3 Reasons Why I Love Instant Noodles

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you think about it constantly and can’t think of anything else until you have it?

I have. And for me, it’s instant noodles.

It’s also referred to as ‘ramen.’ But for me, it sounds like the specific Japanese noodles. I prefer instant noodles from other countries.

Instant noodles usually retail for $0.33/pack for the fancy Asian kind and only 25 cents for the typical ramen at the grocery store.

There’s a wide variety from various countries: Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, etc.

Each will have their own touch of the local taste where it originates from.

My favorite brand is Mama noodles, especially the tom yum and chicken flavor, from Thailand.

Childhood memories

Instant noodles were my childhood food, snacks, breakfast, supper and everything in between.

If American kids like mac and cheese, pizza, burgers, and French fries, for me, it’s all summed up in two words: instant noodles.

Everyone in my family would have instant noodles at least once a week. My family was not well-off, and maybe instant noodles were the only delicious and cheap thing we could afford to eat on a regular basis.

Instant noodles were and still are my favorite food. I think it is one of the the best things that have been invented in the world.

I love the fragrant smell, the delicious taste and the springy texture of the noodle strains. Whenever someone in my family cooked it, the smell would permeate the whole house, calling for attention and appetite.

Sometimes I’d question what they put in the soup to make it so delicious. Now I know it’s MSG. But it really doesn’t bother me that much. It’s too good to be avoided.

Since instant noodles are generally unhealthy and have lots of sodium and few nutrients, people usually add veggies, eggs, sausages and other healthy ingredients to it.

I like my instant noodles just the way it is without any extra ingredients. That way, I can enjoy the original undiluted taste of the soup. I also need to be careful how much water I put in the soup since it can drastically change the taste of the noodles. Cooking instant noodles well, I think, is an art.

How can I resist this fragrant deliciousness?

My unwavering love for instant noodles

I remember when I first came to America, I was exhausted after a long flight and was really home-sick. All I wanted at that time was a hot bowl of instant noodles. Instead, I was given a hamburger from McDonald’s. It was good, but it wasn’t something I was familiar with or craving.

Although I can now afford more healthy snacks and fast food, I still love to have some instant noodle packs in the pantry. They serve the following purposes:

1. Delicious soup for a cold winter day

I can’t remember how many times I got off work and just couldn’t wait to get home and cook some delicious noodles. It’s something I looked forward to and enjoyed at home alone on a freezing snowy day.

The hot soup and yummy taste warms me up and makes me happy in the cold weather.

2. A cheap substitute for expensive noodles

I love pho, the Vietnamese noodles that can heal my soul. However, I don’t live close to any pho restaurant. Taking an Uber just to enjoy it would cost me at least $20.

Whenever I crave pho, I’d eat instant noodles as a cheap substitute for the $10 pho. It usually satisfies my craving for at least a month.

3. Quick meals

Many people tend to eat frozen pizza when they don’t feel like cooking or just want to eat something quick. I just need to cook 1-2 packs of instant noodles, and I’m good to go.

Compared to buying a McDonald’s hamburger at $7.5 or eating at a restaurant for at least $10, instant noodles are definitely a frugal choice.

It is:

Quick: It takes only 2-3 minutes to cook.

Easy: You just need to put the dry noodles in boiling water and add the pre-packaged seasoning. And voila!

Cheap: 25-33 cents/pack

Conclusion

There was a phase in my life when I liked looking up videos of people cooking and eating instant noodles on Youtube.  I still do that sometimes.

There’s something so warm and soothing about those videos. It reminds me of my childhood and also satisfies my craving when I know I just can’t eat instant noodles too often since it’s not that healthy.

I hope that one day someone will come up with a healthy (but still inexpensive and delicious) version of instant noodles so that I can eat it whenever I want without worrying about my health.

I think I’d be the first one to stock up on it and would be as happy as a frugal clam.

Related:

Why We Eat Out While In Debt

Eating out v. Home-cooked Meals – The Dilemma

What To Bring To A Potluck

Why We Don’t Order from Blue Apron

 



32 thoughts on “3 Reasons Why I Love Instant Noodles”

  • I love the mama instantly noodle too
    and I like to put lots of meat and vegetables in it. Because of the MSG and unhealthy reasons, I rarely have instant noodles any more.

    One dish that I really missed was my raw egg congee. When I was younger, I didn’t have any access to meat or eggs. Once I got to Canada, there were eggs in the fridge and a dozen of them. Before the age of ten, I learned how to cook congee by myself, once the congee comes to boiling temperature, I would break a raw egg and added to my congee. I add salt and soy sauce for taste.

    This is the craving that I have whenever I am not feeling well. It’s my childhood soothing medicine.

    • OMG I used to eat egg congee when I was little too! My mom usually made it and put in some green onions and some herbs to help me recover faster. When I’m not feeling well, I just want to eat congee and nothing else!

