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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Mama" Instant Noodles - My fav Junk Food Goes Gourmet

This month Five Star Cooking Group's Challenge is Junk Food. Na ah, we don't recreate junk food but incorporate it in our gourmet food. It sounds simple at first but as the time goes by it doesn't sound easy after all. Why? Because there are too many junk food to choose from!

I ended up going with Asian flair as normal and went with instant noodles for my junk food. "Mama" brand is the most popular brand for instant noodle in Thailand. I remember growing up having this noodle every now and then - cooked or raw. Late night dinner or afternoon snack; you can't beat instant noodle. The best part is to eat it raw and mix with its seasoning powder and oil. Crush. Mix. Shake. Eat. Yum. It's so bad for you, tho. . As referring to its name, it's cooked instantly and anything tastes good when you're hungry haha. I sometimes crave for it. I know. You gotta spoil yourself sometimes.

Fun fact: I used to work for this instant noodle company when I lived in Thailand. I heard they were sold out during Thailand flood last year because people stocked up dry food!

I made roasted cauliflower soup with scallop and shrimp. It's really simple and can have variations to suite your taste buds. I couldn't resist myself to throw in garlic in a roasting pan for a garlicy flavor. In an instant noodle package, it contains raw noodles, seasoning powder, chili powder, and seasoned oil for soup base packed in an individual small package. I used all of the ingredients contained in the package.

I added oil soup base in cauliflower soup and used the seasoning powder on shrimp and scallop. Snugged in raw noodles beneath the soup and sprinkle some on top for texture. Shrimp and Scallop taste surprisingly great. The seasoning powder is a bomb.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Shrimp and Scallop and Instant Noodle
Yield: 4

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 leek, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled. Keep whole.
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup sake
pinch of cayenne pepper and nutmeg
Salt and white pepper
1/2 QT chicken stock or more, or any stock you have on hands
Heavy cream
1 Tbs chopped cilantro

  • Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
  • Season cauliflower and garlic with salt, pepper, and 1 Tbs olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 30 mins or until tender.
  • Heat a big pot over high heat. Add butter and the remaining olive oil. Add leek and onion. Cook until it's translucent.
  • Add sake. Cook until it evaporates.
  • Add cauliflower and chicken stock. Bring it to boil. Add cayenne pepper and cilantro. Turn off the heat. Pour it into a blender. Blend it until smooth. Lighten the soup with cream and stock to your preference. If you like it chucky, you can pulse it.

Shrimp and Scallop Ingredients:
1/2 lb 16/20 count shrimp, peeled, deveined.
1/2 lb sea scallop, clean and pat dry.
"Mama" instant noodle seasoning powder
Olive oil

  • Season shrimp and scallop with the seasoning powder.
  • Heat up pan over medium high heat. Add oil. Wait until the pan is hot. Place shrimp and scallop. You should hear a sizzling sound. Cook for a min. Flip shrimp and scallop. Turn off heat. The heat will continue cooking seafood. Don't overcook it otherwise it will become rubbery.
  • Crumble raw instant noodle and place some at the bottom of your serving bowl.
  • Add soup. Sprinkle with crumbled noodle. Place shrimp or scallop on top. Drizzle with garlic olive oil or chili olive oil (optional).

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Faith said...

What a beautiful dish! Great use for noodles. I love how elegant it is...definitely a "junk" food I could get used to eating, lol!

Lazaro Cooks said...

Love the flavors here. Love the sake and leeks. Beautifully presented. If this is junk food, I wanna eat it everyday.

Great job.

FOODalogue said...

This is such an elegant presentation -- and so creative! Love it!

Angie's Recipes said...

Can't believe this is INSTANT NOODLES!! You are a genius!

Anonymous said...

I love your choice of "junk food" and what an elegant soup you made, the presentation is just gorgeous and the flavors must be fantastic!

Pacheco Patty said...

Hey, you used good junk food! I can't tell you how many of those noodles I ate in my life but not for a long time, now I have to go pick up a few packs,lol! Beautiful presentation of your delicious creative dish:-)

Priscilla said...

Too bad the 5 Star Makeover group didn't exist when I was eating this twice a week :) Fabulous junk food makeover, T!

Alana said...

AMAZING! I love re-invented junkfood done well and this is just tremendous. So elegant!

angela@spinachtiger said...

Before I even knew what it was, the picture captured me. Lovely presentation and oh those flavors.

Foodiva said...

Tanatha, I've had my fair share of instant noodles but never eaten them in such a beautifully presented way! Next time, I'm going to eat these noodles raw and crumbled on top of something. Also interesting to know that you used to work for this particular brand!

Lori Lynn said...

Clever! Very clever!
Bet it tasted great. Terrific addition to the Cooking Group Challenge.

Magic of Spice said...

How delicious and fun! My nice loves those noodles and likes them dry :) This is such a great dish all around...gorgeous flavors!

Table Talk said...

Sake in your soup sounds wonderful. Who knew instant noodles could be 5 star?! Great flavors.

Nic@diningwithastud said...

Oh I used to LOVE those noodles at school. They have them at the Asian grocery store near me and Im so tempted to pick up a sneaky pack every now and then haha

Lacy @ NYCityEats said...

I used to eat instant noodles all the time, I so wish i hadn't read how you eat them uncooked, crushed w/ the seasoning - that sounds so good to me! Ha! This soup is gorgeous! I love that you used the seasoning on the seafood, sounds delicious!

lostpastremembered said...

One habit I never got into... but looks like I should look into it! How amazing to make instant noodles look like fine gourmet food. The creamy cauliflower with the seafood is such a great idea... now must find mama!!

Rachel said...

OMG, what an absolutely AMAZING recipe. I would NEVER have thought of this :)

I always have Mama noodles in the pantry (I live in Bangkok) and love cauliflower, but would never have thought of combining the two.

Will be trying this over the weekend. Thank you, it sounds delicious!!

(And yes, you're correct, during the floods in Bangkok you couldn't find a packet of Mama noodles anywhere -- I had to stock up at a 7-11 on the Cambodian-Thai border, LOL).

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