Mi Goreng noodles are already as close to perfection as a 60c packet of vaguely suspicious and addictive flavourings are going to get. Improving them is like setting out to make a rounder sphere, or telling Mozart to ‘put more notes in’. How do you improve on such a finely nuanced gastronomic masterpiece? (For the sake of this article, we’re putting aside the fact that instant noodles have more salt than two Big Macs and are loaded with MSG, a substance that will probably cause future generations to evolve webbed feet and gills or something.)
Well it turns out there ARE ways to pimp your Mee Gee (plus ways to eat it that don’t involve the halogen light from an old TV set and the smell of unwashed uni laundry). Some are expected (fried egg) and some are not (peanut butter, we’re looking at you). Here are all the ways to style everyone’s favourite shame-filled meal replacement.
#1 Fried egg
Duh, right? But you’d be surprised at how many Mee Gee devotees don’t bother to add a fried egg, despite it being well known that yolk is the best noodle-lubricant going around (cue ‘noodle-lubricant’ jokes). Plus it’s good protein (cue more, slightly dirtier, jokes).
#2 Kewpie Mayo
What madness is this? Well hey, the first person to swallow an oyster or drink the white stuff that comes out of cows was probably considered a bit skewiff, so don’t knock it til you try it. The trick here is to make a regular batch of Mee Gee (sans soup), pop it in a jaffle, squeeze in some kewpie mayo and toast in a regular jaffle iron. Sounds weird, but we promise it works.
#3 Peanut Butter
This one comes from Reddit user PsychoPhilosopher, so we can’t take full credit. It’s essentially a (very) budget satay sauce. He/she advises to cook the noodles in boiling water as per normal, then in a pan, heat the various Mee Gee accouterment plus one heaped tablespoon of peanut butter. Add the noodles and stir-fry. Add peas or sweetcorn to taste. Voila...suspicious packet noodle satay.
#4 Sesame Oil
Anyone who’s tried the (slightly more expensive) Instant Tonkotsu Noodles knows that sesame oil is basically noodle crack. Add a few precious drops and your mouth will do that thing that Matt Preston’s does when it gets within 10-ft of a chocolate volcano fondant.
#5 Tahini Paste
Similar to the sesame oil tip, but with an added level of creaminess. You can adjust said creaminess depending on how much you love tahini (we love it a lot, so bring on the dessert spoons). Just make a regular batch of Mi Goreng and stir through tahini as your final step. Delish.
#6 Canned Tuna
We’re getting into Uni Student Gastronomical Experimentation here. Two of the supermarkets most energy-dense, cost-effective foods, together at last. Fair to say this one isn’t traditional, the tuna does combine with the Mi Goreng for some truly epic bad breath, but it’s probably closer to an actual meal than the packet flying solo (those dried onion bits aren’t very filling).
Any Michelin-starred gastronome knows that you increase the deliciousness of anything by adding Sriracha (the God Condiment), and Mee Gee falls within the scope of ‘anything’ (broadly). Mi Goreng comes with its own hot sauce, of course (a fiery red thing that we’ve all wiped in our eye at some point) but the Sriracha gives the whole combo an extra sweet zing.
So that you can defeat Mum’s semi-regular lie-detector test, the one where she asks you about average weekly vegetable consumption (you can also put a thumbtack in your shoe, ala Oceans 12, that messes with your perspiration and heart rate during control questions...but the peas are probably less painful).
#9 Black Truffle Oil
Got a hot date? Whip out the Mee Gee and black truffle oil, they’ll be dead impressed. Apart from being classy as shit, the black truffle oil adds a certain smoky earthiness that perfectly offsets the natural sweetness of the Mi Goreng.
#10 Wagyu Steak
Because life’s too short not to, that’s why. Here’s what you do: go to your nearest organic butcher and order the best-marbled Wagyu fillet money can buy. Season well and cook it on the hob, basting regularly in butter to finish. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes (during which time you prep your Mee Gee). Serve the steak with a nice balsamic reduction, a side of rocket and a wodge of Mee Goreng Noodles. Congrats, you are now an adult.
What is this, Masterchef? Dan Wilson from Huxtaburger swears by adding chopped coriander and Thai basil to his packet noodles. We haven’t tried this one, but it sounds fragrant and potentially delicious.
#12 Pickled Ginger
You know the pink pickled ginger packs you get with sushi rolls? Yeah, save those. They go great with Mi Goreng. The Mee Gee brings the umami richness, the ginger brings a piquant heat to balance the palate.
Last but not least, grate over some tasty cheese (or aged French roquefort if you have it) because the self-loathing is strong tonight.