  • Oh boy!! I love instant noodles (I just call them ramen typically). We were poor so that was a delicious meal that even a kid could make. And we did, lots and lots!
    Those noodles helped me get through college on a very tight budget and I’ll be honest that sometimes I just crave them. Sadly, they have some type of milk ingredient so my lactose intolerant kids can’t enjoy them and I don’t either (I don’t keep many lactose items in the house). But I do have so many fond memories of these and still sneak a few bites when the cousins eat them at the grandparents house.

  • I love instant noodles too. Have you tried eating them without cooking? Here’s a different take on Mama chicken noodles.
    Recipe:
    1. Dry noodles crushed into smaller pieces (Opt for the brown noodles which have more flavor than the of white ones)
    2. Some diced carrot, cucumber, onion, and tomatoes
    3. Chopped cilantro (optional)
    4. A tablespoon of lemon juice
    5. Spice mix (Comes with the noodle)
    6. Sriracha Sauce for extra hotness
    7. Mix them well in a bowl. And serve immediately

    • YES! I used to eat the seasoned noodles by itself as snacks. I also eat the regular noodles without adding soup to it too. Why is it so tasty?!

  • I love ramen. Especially if you add some extras like sprouts, mushrooms, spring onions, etc.. I think my all-time favorite is Shin ramen (Korean). It’s spicy and so good. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to digest ramen anymore. Not sure if it’s the preservatives but now I avoid it but I still miss the taste. Definitely a cheap but tasty meal!

  • I ate so much Ramen in college–my favorite was the creamy chicken, which I can’t seem to find anymore. Now, we always have a box of instant noodles in the house, and we all love them, especially in the winter and/or when we’re sick. I pour out almost all of the water and add the spice pack afterwards, so it’s a super intense flavor. And I cook the noodles a really long time so they’re really soft. Yum!!

  • Tastes really good to make miso glazed veggies with instant noodles! Bok choy and carrots with a miso glaze (miso, garlic, a little maple syrup, a little chili sauce)…delicious! Plus a yummy broth. I save all the veggie off-cuts (the center with seeds of the pepper, the top of the carrot, stems of herbs) and make broth in the pressure cooker. Frugal, unwasteful, low-salt and DELICIOUS!

  • The best one to me is dry ramen go Indomie – mi goreng. It’s like 35 cents a pack and it’s soooooooooo yummy. Do you know the website Ramen Rater? He’s this guy who dedicates his blog to rating ramen. He’s probably eaten 500 kinds of ramens!

  • You’ve got to share how to cook instant noodle well. 🙂
    I love instant ramen too, but it is so bad for you. I rarely eat it anymore.
    My favorite is the Mama Tom Yum noodle from Thailand. It’s very affordable and still very good.
    The cheap Maruchan from the regular grocery store taste terrible.

  • I admit to loving some instant ramen too! My favorite these days is the Nongshim Kimchi flavor.

    That said, the instant stuff doesn’t hold a candle to the real deal. Real ramen that’s been properly made is so much better it isn’t even funny.

  • I think you mean “seasoning” instead of reasoning in your post.

    I grew up in Hawaii where what most call Ramen, would be called Saimin. They even serve it at McDonalds. 😉 I can’t say that I am a huge fan now as it is so bad for you and the calorie count is outrageous, but it does bring back memories. My dh loves it when he is sick, so I keep the Top Ramen around, but just for him!

  • Oh, God! Now I want instant noodles. Okay, I could do without the MSG. But that taste, at that price? Why have I ignored instant noodles for so long? And I love the way Jim augments his with egg, scallions, and shrimp. Thanks for a spirited defense of the much maligned instant noodles.

  • I love instant ramen noodles too, and my kids go nuts for them. We generally make a stir fry with them or use them as a side, but we ditch the little package of seasoning and make something homemade instead (my daughter’s favorite way to eat the is plain haha)

  • I like how you call them instant noodles, much more accurate than just calling them all Ramen. I love them! True comfort food. Also they are great for backpacking because they are lightweight and fast cooking.

  • Seriously, no matter how much fancy ramen or pho I can afford now, I keep going back to those $0.10 ramen packs. They are just so dang good…I actually crave the simple salty flavor more than a complex rich creamy broth sometimes. It’s just simple! And I have great childhood memories with ramen too (also without anything!) I do try to make it more “healthy” now even though I could just eat pack after pack without any added veggies or protein 😛

  • Wow! So many folks from so many countries (originally) and a common theme is instant noodles!

    There’s a timeless brand in India called “Maggi” – now owned by Nestle I think. They have had a “2-minute noodles that really takes 10 minutes to make. We grew up eating them, and now my kids love it as much as pizza. You even get them in the India grocery stores everywhere. We have fights in our house because I wanna put veggies in them to make them healthy and the others don’t 🙂

  • You can even make your own instant noodle packs! (to make them a wee bit healthier :P) I’m planning a bunch of home-made instant noodle packs for the few weeks I’ll be living out of hotels during my next contract.

    A cup of orange peako tea will do the same thing for me on the nostalgia front :’) Sometimes the nostalgia’s nice.

  • We have a brand of instant ramen in Canada called “Mr Noodle” (their marketing department worked overtime on that). Brings back memories of when I first came to Canada and didn’t have much money!

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