Saturday, April 24, 2010

Flavored oils and instant noodle soups

Instant noodle soups are handy for emergencies, lunches on the road and camping, but are unhealthy, overpriced and waste resources with their throw away containers. Here's a healthy, environmentally friendly and inexpensive recipe. I also included ideas for flavored oils to enhance the noodle soups and use in cooking.

A package of quality noodle soup costs about $1.75. Most groceries have cellophane (gluten free bean thread) pasta in $2.00 packages in the ethnic food section. These packs make five to six bowls of soup. They are traditionally added to long-cooked meat soups just before serving, since they soften very quickly.

Cut one packet of noodles into five or six portions with scissors (this is unfortunately messy) and put in closeable tupperware containers. Add to each container: 1-1 1/2 tsp. brewers (nutritional) yeast, 1/4-1/2 tsp. spice mix (try garam masala, schezuan seasoning, curry, etc.), a pinch of chives and some sliced dehydrated mushrooms, tomatoes or bell peppers. To serve, pour boiling water over, cover and let sit a few minutes. Enjoy as is, or add a dash of flavored oil just before serving.

Flavored oils are often very expensive. Peanut and sesame oil taste best with instant noodle soup. Add a small amount of thoroughly dehydrated minced garlic, lemon peel, basil, and/or hot pepper to a jar of oil. These must be no trace of moisture or the oil will spoil and could make you sick. If you are not sure, place the flavorings in an oven at 100-125 degrees for a couple hours. Let the oil sit at least three days before using; the flavor will intensify over time and will finally mellow.

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