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Well Fed Buff: Perfect instant noodles

Instant noodle stir fry
This Well Fed Buff is a tad bit of a cheat, in that, despite the title, the noodles aren't exactly the centerpiece of the recipe. That's okay though, because this is a favorite of mine and I make it all the time. Just because you may (or may not) be getting older and your nutritional needs have outgrown plain instant ramen noodles doesn't mean you have to give them up. You just have to jazz them up a bit!

This is essentially a "we need to use the stuff in the fridge before it goes bad" kind of thing, so feel free to add and substitute your own preferred veggies as desired. This recipe only takes 20 or so minutes to make, and it tastes delicious.

Ingredients:
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1-2 bell peppers (any color)
  • 4-5 spring onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ~300 grams (~4-5 oz) mushrooms
  • big handful of raw, preferably unsalted peanuts
  • 4-5 bunches baby bok choy
  • sweet chili sauce
  • soy sauce
  • 2 packets instant ramen noodles
  • Cilantro for garnishing
Equipment:
  • Saucepan, for boiling water
  • Big frying pan or wok
  • Small frying pan
Instant noodle ingredients
First, chop up all your veggies. Onion, chili, bell pepper, mushrooms, bok choy, etc. Carrots also work really well in this recipe, so if you got 'em, chop 'em up. I tend to put each chopped item in its own bowl for easy access later on.

Once you've finished chopping, fill the saucepan with water and put it on to boil. Put the big frying pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or two of oil--vegetable, canola, or peanut oil, preferably. When it's hot add the onions and cook them for a minute or two. Then add the chili, cook for another minute or so, and add the bell pepper, spring onions, and garlic. Stir well, and let all that cook for two or three minutes, until the bell peppers are heated through.

While the peppers are heating up, take the small frying pan and put it over medium heat. Pour in the peanuts to toast for a minute or two. Be careful here; it's really easy to burn nuts, and nobody likes burned nuts!

At this point, add a good couple of swigs of soy sauce and a lug of sweet chili sauce to the stir-fry. Be careful here--it's really easy to overdo the sauces. A lot of water will come out of the bell pepper and the bok choy as they cook, so if you put in too much soy and sweet chili sauce now the whole thing will just get soggy. Once the sauces are mixed in and bubbling away, add the mushrooms and toasted peanuts. Cook them for a minute or two, then add the bok choy.
Instant noodle stir-fry
By the time you add the bok choy to the pan, the water should be about done boiling. Add the instant ramen noodles to the water. They should cook really quickly, in about three minutes or so. Once they are done, drain them thoroughly. Give your veggies one last stir to make sure they're all cooked to your preference. Put some noodles on your plate, add some vegetables, and top with a good handful of cilantro. Now there's some fancy instant noodles!

Filed under: Arts and Crafts

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