Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Doll Noodles

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I almost never have an egg in my instant noodles unlike most people. I love my instant noodles with lots of veg, and if in Australia, I make it luxurious with lots of beef strips and button mushrooms.

I always tell my kids that I think God's best food creation was the egg while men's greatest food invention is...instant noodles.

You are starving, climbing the mountain, in a camp, have the runs, lost your appetite, haven't got your pay check yet, your MIL bullied you, what do you eat?

Instant noodles are light, compact, easy to bring along, cost less than a can of Coke, can be cooked in an instant (ya, duh), are cheap and are delicious. I think my middle child grew up on instant noodles, especially when he was in mid-teens and always hungry. I wonder if there's a height link--Ming eats a lot of instant noodles and is 6 feet (like everyone, he claims himself taller) tall. Yi doesn't eat instant noodles and has remained at her Grade 9 height, which is, ahem. I know that's rubbish. I'm just adding fuel to all the myths about instant noodles, the no. 1 myth (or truth?) being instant noodles cause alopecia (because of the msg, which is the main ingredient that makes the noodles delicious) and cancer, because it has all those additives, including wax, which is supposedly used to coat the noodles. But I'm not one of those mothers who avoid instant noodles. I have two dear friends who scorn at my appreciation of instant noodles. They think instant noodles are never to be given to kids but strange enough, these dear friends let their kids eat those highly processed, highly additives-spiked frozen sausages which I avoid as vehemently as they do instant noodles.

We get a very limited choice of instant noodles here. I always check out the instant noodles aisle in supermarkets when I travel and I've been known to lug back a box of the stuff when my luggage limit is already busted. I've also been known to hide them from my boys. One of my fondest memory was what happened years ago when my MIL had her way ("Your kids should come first, travel can wait!"), I sulked in bed all day, genuinely feeling miserable, and little Ming brought me a bowl of instant noodles he had cooked. The next day I flew off to Hong Kong, with the blessings of my Hub much to MIL's indignation.

I have a list here of the instant noodles that I've eaten the last few weeks. I'll start with my least-liked ones. Why I bother to have them on my list is because there aren't that many brands of instant noodles to make a list of if I don't include them.

1. Maggi instant noodles, Malaysia's favorite. Surprise--I dislike Maggi instant noodles. The texture of the noodles is spongy instead of springy. Okay, if I under cook them, they give a slight springy bite, but that is only for a few seconds before the whole bowl of noodles becomes soft. Bleh. If anything, I do like Maggi's flavors. I wish they would get their noodles right.

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Along with Maggi are substandard noodles like Cintan (I liked their assam laksa once upon a time), Mamee and all those forgettable names. I know most students like Maggi, and in Australia, Indomie. But I did say students, didn't I.

2. Korean instant noodles. I shall consider them all the same. Big, fat and hot. The problem with big, fat and hot (I'm talking noodles here) is that after a while, it gets boring. If it's not kimchi flavor, it's beef flavor and the texture of the noodles are too meaty. Btw, my Korean friend taught me to add an egg to the noodles to reduce the hotness. Adding an egg to instant noodles is like fish with chips, they belong together. But this is where I differ again. I don't like an egg in my instant noodles because if I'm not careful, the egg can break (some people stir their egg up on purpose) and make the soup cloudy. Horror. That would mess the taste of the soup. I like my instant noodles with greens, especially sayur manis, which I pluck screaming from my garden straight into the pot. Okay, on the way into the kitchen, I do wash the leaves quickly. Another thing you'd notice when I eat my instant noodles. I don't drink the soup. Maybe two spoonsful are all I drink. I know, what's the point, but I am terrified of the alopecia threat...

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3. Ah, Nissin's instant noodles. I like this, especially the sesame oil flavor but the noodles are not as springy as I would like. See that drawing of a little boy on the packet? Regardless of brands, instant noodles are called "goong jai meen" in Chinese and it means 'doll's noodles'. I think it is because the first brand of instant noodles is the Doll brand from Hong Kong and their logo was a doll in the shape of the Chinese word for 'ren' or people. Read about instant noodles here.

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4. Myojo's instant noodles are good. I've shown two of their best here. The noodles are springy and the flavors are good. I like.

