Malaysian Fried Noodles
Fried noodles, especially the Malaysian dish known as mee mamak, is one of my favorite dishes. It is traditionally prepared with a long list of ingredients as well as a good amount of cooking oil.
One of the easiest ways to enjoy this dish is to use instant noodles. Maybe it's not quite as tasty as the authentic recipe, but it's healthier. You boil the instant noodles instead of frying them. This is also a good shortcut recipe if you're in a hurry or if you're abroad and don't have access to all of the ingredients.
Instant Noodles: World Consumption
Instant noodles, also called instant ramen, originated in Japan in 1958, but it has now spread to almost all parts of the world—though each country has its own local flavors. If you look at the chart below on global consumption of instant noodles, China is now the largest consumer (as of 2020).
Choosing the Right Instant Noodles
Some instant noodles have high sodium levels. High sodium can be harmful and is linked to diseases such as stroke, hypertension, and kidney problems.
Based on a study by the Consumer Association of Penang, Malaysia, the average sodium level found in 10 different brands of instant noodles was 830 mg.
The U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of sodium is 2,400 mg/day. Look for instant noodle brands that have lower sodium levels (I look for brands that are lower than 830 mg).
Instant Noodle Stir-Fry
To cook instant noodles, you boil the dry noodles as per instructions on the wrapper. For fried noodles, drain and discard the boiled water. Then add and mix the seasoning and flavoring. Make sure it is fully drained, otherwise you will have soggy fried noodles.
Variety of Flavors, Spices, and Add-Ins
Fried noodles come in many varieties of flavors and spices. For this recipe, I chose the original flavor.
For add-ins, you can use chicken, seafood, fish balls, beef, boiled eggs, veggies, etc. If you prefer a vegan option, add your favorite veggies, tofu, tempeh, etc.
For this recipe, I added Chinese mustard greens and bean sprouts for the veggies. For the protein, I added fish balls and fish cakes, as there is less preparation required for these ingredients.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 1 packet instant fried noodle
- 4 fish balls, halved
- 1 fish cake, sliced in small pieces
- 2 stalks sawi (kai choy or Chinese mustard greens), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 cups water, to boil the instant noodles
- 1 cup bean sprouts, washed and roots removed
- Boil the instant noodles with 2 cups water (do not add the spices and seasonings yet). Boil for about 2 minutes, then drain the water completely. Set aside.
- In a separate pot, boil the fish balls and fish cakes. Add salt to taste. After 3 minutes, add the sawi (Chinese green mustard greens) and bean sprouts. Continue to boil for 1 minute. Then completely drain the water.
- In a bowl, add all the seasoning packet from the instant noodle package. Add the boiled noodles, fish balls, fish cakes, and veggies. Mix thoroughly.
- Serve immediately.
Upgraded Instant Noodles and Instant Ramen
Instant noodles are often associated with high-carb, high-sodium, and low-nutrition foods. Despite this, people still enjoy eating it. The table above shows that in 2020, 116.6 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten worldwide—and these numbers are increasing yearly.
To cater to the changing consumer preferences for more nutritious instant ramen, some companies have reinvented this beloved crave-worthy food.
Low-Carb Instant Noodles
Today there are brands that feature low-carb, high-protein instant ramen for a more nutritious meal without the add-ins.
Another Instant Noodle Recipe
- Simple Mee Kari or Curry Mee Recipe: Curry noodles using instant noodles with fish balls, fish cakes add-ins.
© 2012 Mazlan A