Adventures in Student Cooking

Adventures In Student Cooking: Mi Goreng

15 February 2018

Don’t Read This If You’re Allergic To Peanuts

The Chef
— Really can’t cook, but tries hard
— Would have already died in apocalyptic scenario
— Good at picking My Kitchen Rules winners
— Irrationally dislikes onion

The Setup
— One small fridge with freezer compartment
— Three gas stove burners (one is broken)
— One microwave that burns the outside of frozen meals while failing to defrost
the center

Mi Goreng—the saviour of every university student. I first discovered this versatile dish after a friend gave me 12 packets. While she’s since moved on to bigger, better and presumably healthier things, Mi Goreng has become a staple in my pantry. As everyone knows, learning how to supplement this meal is essential to prevent crashing in the middle of a class and/or dying of malnutrition. So I decided to find the tastiest and most nutritious way to add to this classic with my limited supplies.

The Classic:

To be honest, I’ve historically been super boring when it comes to my noodles. I usually do the following:

1. Boil water

2. Put noodles in a bowl that’s too small

3. Put flavour powder on noodles

4. Pour water over noodles and put plate on top of bowl

I leave them for a bit until I get confused and wonder why there’s a random plate on top of a bowl sitting on the counter. Then I curse because I’ve let them go soggy. I eat them with the sticky soy packet, making sure to only add little bits of the soy at a time to achieve the perfect ratio.

I mean. This really isn’t healthy, is it? But it is usually reserved for 1am when I’ve just realized I’ve written my whole essay on the wrong topic, or when I’ve had three glasses (mugs, let’s be honest; I don’t own anything made of glass) of wine. Given that I’m really, actually, living on my own now, I figure I should learn how to make them into a semi-okay meal.

Rating: 6/10

Attempt One: Egg

This is what’s on the picture on the packet, so, like… peak Mi Goreng goodness, right? Ehhh. It was pretty boring. I fried up an egg and placed it on top of the noodles à la packet photo. I spiced things up by using all the flavour packs: the chilli in particular was a good addition. I feel like the flavour of the egg yolk overpowered the spices of the packet flavouring. Plus, egg breath sucks. I expect I did something wrong with my recipe (generous use of the word), given that egg on the packet looked vastly different. Overall I wasn’t a huge fan, but it left me feeling full and it wasn’t overtly bad tasting so it’s definitely an option to get some extra protein in!

Rating: 4/10

Attempt Two: Satay Noodles

This was both the grossest and the fucking best. A friend made a more complex version of this on her Snapchat story once, but it included cutting up onions, and I reserve my tears exclusively for videos of dogs reuniting with their owners on Facebook, so I just did this version:

1. One big spoon of peanut butter (crunchy would probably be better, but I only had smooth)

2. A dash of soy sauce

3. A pinch of flavouring from the noodle pack

4. Hot water

5. Noodles (obviously)

I just put all of the ingredients in a mug, poured in some hot water to melt the peanut butter, then stirred vigorously. I then drained my noodles and stirred through the peanut butter sauce.

I mean, stirred through is a little generous. It mostly clumped together on my fork and on the bottom of the noodles and bowl. But oh my God, this tasted great, even though it glued my mouth together a little. I almost convinced myself it was an actual meal. You could definitely add some stir-fried chicken or veggies, but I’m too lazy. Anyway, it was later brought to my attention that a satay version of Mi Goreng exists. So I feel useless now.

Rating: 8/10

I’m not totally sure that I reached my goal; while my peanut butter version added some flavour and body, it’s not exactly a proper meal. If I ate this more than three nights in a row I might die of malnutrition. While the egg version was healthier, it didn’t taste as good. Obviously my standard recipe doesn’t fit the bill at all. I think that the real answer to this quandary is that if you want a better meal than instant noodles, cook something other than instant noodles. In conclusion: I am, as predicted, a shit cook. But maybe I’ll get better.

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