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5. This I had to get my friend Y to bring back from Hong Kong because they don't sell them here anymore. Tell me if you see any in our stores. Strangely, they seem to have only Creamy Shrimp flavor Yum Yum in Hong Kong because that's what I found too when I was in Hong Kong last year. I ate some other fantastic flavors in New Zealand, of all places, a thousand years ago. I have to say Yum Yum is by far my favorite instant noodles. The noodles are flat and thin and super springy, and because the noodles are coated with msg and flavor too, they blend with the fakeness of the msg soup, unlike noodles without a seasoning coating which can taste very 'unconnected' because the soup can be highly flavored while the noodles are bland, and you taste both in one mouthful. Know what I mean?

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Yes, the mother of them all, for me, is Yum Yum! I do have a complain about Yum Yum. The taste is usually a bit on the sweet side.

When Y flew back to Hong Kong last week, I told her I wanted Yum Yum which is from Thailand but she wasn't sure so she bought me MaMa too, which is Thailand's top instant noodles brand (thanks, Y!). I haven't tasted it yet but I have a feeling it'll be good. Btw, I think American/Canadian instant noodles taste the worst of them all. They taste like what they are: American/Canadian instant noodles with funny flavors and texture. A totally different thing.

I also like Tung-I although now we only get its cousin Tung-e, I don't know why. So wonderfully full of onion oil and msg deliciousness.

What brands of instant noodles do you like? Tell me, I'll look out for them.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

the best are the ones from indonesia- Indo Mi. Shiok!

GFAD said...

I like Koka noodles. Funnily the ones I get from Singapore looks different from the ones I get here in Abu Dhabi. And the flavours are different too, so I can't compare with the same flavour.

I agree with you on Maggi noodles. Their assam laksa has the tastiest soup, and their other flavours are delish too. Why can't they improve on the noodles??

I also like the Thai brands where the noodles are thin and springy. But I heard rumors that what makes them springy is hazardous to health, but who knows if its just an urban legend spread by competitors..

What I do is (which actually defeats the purpose of instant noodles as it involves an additional step) is to cook the noodles separately before adding to the soup. Removes some wax perhaps? And add the msg last as some ppl say boiling the msg makes it toxic. Oh well, if it doesn't make a difference in flavour, anything to assuage the guilt I have in eating instant mee! :D

Agnes said...

I like alot of instant noodles lol!!!

I like the Maggi Assam Laksa too! Somehow it tasted much better than the other brand's Assam Laksa Brand... And just like you I love adding alot of veggies together with my instant noodles

And there is this Indo Mi Mi Goreng and Mi Sedap's Mi Goreng... Quite good

Haven't get to try to Korean ones yet!!

Not all Instant Noodles are cheap, don't they? :S I see an Abalone flavour noodle selling in Lintas for RM8... was it because it is luxurious? I dun think so haha

Jo-Hanna Ho said...

i'm not much of a instant noodle fan.. ate it much more as a kid than during my uni days or even now.. the last time i ate instant noodles was prob somewhere mid last yr lol..

but yeah i absolutely dislike maggi's instant noodles..
gotta hook me up with some myojo noodles i think.. this period i'm starting to think of eating a pack or 2 again..

thanks for the list.

Lin said...

For soup instant noodle, I like Thai Mama Tom Yum flavor.

For non soup, I like Indomie Mi Goreng. I had japanese brand yakisoba that came with disposable bowl. I really liked it but i cannot remember the brand, it is very expensive AUD$4 for 1.

Lin said...

American Nissin cup noodles is the worst I ever tasted.

Big Boys Oven said...

wow so me varieties, I grew up with mee CINTAN, great texture. Not in favour of Maggi as I don't like too soft noodle. Nowadays I sedlom explore packet noodles until there is no food at home lol!

Fooman said...

Yeah, Maggi noodles are not my favorite, but that's marketing for ya. I used to like Cintan Noodles, but I don't like how they taste now. Mamee is probably my favorite local brand now, but only certain flavours like Duck and Chicken and Onion.

The very best instant noodles for me would be Myojo's Chukazanmai noodles. The noodles are very springy and soup packets are good. Downside is they're very expensive. Around RM5 each! I haven't seen them here, but they're available in Jusco stores.

There are also some interesting noodles from Taiwan, which I found in Servay, but didn't take note of the brand and I can't find them there anymore. They actually had Emperor Chicken flavour with the herbs, etc.

Anonymous said...

Maggi mee, because that's all I can afford lol!

Anonymous said...

I second Yum Yum. I had them also every day when i first came across them 12 years ago! My favourite flavours are duck and tom yum. I also quite like Daddy's brand in chicken flavour. The noodle is much better than Maggi's.

