I’m not a master chef, nor am I a MasterChef master. I am, however, pretty handy with a pack of instant noodles, to the point where I’ve acquired a suite of tips, tricks, and quietly desperate shortcuts to boost the quality of supermarket staples. You can tone down the spice of Nongshim Shin Ramyun by boiling the stock base for an extra minute before adding the noodles, for example. You can also top a Nissin noodle bowl – the sesame oil variant, if you can find it – with fried shallots, creating a quick, easy, and comforting sodium bomb.
When MasterChef: Back To Win revealed its celebration of instant noodles last night, I was intrigued. That interest vanished as I clocked the table, as it appeared the producers made an unforgivable error: you can’t pretend to elevate instant noodles without recognising the undisputed king, Indomie Mi Goreng. There isn’t enough space here for me to lay out my case. If you know, you know.
— masterchefau (@masterchefau) May 21, 2020
Thankfully, judge Melissa Leong clarified that omission last night. It wasn’t a lack of taste or good sense which kept IndoMie from the table, she said. It was us.
The episode was filmed “a the very early stages” of the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia, she said. “And y’all bulk bought them out of circulation.”
Adding her own acknowledgement of the snack’s king status, Leong said, “We needed to challenge these talented contestants a little further than the OG.”
Before anyone asks, there are no IndoMie Mi Goreng noodles on the table because: a) it was the very early stages of Covid and y’all bulk bought them out of circulation. b) we needed to challenge these talented contestants a little further than the OG. ???? #MasterChefAU
— Melissa Leong (@fooderati) May 21, 2020
Fair enough. My bad, folks.
While Jess Liementara and Poh Ling Yeow left the challenge with the best results, I’d argue you don’t need to extend yourselves that far to craft a decent feed. Just don’t add the seasoning sachets after you’ve plated the noodles, and you’ll be fine.