Instant ramen noodles are known to be a multicultural meal because of all the different brands out their in the world. I grew up eating many different types of this quick and easy meal and as the years have passed, I’ve developed my very own version which I’m delighted share with you today.
One of the first things I have ever cooked for my husband was (of course) instant ramen noodles! I remember as I heated up the kettle, he recited childhood memories from India of a well known instant noodle brand called Maggi and how fond he was of it. I was quite happy as I too could relate with his memories of slurping down ramen noodles. I sprinkled the chicken flavoring into the boiling water and watched the noodles soak in its broth.
As I presented my proud meal to him, he glanced down then quickly fell into confusion and disappointment. He told me that it wasn’t prepared properly and that there wasn’t suppose to be any remaining liquid. Confused I explained to him that there was no other way to cook instant ramen noodles. It was then that we realized our memories of ramen noodles were quite different from one another.
Looking back, 10+ years ago, we were just really getting to know one another. We were two individuals from two very different cultures who were discussing one kind of dish. Though we were familiar with our own versions of the “ramen noodle” what we were oblivious to at the time was the fact that ramen noodles weren’t originally from neither of our cultures.
To me- one of the beauty of food is that it can be seasoned, mixed, combined and intertwined. Regardless of a person’s background or culture may it be Chines, Japanese, Hmong, Indian or even American, the joy a dish brings to any one is what its all about.
Food gather’s people together and with that said I present to you a dish from scratch and a recipe from one culture to the next; my version of “the instant ramen noodle“.
For this recipe we’ll only be using the noodles from other instant noodle packets. The brand won’t matter. It might seem counterintuitive but ditching the factory made seasoning packets will make for a healthier meal.
Mix in more health with one of the worlds greatest super food- kale.
This instant noodle recipe takes inspiration from the popular southeast asian brand- “Maggi”. Dry it may be, but with great taste. We’ll be re-creating it’s flavor from scratch with a masala twist!
MASALA SEASONING INGREDIENTS
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tbsp
Ground Coriander - 1/2 tbsp
Garlic Powder - 1 tsp
Paprika - 1/2 or 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 or 1 tsp (to taste)
Pepper - few pinches
Asafoetida - few pinches
Turmeric - pinch
Serving size - 2-3
Kale - 4-5 stems
Instant Noodle Packets - 3 (toss away the powder packets)
Water - 1-2 cups of water (more or less if needed)
Sesame Oil - 1 tbsp
Whole or Halved Peanuts (roasted)
Chicken Breast (grilled)
In a small bowel mix together masala ingredients and set aside.
Cut away the leaf from stems of 4-5 kale branches. Toss away the stems and cut the leaves into pieces. Set aside.
Put oil into a medium size pot. Add in masala powder and let it heat for about 30 seconds. Add in water and mix. When the water begins to boil add in noodles. This will be a dry meal so make sure the water is significantly less; just enough so that the noodles can soak it up- not more or less. There should be no remaining broth liquid.
When noodles begin to soften, add in the kale. Layer the hot noodles over the kale till the leafs begin to darken. Turn off stove and serve!
You may complete this meal with protein by adding grilled chicken on top, or keep it vegetarian by adding roasted peanuts.
This nostalgic multi-cultural instant noodle recipe is a favorite among my husband and I. It makes for a great, quick and easy lunch or dinner meal! I hope it will bring back memories to you as much as it does to us.