I once dated a boy who led a very sheltered culinary life. He was lovely, he was kind and he made me very happy for a very large portion of my university life. He made me laugh, he made me cry and he also made me some very questionable meals.
As is so often the case of many men from the South Wales valleys who are brought up on their mother’s cooking and no one else’s, his culinary bandwidth was very small. He ate curry from a can, chilli from a tin and soup from a packet. He also ate supernoodles. Frequently.
This meant, naturally, that I did too. Our post-lecture Thursday evening dinner options would consist of the array of Bachelor’s finest flavours found in his kitchen cupboard – an MSG lover’s heaven – that you’d have to climb over several bin bags and teabag mountains to reach.
He’d make a big song and dance over the preparation, each time telling me that there was ‘a total knack to it, Em’ and ‘a secret special way’ to ‘maximise flavour’. This hack, is one of such culinary wizardry, that you’ll wonder whether this article is a confession that I dated one of the hosts of Sunday Brunch.
To this day, if ever I’m in the mood where you just want to eat something entirely unhealthy, uninspiring and guilt-full, I use his hack. And it goes a little something like this:
Supernoodles, student boyfriend style
- Select packet of supernoodles from the cupboard stash your mother bought you the last time she came to visit.
- Double check the supernoodle instructions, despite having religiously participated in this routine for the last 2 years.
- Take the noodles out of the pack, whilst frantically looking round to see if there’s a clean bowl available.
- Put the slab of noodles into the now-wet bowl you just rinsed 2-day-old spaghetti bolognese out of.
- Punch the noodles, so that they break into quarters.
- Boil the kettle, thinking that it would’ve been much better if you’d done this before step 6 in the recipe.
- Pour the boiling water over the noodles, wondering how high you can pour it in the bowl before it makes the noodles float.
- Mop up spilled water.
- Put bowl of noodles in the horrifically stained microwave, without thinking about the last time it was cleaned.
- Wait for 4 mins.
- Begin to drain water from the bowl, before realising the bowl is burning your hands.
- Return to bowl-draining, this time with the last scrap of kitchen role as your fingertip protector.
- Once bowl is empty, save for a tiny amount of water at the bottom, give it a stir with a slightly crusty fork.
- And here’s the hack. At this point, and ONLY at this point do you add the sachet of flavour powder. If you add it before, like the packet says, you’ll drain away the majority of the flavour in the water, which is just a waste of taste.
So there you have it. Add the sachet last. And as you sprinkle it on like salt bae, take a moment to thank and think of the boy who once drank brine from the tuna can.