Student Suppers: DIY Laksa Ramen Noodles (In A Mug!)
Like burger chain French Fries and certain types of what our friends across the pond like to call ‘Halloween candy’, I think ramen has to be a universally loved junk food. I will admit to consuming my fair share of chicken Super Noodles as a teenager, but it was at my first year of university I discovered cheap packets of value brand ramen noodles (which shock horror, now cost 30p, I swear they use to be about 17p) could be upgraded with some fresh ingredients, scary, artificial, additive laden flavour sachet discarded.
This is what you want to be eating for a quick lunch after a bit of a heavy night before, or when you’re home really late and don’t have the time, energy or inclination for a proper meal. This is still junk food, just junk food where you have some sort of idea of where it came from. It takes five minutes to make the curry paste, but one batch will make three portions of noodles, and it keeps well in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week. After that, it takes about 5 minutes to put together, from start to finish.
I first had a proper laksa noodle curry when I went to Malaysia Night in Trafalgar Square with my friend Natasha two years ago. I love the slightly spicy, lemongrass heavy, rich, creamy broth, and it is perfect to flavour ramen noodles. As far as ingredient notes are concerned, unless you have a very powerful chopper it is hard to break down the lemongrass completely into a paste, but mixed into the noodles you barely notice. Also, it is stupid opening an entire can of coconut milk when you’re only going to be using two tablespoons, so I’ve used coconut milk powder. I’ve tried some coconut milk powders that have not worked in the past, but since they sent me a bag earlier in the year I’ve sweared by The Coconut Company’s version.
Before we get onto the noodles, I want to talk about mugs. After I wrote this years post breaking down how much money I make from my blog, the guys from Spreadshirt (the online design and print your own t-shirt company) got in touch asking if there was any way we could work together on a fun post. I then got stuck down the rabbit hold of the mugs section; you can not just design your own mug, but you can order other peoples designs if they put them in the marketplace, too. I just wanted to share four of my favourites here: what food blogger would not want this cookie/ tic tac to mug, and the ‘I just want to dress up and take cool pictures’ mug would make a great Christmas gift (yes, we’re getting to that time already!) for the fashion blogger/ Instagrammer in your life. And, something you may not know about me is that I’m more than slightly obsessed with all things penguin, so I’d be totally on board with this penguin vector mug, or this ill fated bird who believes that he can learn to fly like some of his other feathered friends with the help of the rocket launcher!
For the Laksa Ramen Noodles
- 2 tbsp Coconut Milk Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Homemade Laksa Paste
- 1 Pack Ramen Noodles, flavour sachet removed
- Juice of 1/4 Lime
- Dash of Fish Sauce
- Small Handful Coriander
For the Laksa Paste
- 1 Chilli
- 1 Lemongrass Stalk, outer layers removed and finely chopped
- 1 Large Clove Garlic, peeled
- 1 Shallot, peeled
- 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
- Juice of 1/2 Lime
To make the laksa paste, blend all of the ingredients together in a mini chopper or spice grinder until it is as smooth as you can get it. Decide if you want to leave the seeds in the chilli or remove them depending on how much heat you like.
To make the ramen, mix the coconut milk powder in the bottom of the largest mug you’ve got (or a microwave proof bowl) with a little boiling water until you’ve created a smooth, creamy paste. Stir in 1 1/2 tsp of laksa paste, and break the ramen block over the top. Top up the mug to just over halfway, and microwave as per the ramen packet’s instructions. Stir in the coriander leaves, a dash of fish sauce and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice, and serve. I like looser noodles, so I like to add a bit more boiling water at this point too.
Typically lemongrass comes in packs of two unless you’re lucky enough to live near an Asian supermarket or grocery that is big enough to sell fresh ingredients, so if you’re after a way to use up the other piece, have you tried infusing your own Lemongrass and Ginger Tea? My recipe not only uses up the lemongrass, it also uses ginger peelings, so it is all made out of leftovers!
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