For sure, instant noodles are one of the great conveniences of city living. I even consider it comfort food, and from time to time, I love having them as merienda or midnight snack. When I am not conducting training, I snack on these in the office during afternoons.
My favorites: instant La Paz batchoy, pancit canton, and yaki soba.
Instant noodles have very much pervaded our culture that they’ve even become the staple of many families, almost replacing rice or galunggong, particularly for the low-income families.
All things considered, many are concerned about the nutritional values (or lack thereof) of instant noodles. And of course, having instant noodles almost everyday could be, well, a drag.
But trust it to people like my mom, who have always been innovative with food. She would make it a point to add more vegetables and chicken chunks to make instant noodles a more tasteful and nutritious snack. Her innovation is something that I have acquired myself, and would like to write about now.
How can we make instant noodles more interesting? Here are some of our favorite ways to jazz them up.
For La Paz batchoy, I add half a teaspoon of sesame oil, zest of two pieces of calamansi, chopped ginger, and garlic chips. I also add one egg.
To make sure that everything is well cooked, instead of using just hot water, I would prepare the batchoy in a pyrex bowl, and microwave it for three and a half minutes. I prefer using a bowl to remove any after taste from the container.
For other flavors like beef and chicken, consider adding real beef or chicken bits. Canned chicken chunks are now available in the supermarket at a reasonable price.
Pancit Canton and Yaki Soba
I believe there is more flexibility when it comes to Pancit Canton and Yaki Soba. For Yaki Soba, I make it a point to add half a teaspoon of sesame oil, calamansi, and garlic chips.
Other ingredients you could put to jazz up pancit canton and yaki soba:
- Steamed siomai
- Steamed crabsticks
- Chopped mushrooms
- Steamed cabbage
- Mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, peas — you can even make use the frozen ones)
- Fried siomai (Mini Stop sells good fried siomai, and I add this when I have yaki soba in the office)
- Steamed broccoli or cauliflower
- Canned chicken chunks
Jazzing up instant noodles allows anyone to enjoy more flavors, instead of being limited to just chicken or beef. And of course, it makes eating instant noodles more nutritional.