There’s no greater cliche than the struggling uni student who reeks of BO and incense and lives off instant noodles.
You know the type: they took one first-year Philosophy class and now they’re an expert on Nietzsche and Satre. They question How Can Mirrors Be Real If Our Eyes Aren’t Real. They’ve decided money and proper hygiene is for gronks and they’ll live off the profits of their upcoming smash-hit zine, thanks.
Yep, we’ve all met this person. Some of us have even been this person. And if there’s one thing we can learn from this person, it’s that Mi Goreng is a very economic meal that is easily pimped.
While the meal is very tasty on its own, there are a few small tweaks you can employ to make the dish far more satisfying.
1. ADD AN EGG, BRAH
Eggs! Cheap, filling, delicious.
Fry or poach an egg while you’re cooking the noodles and once cooked, whack it on top. The googie goodness will help make the Mi Goreng’s sauce nice and thicc, as well as keeping you fuller for longer, slightly mitigating the post-Mi Goreng crash we’re all too familiar with.
2. SMOOSH THE RED AND BLUE PACKETS TOGETHER
Dunno about you, but I’ve personally never strayed from the OG red packet Indomie Mi Goreng noods. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, you know what I mean?
“The blue one is a very different flavour, maybe a bit too different, but when you pair it up with the red packet it makes it palatable. It’s delicious but not without a certain sense of shame,” says David Adams, PEDESTRIAN.TV’s News Editor.
Cook both as usual then throw ’em in a bowl and eat. Double the flavour and double the amount of food which is particularly perfect for a hangover.
3. DITCH THE KETTLE
Then there’s lazy.
And using the boiled water from the kettle to cook your noodles, folks, belongs in the latter category. The kettle method results in a sub-standard noodle texture, it’s just a fact.
For pete’s sake, boiling water in a pot is only a fraction more inconvenient than boiling the kettle, and wields far silkier results. Plus, if you use a pot, you can mix the sauce in it and eat it out of it, too. Less washing up = more time for couch naps.
Like spaghetti bolognese, Mi Goreng is one of those delicious comfort foods that you can get away with lacing with veggies. The sauce is so flavoursome.
Grab yourself that packet of frozen peas you’ve been keeping in the freezer for injuries, and whack a handful of them into the boiling water with the noodles. The result? You’ll feel a little more pious about your shameful noodle meal.
5. SOY SAUCE
We’ve really heralded the tastiness of the packet sauce here today, but don’t underestimate the depth a good splash of soy sauce can provide. It’ll darken the noodles and make you feel less bad about all that MSG.
6. SESAME OIL AND FISH SAUCE
Again, throwing in a few rogue sauces (like a teaspoon of sesame and 2 teaspoons of fish) will give you and slightly richer dish with barely any effort.
7. THE ITALIAN JOB
This meal is typically Indonesian, but its widespread popularity in the western world means there are multiple ways to bastardise the humble noodles to your liking.
One method is cooking the noodles, stiring through only the onion flakes and adding sundries tomatoes, stuffed olives and grated cheese. Whack it in the microwave for a minute or so to get the cheese melty and voila, you have a pasta-like dish.
This will make some folks’ stomachs churn, but tuna packs a fair bit of protein and is good for your brains, which is the perfect antidote to everything Mi Goreng stands for.
Special shout outs to chilli oil tuna. Works really nicely.
9. PEANUT BUTTER
Reddit user PsychoPhilosopher (way too aptly named) went above and beyond the previous tips and gifted us with this amazing satay-slant on your classic packet noodles:
Cook the Mi Goreng noodles in a bowl of boiling water. Don’t worry if they are slightly undercooked, just use the kettle and pour enough water that they’re completely submerged.
Meanwhile, dump all the flavouring in a wok/pan with a splash of oil. Warm it gently and add a “tablespoon” (a very heaped dessert spoon tastes better but if you say tablespoon it sounds more official and less like a fat guy scooping peanut butter into his dinner) of peanut butter. Just throw a bunch in.
Now add the noodles and turn the heat up to medium, frying them in glorious poor man’s satay. A little sweet chilli can help, but that’s another ingredient so if you CBF don’t stress.
Finally throw in a handful of frozen peas, a can of baby corn, or some other vegetable to make it less like noodles fried in peanut butter and more like a vegetarian satay stir fry.
Honourable mentions if you have a little more effort to put into it:
Chicken pieces browned before adding the peanut butter. Carrots either served still crisp or nuked to softness depending on preference. Green beans. Prawns.
10. PIMPED PEANUT BUTTER
Heck, if you’re going to this much effort you should probably just order UberEats.
But, if you want to elevate #9 further, throw in a dash of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), sesame oil and sriracha.
11. GOLD RUSH POWERADE 600ml
We’re gonna go out on a limb here and guess you’ll be making any of the above creations on a nasty hangover from hell.
If that’s the case, the perfect pairing is a frosty cold yellow Powerade.
Photo: Indomine / PEDESTRIAN.TV.