Am I the only person that has MSG cravings?
Since I was a little kid, I’ve loved instant noodles. It was kind of banned in my house because my mom believed in healthy food and MSG gave me bad eczema when I was young. She would still stock instant noodles in the house for a quick lunch as she was and had to eat on the go. Sometimes, when she wasn’t home I’d be sneaky and steal a packet of instant noodles and make them the “lazy” way – by emptying the contents in a bowl, pouring boiling over it and covering it til the noodles were cooked. I guess I wasn’t so sneaky because I’d leave those bowls underneath my bed until my mom found them and then I got scolded.
I’m so glad things have changed.
But my love for instant noodles hasn’t. To this day, I always have a package or two of instant noodles in my cupboard for those days when I’m feeling lazy or come back from a trip to an empty fridge. These days I do cook it properly on the stove top and typically add in an egg for added protein to doctor it up.
But there really is SO much MSG that goes into those little sachets which, as we all should know by now, is incredibly unhealthy and bad for you. So I’ve decided to make my own version from scratch that takes the same amount of time as opening up a package of your favourite branded instant noodles but with some added nutrients. Cue in: health(ier) instant noodles.
For my broth base, I used a mix of shiro miso and dashi powder. Yes, I am aware that the latter contains a bit of MSG but hey, atleast it doesn’t even come close to the amount contained in the broth packets! Both the mix of miso and dashi provide sweetness and umami and serves as a real backdrop for the noodles.
Because I had nothing in my house, I had only added a single free-range egg and Brussel sprout leaves (although Napa cabbage would be a much better suit here) and a number of spices and condiments: white pepper, chili oil, gochugaru, and toasted seasame seeds.
Feel free to doctor this up as you’d like – a mix of proteins would be nice, perhaps a single sheet of nori, freshly sliced scallions or pressed garlic… yum!
HEALTH(IER) INSTANT NOODLES – serves 1
4 cups water
2 heaping tbsps shiro miso paste
1 tsp dashi powder
1 brick plain instant noodles
½ cup Brussel sprout leaves
1 free-range egg
chili oil, drizzle
white pepper, dash
toasted sesame seeds, sprinkle
Heat a small pot with the water up over medium-high heat. While the water is warming up, stir in the miso paste and dashi powder until it dissolves. You’ll want the water to be just under a boil to preserve the miso’s beneficial properties.
Once the water gets to a low boil, add in the noodles, Brussel sprout leaves and the egg. After about three minutes, everything should be cook.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chili oil, white pepper, sesame seeds and gochugaru. Serve and consume immediately.