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This way you can easily turn quick noodles into something special | NOW

We don’t need to tell you that noodles are incredibly easy to prepare. Do you have little time, and do you want to make the simple dish that little bit more special? Cookbook writer Milou van der Will and toko owner Kin-Ping Dun explain how you can do this within fifteen minutes.

Noodles come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you go for the ultra-cheap instant noodles with the included herbs and oil, or for ramen noodles: they are ready in a few minutes of cooking (in a pan). Ideal for lunch or just a quick snack in between.

Cookbook writer Milou van der Will tips the Hakubaku ramen noodles. “You can buy them at the supermarket. The preparation may take a few minutes longer than instant noodles, but then you have noodles without all kinds of additives.”

“Opt for powerful seasonings; if you want to be ready quickly, that is essential. ”

Milou van der Will, cookbook author

Her book Vegan East is full of vegetable dishes from Eastern cuisine, a noodle recipe cannot be missed. Van der Wills tip: “Fry your leftover vegetables with an onion, ginger, garlic and fine seasonings that you have at home. For example soy sauce, soy sauce, sambal, black bean sauce or miso. Choose powerful seasonings; if you want to be ready quickly, is that essential. ”

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If you don’t have leftover vegetables at home, you can also opt for a quick noodle soup, according to the cookbook writer. “For example, you can make a tasty stock with a stock cube, or a soup with chickpeas, lentils or sweet potato,” she explains. “Then pour the soup over your cooked noodles and garnish it with some broccoli, bok choy or snow peas, which you briefly fry in the frying pan.”

Bok choy, spring onion, or Chinese cabbage are good additions to your bowl of noodles.

If you prefer instant noodles, Kin-Ping Dun has a few great tips. “In terms of price-quality and speed, the instant noodle is a very tasty option for in between meals, but of course it is also possible as a lunch.” Dun owns the Amsterdam toko Dun Yong, the oldest toko in the Netherlands and has been owned by his family for three generations.

The Asian has come up with two simple ways to make the instant noodle that little bit more special: a Chinese and a Japanese variant. “For the Chinese version, I take an instant noodle with a somewhat flatter flavor, such as chicken or sesame oil, and add a little spring onion or Chinese cabbage.” As an extra filling, he takes the Chinese Wan Tan dumplings, folded pasties with pork or shrimp, available in the Asian supermarket. “I cook them separately and put them in at the end, then your noodle soup is just a little more filled, so you actually have a lunch meal.”

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The Japanese version is slightly different. Because of the heavy soup base, Japanese instant noodles are a lot spicier according to the toko owner. “That’s why I often choose toppings with the Japanese noodles, such as Shanghai bok choy, bean sprouts, a boiled egg, sesame seeds and some seaweed sheets. This makes it more of a snack without the dumplings.”

A lot more special with a few toppings

All in all, an upgrade of your noodle dish does not have to be very complicated, according to the toko owner. “You can see that it becomes a lot more special with a few toppings. If you want to spice it up with tokop products, you can, for example, opt for shiitake or kimchi (fermented cabbage), and if you want to take it a step further, you can go for Peking duck, cha siu (roasted Chinese pork) or kara-age (Japanese fried chicken), you can make a meal out of it. ”

If you prefer a vegetable variant, then according to Van der Will it is wonderful to spice up your noodles with spicy fried pieces of tofu or marinated slices of tempeh.

No-waste noodles

A recipe for four persons by Milou van der Will from her book Vegan East.


  • 400 g of noodles
  • 1 large tbsp dark miso paste
  • 2 el mirin
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tl srirachasaus (of sambal)
  • 1 the peanut
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • any leftovers from the crisper, such as:
    – 200 g of mushrooms
    – 1 bok choy, cut into pieces
    – 4 spring onions, finely chopped
    – handful of bean sprouts, cleaned
    – 200 g spinach
    – also tasty: kale (really!), bell pepper, Chinese cabbage, endive, carrot, lettuce, etc.
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish
  • cassava crackers, to serve with
  • sambal, to serve with


  1. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. For the sauce, mix the miso paste, mirin, soy sauce and sriracha in a bowl. Set aside until use.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the shallot with a pinch of salt. Add ginger, pepper and garlic. Wok for two minutes. Then add the vegetables in order of cooking time, possibly together with one tablespoon of noodle boiling water. When the vegetables are cooked after a few minutes, pour the sauce into the wok. Let it simmer gently.
  3. Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water. Add the noodles to the wok with tongs. Stir well, so that everything is covered with a layer of sauce. Serve immediately, garnish with sesame seeds. Serve with cassava crackers and sambal.

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