Ultimate dinner party: Instant noodles, three ways.

Behold, the speediest achievement in FoodHappy history: a three-course meal, made in less than 20 minutes! Not possible, you say? Friends, I assure you that this is for real. I tested it yesterday.

Yessir, while you sat down to Easter dinner, I made a three-course meal composed almost entirely of ramen noodles. 

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Ok, fair. So ramen’s not exactly known for being glamorous (sorry, Monsieur Noodle). But guys, I think we’re making a serious mistake in limiting our intake of instant noodles to study breaks and hurried lunches simply because fashion and food guides tell us that refined grains and hydrogenated oils are passé. If cupcakes and donuts can weather the storm, instant noodles will have their day. I mean, look at what you find when you peel away the crinkly neon plastic. 

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Texture. Colour. Flavour. Potential. Right? 

Right. So let’s get to it: a three-course meal built wholly around instant noodles, guaranteed to impress in-laws, bosses and love interests alike. We start, naturally, with the appetizer. 

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If you grew up in North America in the 80s and 90s, chances are that, like me, you ate this almost every day without fail for a few years of your life. Crunchy and salty, and therefore delicious, this nostalgic snack will take any discerning diner by surprise. 

Here’s how it’s done: Grab a bag of ramen – don’t open it! – and use your hands to carefully break up the noodles into bite-sized pieces (hand-model credit goes to my sister). Next up, open the bag. Find the seasoning packet and pour its contents over the dry noodles. Hold the bag tightly closed and give it a good shake to distribute the seasoning over the crunchy noodle bites. Serve! This definitely counts as cooking.  

Tip: Grab a few different flavours so that you can serve your guests a bunch of varieties!  

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Following the standard method for preparing instant noodles, the result is a classic. 

Here’s what you do: Bring 2¼ cups of water to boil in a medium pot. Add the noodles and contents of the stock packet (and dehydrated veggies, if they’re included!). Cook, stirring regularly, until noodles are tender and the veggies are soft, 4-5 minutes.

Tip: Pick up noodles that include a packet of dehydrated veggies and you won’t have to bother preparing fresh ones!

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Finally, the main course: Like whimsical pasta, only so much faster, instant noodles are cooked until al-dente, coated with a bit of melt-friendly margarine, and sprinkled with the flavourings of the seasoning packet. The noodles of my childhood, these  provide a comforting end to an adventurous meal.                                                                                   

Here’s how it’s done: Bring 2¼ cups of water to boil in a medium pot. Add the noodles (but not the seasoning!) and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes. Drain noodles and return them to the pot. Add 1 tsp margarine to the pot and stir to coat noodles evenly. Place noodles on a plate, sprinkle with a bit of seasoning, and serve with a few sliced green onions for fanciness.

Happy belated April Fools’ Day, friends!

If you decide you have to try this, be warned: you’re taking a risk, serving up something so tasty and terrible. I know – I made it myself. All of it: MSG and everything. At someone else’s suggestion…April Fools’ Day, indeed!

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