages instant ramen noodles (ditch the packets of seasoning)
- 1/3 cup beef stock
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Sriracha, or more, to taste
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Boil a pot of water, add in your ramen noodles and cook them for a couple of minutes until slightly tender. They’ll be on the heat again later so don’t overcook. Strain and run the noodles through cold water.
- Grab a bowl, add in beef stock, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar and Sriracha. Give it a quick stir.
- Next up, heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Mix in your ground beef and onion, and stir until the meat has browned. Make sure you’re crumbling the beef as it cooks. Get rid of any excess fat.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or until the aromas release.
- Add your beef stock and give your food another good mix, making sure to scrape any browned bits from the bottom.
- Mix in your noodles and combine until the sauce is evenly spread.
- Get it on a plate, garnish with green onions and sesame seeds (optional) and serve immediately.
Super quick instant ramen recipe with fresh vegetables and herbs
This recipe from Pinch of Yum is all about making your instant ramen shine with a warming broth, fresh vegetables and herbs. It’s the best way to bring your dish to life.
What you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 tsp grated ginger
- 4 tsp grated garlic
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 packages instant ramen (discard the seasoning)
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions or chives
- 2 cup chopped kale
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- Sriracha to taste
- crunchy golden panko crumbs for topping
- Take out a skillet and heat the sesame oil over medium low heat.
- Mix in the garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant.
- Add in the broth and water; bring to a simmer.
- Add the mushroom and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and the broth has a good depth of flavour.
- Add the instant noodles to the broth and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or until the noodles have cooked to your liking.
- Mix in your scallions and stir to combine.
- Take your skillet off the heat, add in the kale and carrots and top it off with crunchy panko crumbs.
- Before indulging, put in some sriracha to enhance the flavour.
Instant ramen with...cheese?
Don’t hate it until you try it would be the most appropriate tagline for this ramen hack. This recipe by chef Roy Choi — shared on The New York Times — shouldn’t gross you out. Just remember, you love mac and cheese and this is not too far off (kind of). It gives your dish a creamy texture which many have fallen in love with. Just look at the ratings from 3,700 plus people on the internet. I was skeptical too before giving it go myself.
- Packet ramen noodles with flavour packet
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tspn butter
- 2 slices American cheese
- 1/4 tspn toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 scallion, green part only, thinly sliced on the bias, optional
- Use a saucepan and bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil.
- Add in the noodles and cook for 2 mins.
- Mix in your seasoning packet and let it cook for another 30 seconds.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and add the egg. Do not stir. Get the noodles on top of the egg for one minute and let it poach.
- Move it to a serving bowl, add the butter, cheese and sesame seeds and from the heat and carefully add the egg. Do not stir; pull the noodles over the egg and let sit for one minute to poach.
- Carefully transfer everything to a bowl, add the butter, cheese and sesame seeds and mix. Garnish with the scallions (optional).
Now that we’ve got your comfort food meals sorted, go ahead and do the noodle dance.
— masterchefau (@masterchefau) May 21, 2020
Making pasta for dinner is a common go-to for many Australians. While it can be an easy and fulfilling meal, there are some tips and tricks that can enhance the quality of your creations even further. Let's dig in.