Have you ever tried a Pot Noodle? They’re something of a student food icon in the UK.
Pour some boiling water on, straight from the kettle, leave to stand for a few minutes and hey presto! Dried noodles and other…erm…things… suddenly transform into a meal for one.
To be honest I was never that keen. I could manage the beef & tomato variety (with a large extra squirt of ketchup) when I was a starving student, but I tended to stick to a diet of toast, beer and chocolate – supplemented by the 3-times-weekly free burger meal from my part time job at a fast food restaurant.
13 years later and I think my liver has just about recovered.
This homemade pot noodle however, is different.
Fresh ingredients, lots of taste, and a shelf life that wouldn’t take us to the next millennium.
It makes a great office lunch – even if you don’t have a kitchen. Bring it into the office, store it in the fridge or a cool bag, then come lunchtime, pour on the homemade flavour paste and some boiling water from the kettle. Leave it to sit for a few minutes, then give it a stir and eat. The simplest soup you’ve ever made!
The preparation at home is pretty simple too. Make a flavour paste using some simple ingredients that you probably already have in the cupboard. Store it in a little tub. Then place your dried noodles, veg and finely chopped cooked chicken in a large mug, along with 1/2 a tsp of cornflour (this will help to slightly thicken the soup). Cover it and refrigerate (or store in a cool bag) until lunchtime.
I’d recommend using dried rice noodles for this dish. The ready-cooked rice noodles are ok, but they don’t absorb the flavour quite as well. Also, vermicelli noodles are better than the flat rice noodles – because they take less time to soften in the boiled water (meaning your soup will be hotter by the time you come to eat it). Flat noodles – as you can see from my picture here – still work well though.
- Flavour Paste:
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1tbsp soy sauce
- pinch of ground ginger
- ½ clove garlic, minced
- ½ tsp sugar (caster or granulated)
- juice from small wedge of lime (1/8 of a lime)
- 1tsp sweet chilli sauce
- 50g dried rice noodles (ideally vermicelli, but flat noodles are ok. They take a little longer to soak, so the soup won't be quite as hot)
- 1 spring onion/scallion, sliced
- 4 sugarsnaps/snowpeas, chopped in half
- ¼ of a red pepper, chopped into small chunks
- small handful of kale
- 2tbsp cooked chicken, finely shredded
- ½tsp cornflour
- You will also need:
- 300ml boiling water from the kettle
- Mix all the ingredients for your flavour paste, and put into a little sealed tub or jar until you're ready to use it.
- Put all of the noodle ingredients into a large mug. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to eat.
- When you're ready too eat, pour the flavour paste into the noodle cup. Pour on boiling water, stir and cover. Leave for 3 minutes (or longer if the noodle instructions suggest so) and then stir again before serving.