My 100th post, a noodle recipe and thebigfatnoodle’s first competition, called ‘I Slurp for Noodles 2012’
I’ve actually made it to my 100th post. Wow.
It wasn’t necessarily a target I’d even thought about when I started thebigfatnoodle but as the wordpress dashboard automatically tallies it for you after every post, I did start to wonder (I think around my 38th) if I would ever make it to a 100.
I do have a history of starting things that I never finish, not everything mind but quite a few. Like craft work, I love it – love knitting, love crocheting, love cross stitching etc – I basically love working with my hands. I just never finished many of these projects. I’d get to about 98% and either my mum or my mother-in-law would inevitably have to complete the job for me.
I once started crocheting a baby’s blanket for one of our best friends’ upcoming first child. I’d made enough individually crocheted pieces before the baby was born but just couldn’t bring myself to stitch them together. My mother-in-law eventually did that, by which time my friend’s baby had turned 2, and so I ended up giving it to another friend who’d, luckily for me, just had a newborn. I’m not proud of it but I guess after the thrill of learning a new skill, and practising religiously to perfect the technically hardest bits, I’d simply get bored and lose interest.
So even though I never thought it would matter, reaching this particular 100th post milestone actually does.
Having friends and family ‘follow’ you imbues a responsibility that means that I cannot simply walk away from thebigfatnoodle like I did with my other projects, not that I’d want to anyway. But the blog itself isn’t an object like my past projects, especially since so many of you have cared to share in and contribute to its development with thoughts, ideas and comments of your own.
So with my sincerest gratitude, thanks again for stopping by – I am always touched that you would bother to read my anecdotes, comment on my recipes, and take the time out of your own busy days to participate. It’s been tremendously good fun having you along for the ride.
So what to cook then on this occasion???
Well, it’s got to be noodles, right?
Only I’ve been wracking my brain all week (hence the lack of posts) about what I should cook, and I was stressing myself out until it struck me that I was doing the very thing thebigfatnoodle originally set out to avoid – making things too poncey and fussy. So I’m paring things right done to basics today and my inspiration comes from my favourite source of food comfort – my noodle cupboard.
Today’s recipe is a bit of an anti-recipe because what I’m sharing with you is my all-time favourite brand of instant noodles and the way to cook it, along with what I like to eat with it.
It IS processed food, that I don’t deny, but what you may not know is that most Chinese people (and Japanese and Korean and Indonesian etc …) have grown up on a diet of these. They are an intrinsic and big part of our lives, and if you choose the brands carefully, they are not ‘bad’ or ‘junk’ food at all.
What is wrong, and what gives instant noodles a bad name, is the travesty many people here call instant noodles – the POT NOODLE. It’s expensive, foul-tasting and doesn’t even have the proper texture of noodles! I know many people love it so these are my opinions only but I’ve been on a mission ever since to introduce my friends to the huge variety, choice and (wonderful) tastes of ‘real’ instant noodles, at a fraction of the price. Pot noodles cost on average £1 a pot, which I consider an obscene amount of money when you can get a packet of my favourite noodles from any Chinese grocery store for under 30p. Of course it’s healthier and almost as easy to make a noodle or flavour mix for noodles from scratch but that’s not the point of today’s story…
So below is my recipe for making my favourite brand and type of instant noodle. I’m really sorry if you can’t find this in your own country and if people like today’s story, I can share some other varieties and brands that I have seen in almost all of the countries I’ve visited. Let me know.
thebigfatnoodle’s first ever competition, called I Slurp for Noodles 2012
I believe it’s a tradition to mark practically any milestone on WordPress with some form of a competition. Because I know many of you won’t be able to find these noodles, I have 20 packets to give away to 10 people (you get a double whammy) and I’ll send them to any country (as long as there are no restrictions against sending food) so anyone from hopefully any part of the world can take part. I’m sorry if the prize ‘value’ of the prize isn’t a lot… I thought it’d be nicer to offer you something that you could taste and eat instead.
And the competition itself is simple – my husband and I are planning a big trip to drive between Vancouver – Seattle – San Francisco this summer, and I’m looking ideally for the best food-related places between the three that I should either 1) visit, 2) stay at or 3) stop to eat in (as well as what to eat). They don’t even have to be places you’ve been to yourself as it could be based on a rave review you’ve read about or a recommendation from a trusted source. It could even be something you would like to do in Vancouver/Seattle/San Francisco that you’ve never seen or done before but really, really want to. Multiple entries are allowed so you could end up winning even more noodles!
So if you wouldn’t mind, I’d really appreciate it if you could tell your fellow bloggers, friends and family about this competition too or mine them for ideas. I didn’t design I Slurp for Noodles 2012 to drive people to my blog but because I genuinely need to start planning our holidays and could really do with some help, LOL!
Deadline: Sunday, 12 February 2012
Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it as a comment in this post (titled: I Slurp for Noodles 2012)
Send your recommendations (ideally with addresses) and why you think they’re great (in under 50 words) and the 10 suggestions that make it into our itinerary get the noodles.
And when I eventually write up my story, you’ll get a second plug then as I’ll include your original 50 word recommendation and links back to your blog if you’re part of the blogging community.
You win, I win, everybody wins! 🙂
Lots of love
Mi Goreng Instant Noodles – with a fried egg garnished with chilli, garlic and spring onions
My favourite brand of instant noodles is made by an Indonesian brand called Indomie. The type (as they have many different flavours) is the Mi Goreng flavour – which in Indonesian literally translates into fried noodles. it takes 2 minutes to prepare, and the beauty of it is that you can garnish it with anything. It tastes brilliant on its own but depending on whether I have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, I just change the toppings to suit what time I’m eating it.
This is a ‘dry’ noodle, in that it isn’t made with a soup base. I’ll share my favourite soup-based instant noodles another day…
In a pan of boiling water (about 2 cups of boiling water), cook the noodles on high heat. The packet normally says 3 mins but I rarely cook mine for more than 2 mins because, like with pasta, I like mine with a touch of bite.
While your noodles are cooking, grab a bowl and pour the contents of the sachets provided into it – these consist of the flavouring mix, fried shallots, sweet soy and onion/garlic flavoured oil (don’t add the chilli sauce if you can’t take spicy food).
Drain your cooked noodles and pour them into the bowl with the flavouring mixes. Mix well to ensure all the noodles are evenly coated.
For breakfast, I normally like to fry an egg in a tablespoon of really, really hot vegetable oil, sunny-side up (you need really hot oil to make the edges get really crispy). I’ll place the egg on top of the noodles and then quickly fry some chilli (1 tablespoon fresh chilli de-seeded), spring onions (1½ tablespoons) and half a thinly sliced clove of garlic. It takes 30 secs to fry the chilli, garlic and spring onions before sprinkling them over your noodles and egg.
You can pretty much put whatever topping you want on these noodles.