Indonesia started a love affair with instant noodles since the brand ‘Supermie’ introduced them to the country in 1968. Instant noodles have now become very much a staple for most Indonesians. According to the World Instant Noodle Association (WINA), in 2019 alone, Indonesians consumed 12,520 billion servings of instant noodles! The number makes Indonesia the world’s second biggest instant noodles consumer after China and Hong Kong.
It’s easy to cook instant noodles. They are cheap, full of carbs that fill an empty stomach, and loaded with MSG, making them oh-so-addictive! They come in a huge range of flavours and brands, and can be prepared using basic utensils. You can cook them at home, at the office, on top of a mountain, in the middle of the jungle, on a deserted island. They are the ultimate comfort food. With such advantages, who cares if some naysayers claim they’re unhealthy!
In Indonesia, you might not want to cook your own instant noodles – some people believe that instant noodles taste better when prepared by other people! In this case, you can easily satisfy your craving at warungs (food stalls on the street), at some restaurants, or at some trendy hangout places for youngsters — especially in big cities like Jakarta. Instant noodles have become a part of life for many.
The Classification Scale of Instant Noodle Lovers!
Indonesians love to joke, and there’s one that classifies people into pseudo-ideological instant noodle camps. These are:
- Conservative: Those who believe instant noodles must be prepared true to the instructions on the packaging, with no additional ingredients.
- Progressive: Reformers, or those who believe that the noodles taste better and are healthier when cooked with other ingredients such as vegetables, egg, or meat.
- Radical: Those who eat instant noodles in the purest form, that is, raw. Cooking just gets in the way!
- Extremist: Those who believe that noodles will taste delicious no matter what, even when fried, boiled, or even made into cakes, donuts and sweets.
- Heretic: Those who eat instant noodles with rice! Usually applies to students, especially at the end of the month before they receive their monthly allowance.
A more nutritious, jazzed-up version of Indonesia’s classic favourite snack. Instant noodles that are easy to cook, cheap, full of carbs, and loaded with MSG – making them oh-so-addictive!
- 1 packet Indomie soup noodles, your choice of flavour
- 1 handful of green leafy vegetable such as spinach, bok choy or broccoli
- 1 sausage, your choice, cut as you desire
- 1 hard boiled egg, peeled, cut in half if you desire
- Prepare 1 medium bowl.
- Read the cooking instructions in the noodles package carefully.
- In a medium cooking pan, boil some water, and then blanch the vegetables for around 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl.
- Boil the instant noodles according to the instructions on the package.
- When the noodles are done, remove the water used to boil it and transfer the noodles to the bowl. Mix well with the veggies.
- Boil another batch of fresh water (the amount will depend on the instructions in the packaging), and then add the spices in the package.
- Stir until it gently boils, then add the sausage. Cook until done.
- Pour the soup on top of the noodles.
- Garnish with the boiled egg.
- If you wish, you can add some chilli flakes, sambal, freshly chopped bird’s eye chillies or anything which will fire up the noodles.
- For this recipe I used Indomie, a brand that is so popular it has become the generic term for instant noodles. Feel free to substitute it with other brands.
- Sausage can be substituted with meatballs or other processed meat.
Keywords: Quick and easy, Common ingredients, One-pot meal