Anonymous said...

I agree about Korean noodles. At first I loved them, but now I can't explain it. Yes, They are boring to eat and I cannot finish it each time.

mott said...

MA MA TOM YUM!

hot n spicy! YUM!

Anonymous said...

Wow, a packet of CQYD costs RM1.60. In S'pore it's selling for $2.05 for 5 packets only. Instant noodles in M'sia must be rather costly, eh?

I like Myojo Spicy Mee-Pok and ZowZow duck/tomyam. Yummy! No eggs please.

Ling

Esan Man said...

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plato's disciples said...

My favorite is Ruski..but they're spicy..especially their tom yam

They're nice and springy even if you're overcooked them

Fooman said...

Added a can of Curry Tuna goes a long way to pimping up your bowl of instant noodles, along with the calorie count.

Momofuko Ando, the inventor of instant noodles and founder of Nissin, passed away a couple of years ago at age 96. So much for instant noodles being bad for you. haha

gerrie said...

Absolute favourite is MYOJO, that said, have not had YUM YUM ones. I am one of those who needs to have an egg in my instant noodles, as it's the easiest protein to add to the carbs.

terri@adailyobsession said...

Anon: you r no doubt a student in australia? :DD but i will try an packet of indo mi again.

GFAD: never heard of koka noodles.r they made in singapore? ha, u r like my MIL. she also pours away the 1st round of water. but i think it's a myth, tt wax thing.

agnes: ah, i forgot about mee goreng in this post. i love mee goreng instant noodles too hehe..

johanna: don't start now, i don't want to be responsible for turning u into an instant noodles junkie.

lin: i can see u r an instant noodles expert :D. we share the same taste too.

bbo: i liked cintan too esp their assam laksa flavor but haven't eaten it recently. must try them again.

fooman: okay, will look for mamee's duck (never knew they have come out with this flavor!), chicken n onion.

terri@adailyobsession said...

anon: ...sorry to hear tt:D

anon: oh, where have i seen daddy instant noodles in kk?? i will get it if i find it.r u in kk, bc if u r, where do u get ur yumyum noodles??

anon: yes, you know what i mean.

ling: yes, everything here is damn expensive! i've seen zowzow before somewhere...is it thai too, because names like tt sound like thai instant noodles, u know, the double syllable.

mott: i haven't seen mama in kk?

esanman: thank u:) will check ur blog after this.

plato: where can i find ruski? never heard of this. wow, so many noodles to try. i must live longer so i can eat them all...

fooman: hey, tt's a great testimony to instant noodles' goodness. 96!:D thnx for calming my fears. now i'm going to eat w/o worry..

gerrie: i know, an egg makes instant noodles nutritious otherwise it's plain carb n msg.

Lianne said...

i get yum yum noodles here only. though good, still crave for the unmistakable maggi mee in curry favour taste :-)

Jade said...

i'm in uni and i know the instant noodle aisles in London Chinatown like the back of my hand. Ruski is probably one of the best i've tried, i think you can get it in KL. Kang-Shi fu is really good too. They have instant wantan-mee here too, and that is lovely. Instant udon is nice if you're in the mood for something hearty. I quite like Lee-fah mushroom abalone and curry.. much better than maggi.Ibumie does a rather convincing prawn mee; and for dry noodles, i heart myojo sarawak kolo mee. My mum swears by wei-wei mien and bah-kuteh noodles from taiwan...my sister seems to really enjoy mee-sedap. and i could go on. i really could:P

Trish (honolulu) said...

Sapporo Ichiban instant noodles and Nong Shim brand anything.... delish! funny, i just read this article, and now that i think about it, i've actually eaten instant noodles the past two days in a row.... yikes!

Katie said...

I lived on Maggi two-minute noodles in high school, then last year my partner and I went to Japan. When I got home, I made up some Maggi noodles and couldn't eat them - I realised how gross they were! I steer clear of small packaged instant noodles and instead use bigger packets of rice or glass noodles, which are much tastier.

Teresa said...

Yum Yum noodles are definitely one of the more popular brands of instant noodles especially among the student population in NZ. =) it's one of the cheaper options compared to the Korean brands.

we have Maggi in NZ as well but the ones we have here are even worse than the ones sold in Malaysia. =S hence, students hardly go for Maggi.

Anonymous said...

