DIY instant Chinese noodle soup

March 13, 2015

Trying to save a bit of money by looking at what you're eating can sometimes go awry. Simply buying cheaper stuff is a quick fix, but often the cheaper stuff is lacking in quality, flavour and any descent nutrition.

Rather than thinking about the cost of your grocery bill, think about what that grocery bill buys you.

If your $60 grocery bill buys you six frozen pizzas you've got about a week's worth of pretty shitty dinners, you'll be forking our for lunches on the go and probably snacking on whatever is in arms length if you've skipped out on breakfast.

But if your $100 grocery bill buys you a a couple of weeks worth of healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners plus some store cupboard items that will be part of meals for the coming month or months such as soy sauce, stock cubes, rice etc, then it represents pretty good value.

Your total spend in the first place might seem like a bit of a smack in the wallet but given what you're getting for your cash it by far and above the 'cheaper' way to eat.

The other enemy of money saving when it comes to food is the convenience factor, it might seem like a chore to make up your lunch in the morning when it's all you can do to shovel coffee into a filter, or the night before when quite honestly making tomorrow's lunch would get in the way of your wine drinking, but it really doesn't have to be if what you're making is quick and keeps for more than one night.

This is the posh pot noodle for you British readers.

Ingredients per serving: 

handful of rice noodles- get the flat thin ones
half a low sodium chicken/vegetable stock/bouillon cube
1 garlic clove
1/2 inch cubed pice of ginger- like, half a ping pong ball
1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
a splash of sesame oil
chili sauce to your taste preference
1 chopped scallion/spring onion


First off, this might seem like a lot of salt/sodium in one portion. This is why you really should use the low sodium varieties of soy sauce and stock cubes, they aren't any more expensive and are better for you. Half a low sodium stock cube and 1 teaspoon of low sodium soy sauce gives you less than 1 gram of salt, it's recommended that you stick to less than 6 grams a day so this isn't going to put you in any danger of breaching that.

To make up your instant noodle bowl, snap your noodles in half so that they will fit into your container, grate over the garlic and ginger, finely slice the scallion and add it, then pop in the rest of the ingredients.

I like a little kick of heat but if you are into your super spicy soups then splash in more hot sauce.

When you are ready to eat, pour over about a cup of hot water, recover, then bung in the microwave for 4 minutes.

When it pings, give the noodles a stir and check how tender they are. 4 minute has always given me perfect al dente noodles, hot broth and a really aromatic flavour.

Other ingredients you could add to your instant noodle bowl would be:

-thinly sliced mushrooms
-bean sprouts
-very thinly shredded Chinese cabbage
-grated carrot

If your noodle bowl can sit in the fridge until you need it, it's also really good with some shredded cooked chicken.

If you're feeling like you might be able to stretch to a something a little more involved than setting the microwave to 4 minutes and waiting for the ping, boil a kettle and add boiling water to your instant noodles. Pop in the microwave for 2 minutes on high, whilst the microwave is doing it's thing crack and egg into a mug and give it a whisk with a spoon. When the the 2 minutes cooking time is up, drizzle the egg into the noodle bowl but don't stir it up, recover and microwave for another 2 minutes. When it's done you'll have a quick and simple egg drop 'soft of' soup!

If you try it and love it let me know!

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