I grew up in the 70’s when Suimin instant noodles in those styrofoam cups were considered pretty exotic. Fluorescent pink sweet and sour pork from a Chinese restaurant was world class cuisine and if you had tried Japanese food people would think you were a superstar.
Somehow over the years those magic instant noodles lasted the distance and have now become synonymous with 45 year old men still living at home, singing Kumbaya around a campfire and the last resort dinner for millions of Australian kids with very lazy (and tired) parents. Backpackers can live on this shit for an entire year without ingesting any other foodstuff and they continue to be gobbled up every day of the week.
My kids absolutely love them and request them more often than I’m willing to admit. But given that I try and feed a well balanced kale-free diet at Chateau Far Kew, these treats are few and far between. Recently on a campervan trip to Tasmania I grabbed a couple as an emergency snack. I chose a Fantastic brand chicken flavour noodle bowl. We never ended up eating it in Tasmania because Tassie is full of amazing fresh produce, so I foolishly brought it home (what a tight arse I am) for a future snack fest.
One night when the kids were being total fucking arse bandits and I’d sunk a few glasses of wine just to get me through bitching hour I decided I was going to eat one. The Husband wasn’t home and I didn’t have to feed anyone else but me. I was going to indulge in a little 70’s nostalgia. I boiled the water and peeled back the lid. I carefully sprinkled the flavour sachet on top and then opened up a really pathetic looking satchel of “vegetables”. It contained 3 dehydrated peas and about 4 minuscule bits of dried carrot. Can this be fucking legal? They are adding the bare bloody minimum to make it actually contain vegetables because they’ve listed “dehydrated seasonal vegetables” on the ingredients list. And the taste! OH WOW. It was not very fucking oriental. It was more like an “idea” someone had of what a chicken must taste like. Made by someone that has never actually eaten a fucking chicken. And of course if you investigate the ingredients lists it contains no actual chicken.
I am still now trying to get the flavour out of my mouth and it transpires that Fantastic Noodle bowls are very far from being fantastic.
Another big player in the instant noodle world are Maggi 2 minute noodles. As the packet suggests you assume these cook in 2 minutes, right? Wrong. By the time you’ve got the pan out, boiled the water, opened the packet, chucked it in and let it return to the boil it’s at least 5 fucking minutes. And if you are drunk and dribbling into the pot then those minutes really hurt. Most reasonable people will add a handful of those frozen peas, carrot and corn into the mix meaning that will cool everything right down and add a couple of extra minutes. Then there is the sachet of flavouring with some kind of magic dryness sucking up all the water and making everything stick to the bottom meaning you’ll have to add a few more splashes of cold water extending the cooking time even fucking further. By this time you are well past 15 minutes and may as well have cooked a quick Jamie Oliver recipe that actually resembles proper food. But by by now you’ve invested in this fucking monstrosity and need to see it through.
I googled “Do two minute noodles cook in two minutes?” and found dozens of websites where sad fuckers swap tips on how to enhance this shitty feast. Everything from certain sauces to very particular vegetables and varying cooking temperatures. Somebody even enthusiastically shared his recipe for two minute noodles with diced spam and lettuce. Can’t wait to try that one.
One guy on a forum suggests making a “Spaghetti Bolognese” using an entire bottle of tomato sauce and a whole container of parmesan cheese. And nothing else. He even gives a heads up that it’s a fairly difficult dish to make due to the complexity of getting the water into the pot.
Or you can add “Penut” butter like Aetius who is 47 from Adelaide and living in his parents garage. He’s obviously tested out his method a few times as his description is very involved. He does it “by eye” so he’s a damn well fucking culinary genius by the sounds of things. Heston Blumenthal had better watch his back.
These are real people. Walking in our midst. You probably wouldn’t even be able to pick them out of a crowd.
After spending longer than I should have reading these incredibly depressing recipe recommendations I decided that I would never cook this crap again.
Fuck You two minute noodles. Fuck your shitty sachet of 3 seasonal peas and carrots and fuck your inaccurate cooking time. #poominutenoodles