The sales of instant noodles just went up in Merdeka!

Kim

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i love indomee when i was in aust. cheap n loads of msg haha delicious on a cold winter nite.

b said...

A true researcher!

Have you tried putting limau purut (Kaffir lime) leaves (sliced) and cili padi in your instant noodles (esp asam laksa and curry flavours)... it's yummy... Sedap's Mee Soto is not bad too.

Vanessa Tan said...

You MUST try HAR MEE! :D http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2396/2132345687_7150117de5_o.jpg

Its soooo good that when it first flooded the market, it was sold out everywhere :P Once, I even had to lug them to Shanghai for my MIL.

Anonymous said...

the indo mie you can buy in Aust is different from the indo mie that you can get in Malaysia, supposedly

ahh I remember when I could buy a pack for AUD 0.40 only. Now, depending on where you buy it from, its 50-70 cents...

I'm one of those who adds an egg and stir it for cloudy soup ;)

terri@adailyobsession said...

lianne: u get yumyum in germany? lucky!

jade: u really r an instant noodles addict! i am taking down all these brands u all r telling me about. funny, i've seen lee fah but never tried them. kang si fu is good; tt's my kids' surname, kang :D

trish: oh yes, ichiban is good, we used to get them but not any more. nong shim--i've had too much of korean instant noodles but i know i'll crave them again soon.

katie: gross is the word. some of these instant noodles taste SO FAKE.

teresa: so lucky to get yum yum.

joe: u know, i think the indomie here n in aus are different.

b: wah, tt sounds like a luxurious bowl of instant noodles. next time i come by, u get selmi to make me a bowl yah? i must try sedap. a few ppl have told me its good. generally i find mi goreng instant noodles r all good. btw, i wanted to take zheyi home...

vanessa: really? i will get har mee when i go shopping :D so happy to know there are more choices than i thought.

anon: yes, i thought so bc my girl tells me tt her friends all love indomi n tt's also what she eats too, when there's nothing to eat. i know cloudy mee soup tastes like cream n makes the soup less fake tasting:)

Fooman said...

Indo Mi in Malaysia seems to have changed its name to Ibu Mie

Fooman said...

When I was in Hong Kong, I used to buy Vedan Bowl Ngau Lam Noodles which had a small retort pouch of Ngau Lam which tasted pretty good. Must have been thousands of calories a bowl.

AngryApron said...

Korean ramen is THE BEST! You should try Shin Ramen. It's seriously the best Korean ramen I've had. Also, I grew up with the American Cup Noodles, which is also delicious, but probably for nostalgia.

Genie said...

Hi there! I'm from New Zealand. I agree Maggi noodles are horrible. I never really knew what to call them, but spongey is a good description. I think if them as too textured and floury. Noodles should be smooth and slippery with some resistance.

You must try Koka Noodles. My favourite is the mushroom one. Mushroom. Yes, it sounds weird, but it is really delicious. Koka noodles have no MSG. What more could you ask for? It is so delicious that I always drink the soup.

My other favourite is Yum Yum noodles. Duck flavour is really good and so is their Tom Yum flavour (though I think they call it shrimp). I do find that Yum Yum noodles are the smallest of them all. No good for a meal, but just a small snack.

Trident also do some ok instant noodles. Their coconut chicken is quite nice. A bit spicy, but you don't have to add all the spicy flavouring in as it is separate from the other packets.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE SHANGHAI NOODLES! too bad they don't come in instant noodle packs :(....and I like Maggi noodles better than Mama noodles.

ChopSuey said...

Terri - in Toronto, instant noodles are typically US$0.33/pkg for Mama to $1/pkg for the Korean ones. Not as cheap as they used to be!

I misread your post and thought that your fav were at the top, so I tried Mama and couldn't stand it, but ate it anyways.

My fav is Sau Tau's "noodle king" noodles. The noodles are baked, not fried, and come in thick or thin, rice or wheat and many flavors. I've tried ALL of them, and my only favorite is the abalone, thick noodle one. The rest are only so-so. Hope you do a follow up post because this was one of my favs that I refer to!

terri said...

chopsuey: everything's so expensive now. we have mama here now but they don't move fast and so there's always the smell of rancid oil. also the tom yum flavor is a little fake, like very lab-produced. which it is of course. recently i've found a better instant noodles. it's 'wei wei A series instant noodles' (seafood flavor) from taiwan. don't be put off by the silly name lol.

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