[Updated 22 June 2021]
Slurping up instant noodles is one of our favourite ways to satiate our hunger. Whether you're on team Maggi, Indomie or Samyang, we can all agree on two things: it's easy to prepare and absolutely satisfying. The best part is, there are more ways you can enjoy your instant noodles than its suggested serving. When we asked our HHWT community for easy ways to upgrade their favourite instant noodles, the results were overwhelming! In this article, we've rounded up some of the most popular community suggestions, so do let us know if you've tried adding any of these ingredients at home!
1. Say yes to seafood
Seafood is one of the most popular ingredients suggested by our HHWT community, and we can definitely see why! Prawns, fish paste, squid, calamari, and mussels - the possibilities are endless. Besides that, it's also a good alternative for anyone who prefers to eat lesser meat.
2. Make it healthy with veggies
If there's any chance we can turn instant noodles into a healthy meal, we would. Adding vegetables is also one of many recommended upgrades from the HHWT community, and you can use almost any type of vegetables available in your fridge. You can try adding mushrooms, spring onions, broccoli, pak choy and more!
3. Top it with the perfect egg
Topping off our soupy instant noodles with eggs is one of the best upgrades ever. Whether you prefer hard-boiled eggs or sunny side ups, it gives our late-night snack a punch of heartiness.
If we could choose, we would slurp up our noodles with a side of half-boiled eggs. Tasty has an awesome tutorial on how to cook the perfect eggs every time, including scrambled and poached. For boiled eggs, boil it in medium-high heat, put it in the ice bath and leave it for 6-8 minutes (depending on your desired cooking time). You can watch the video for a step-by-step tutorial!
4. Enjoy it with dumplings
Another way to elevate your instant noodles is to enjoy it with dumplings! If you don't know how to make it scratch, you can buy frozen dumplings easily from your local supermarket. To prepare them, just place the frozen dumplings into boiling water. Once these dumplings start to float, add one cup of cold water to slow down the cooking process. After you're done, simply add these dumplings into your instant noodles and enjoy!
5. Upgrade to instant ramen burger
Making an instant ramen burger may require some basic kitchen skills and plenty of time, but this could be a fun weekend project in the kitchen! Furthermore, you only need basic ingredients to pull off this recipe: instant noodles, ground beef, cheese, eggs, vegetables and tomato sauce - just like a regular burger!
Allrecipes has an easy-to-follow tutorial video on how to make instant ramen burger at home! It may take a while to prepare the 'ramen burger buns', which includes coating the cooked noodles with eggs and refrigerating it for 20 minutes, but the end result looks absolutely delicious!
6. Keep it good with kimchi
With a whirlwind of spicy and sour flavours, there's a reason why kimchi ramen is such a hit among noodle lovers. Having this fermented cabbage or Korean radish as a side dish will give your instant noodles a punch of flavours. Besides that, it also comes with awesome health benefits such as improving your immune system and combating inflammation.
You may be able to find halal kimchi ramen in Malaysia and Singapore, but enjoying fresh slices of kimchi really do make a difference! In Malaysia, you can shop for this food product and other halal Korean treats at major supermarkets in Kuala Lumpur. In Singapore, halal kimchi is easy to find in leading supermarkets like Fairprice, Giant, and Cold Storage as well as major e-retailers like Lazada and Redmart!
7. Serve it with steak
When it comes to taking your instant noodles to the next level, serving it with mouthwatering steak has to be in this list. Aside from that, who doesn't love taking a bite out of a juicy, pan-seared steak?
If the part about cooking your own steak feels intimidating, Gordon Ramsay shows an easy step-by-step guide on how to cook the perfect steak in a frying pan, which is great for anyone who doesn't have an oven at home. All you need is salt, pepper, thyme, butter, and plenty of patience until you can enjoy your favourite steak, whether it's medium-rare or well done.
8. Time for tofu
White blocks of tofu can certainly upgrade the flavour and presentation of your instant noodles. This soybean-based ingredient is also an awesome source of protein and amino acids! Besides having low fat and calories, it also has a range of health benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving bone density, and reducing bad cholesterol in your body. Since it's a versatile ingredient, you can pan-fry or steam it before adding it to your instant noodles!
9. Add fish balls, meatballs or crabsticks
Fish balls, meatballs, and crabsticks are common ingredients you'll find in most noodle soups in Southeast Asia and yes, you can upgrade your instant noodles with it too. Another thing we love about it? It's super easy to prepare! Just place the frozen fish balls and meatballs into boiling water, let it simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat, and wait for it to float. Place them into your bowl of instant noodles and you're good to go!
10. Turn up the heat with chili padi
Bird's eye chili (also known as chili padi) is a staple ingredient for anyone who enjoys spicy food. If you're living at home with your mother, it's very likely that she has a chili padi plant at home because it's also a must-have ingredient for ayam masak lemak, sambal, dendeng balado, and more. The best part is, there's no specific way to enjoy it. Just slice up the chili padi, add it into your noodles for a pop of colour, and embrace the heat!
11. Turn it into Kerabu Maggi
If you miss savouring delicious Kerabu Maggi in Bangkok, you'll be surprised to know that you can recreate this classic Thai dish at home too. The fun part is, you can top it with any ingredients of your choice or anything that is available in your kitchen.
We found this simple Kerabu Maggi Thai Sawadikap recipe from Ariana Sofia Ahmad, and we're impressed by how simple the ingredients and directions are. Most recipes use Serda's tom yam instant noodles from Thailand. If Serda noodles are not available in your local supermarkets, Maggi and Indomie sell tom yam flavoured noodles too. The overall meal takes only 5 minutes to cook, so be sure to try this at home!
12. Add sausages
Widely available in most supermarkets, another quick and easy way to upgrade your instant noodles is by adding sausages! It doesn't take much effort to prepare it too. You can defrost frozen sausages in a microwave or place it in boiling water before simmering it in medium-heat. Some noodle lovers make it better by frying the sausages to make it extra yummy to eat!
13. Cheese it up!
Cheesy comfort food certainly hits the spot, and if there's an excuse to add them, we would. When it comes to instant noodles, it doesn't take much effort too and you can rely on good ol' cheese slices. Wait till your instant noodles are cooked halfway through. Then, place it on top of the noodles and watch the cheese slowly melt until your noodles are fully cooked.
14. Toss the salad
The easiest way to give your instant noodles a healthy twist is by turning it into a salad. When you add vegetables such as cherry tomatoes and lettuce, it'll bring a touch of freshness to your plate. You can also take it further by adding other ingredients such as soft-boiled eggs, crabsticks and chicken slices too.
15. A shoutout to a mamak stall classic
Missing your hangouts at the mamak stall where you enjoyed a delicious plate of mee goreng mamak? Then whip one up yourself using this authentic recipe by Rasa Malaysia
16. The perfect late-night meal
When the clock strikes at midnight and the hunger pangs hit, one dish that can perfectly fill your stomach is maggi goreng. Treat your taste buds to savoury fried noodles that'll guarantee satisfaction with every bite.
It's amazing to know that there are many ways to upgrade our favourite instant noodles. From turning it into Kerabu Maggi or topping it off with delicious ramen egg, we hope it'll inspire you to explore other creative ways to enjoy your instant noodles!