6 Popular Chinese Instant Noodles To Try At Home

It’s a known fact that Asians love their noodles. Did you know that 116.6 billion servings of instant noodles were ...

It’s a known fact that Asians love their noodles. Did you know that 116.6 billion servings of instant noodles were eaten in 2020, or that 80% of this volume was consumed in Asia? Among all nations, China possessed the largest appetite for instant noodles. 

It is perhaps unsurprising then that Chinese instant noodle makers have stepped up to re-create flavours influenced by its rich heritage. Well-loved traditional dishes are now readily available through instant, ready-to-eat formats. Convenient and affordable, these instant noodle options are more than just plain noodles in broth. 

Discover how you can get a taste of China’s best noodle dishes through the 6 instant meal options listed below. 

1) Beef Rice Noodles


Hailing from Huaxi, Guizhou, these beef noodles feature thick, smooth rice vermicelli in a rich and tangy broth flavoured with pickled cabbage and prickly ash. Each pack comes with vacuumed-packed noodles, and five sachets of condiments that include vegetables, sauces, oil and chilli for an umami boost. 

Preparation is easy too. Just blanch the rice noodles in hot water for three minutes. Then drain the noodles, add the condiments, pour some hot water, and there you have it - a piping hot bowl of beef noodle soup.


2) Spicy Broad Noodles (Hong You Mian Pi)


Reminiscent of the handmade noodles you’ll find at the ban mian stall, these spicy broad noodles are non-fried. True to its Sichuan origins, it comes in four different flavours and spice levels: mala, sesame sauce, hot and sour, and pepper. 

Usually made from wheat starch or rice flour, each slippery strand of noodle provides a textured bite and kick of spice. All you need to do is blanch the noodles before tossing it with spices, vegetables and aged vinegar, and it’s ready to eat!


3) Chong Qing Xiao Mian

小面Literally meaning “small noodles”, this is a popular noodle dish found on the streets of Chongqing that you can now try at home. Small but satisfying, each packet comes with aromatic spices, sichuan pepper and chilli oil to delight your taste buds. 


The noodles here are also healthier as they are dehydrated at high heat instead of being fried. To enjoy this, just soak the noodles in hot water for a few minutes before tossing it with the rest of the condiments. Top it with some fresh spring onions to complete the dish!


4) Sour & Spicy Noodles (Suan La Fen)


Familiar to most by now, this humble sour and spicy glass vermicelli took local markets by storm last year with its springy noodles and spicy broth. It is well loved for the amalgamation of textures and taste it brings with each bite - a mix of sour, spicy, umami, bounciness and crunch. 

Baijia’s version of sour spicy noodles features a broth that is numbingly umami, and the addition of texturally-interesting condiments such as dried beancurd sticks and soybeans. It’s also easy to prepare. Just add hot water and it’s ready in 5 minutes. It even comes with a pre-packed spoon that makes for easy eating anywhere.


5) Sweet and spicy noodles (Tian Shui Mian)


A local specialty of Chengdu, China, Tian Shui Mian got its moniker from the sweet and salty dark soy sauce that forms the base of its flavour. Thick, chewy noodles the size of chopsticks are coated in an addictive and fragrant sauce that includes chilli oil, peppercorn, sesame oil and crunchy peanuts on top of soy sauce. 

Try this if you prefer your noodles to have more bite. The already-cooked noodles and sauces are packed conveniently in a pouch. To prepare the noodles, just heat it up in hot water before mixing it with the sauces and condiment packs.


6) Scallion oil noodles


Missing Shanghai and its old-world charm? Travel back with this quintessential Shanghainese dish - the humble scallion oil noodles. Bite into long thin strands of handmade noodles that are mixed with a deeply aromatic blend of dark sauce, whole shrimps, and oil infused with spring onions, which are also known as scallions. 

You can cook this just like any other instant noodle packet. Just bring a pot of water to boil, add the noodles, drain it after five minutes and mix it well with the sauce packs. To jazz this dish up, simply add some blanched greens and top it generously with - you’ve guessed it - fresh spring onions.


Explore the world with your taste buds

Now that travel is on hold and dining out remains limited, travel with your taste buds instead. Upgrade your dining experience with these authentic Chinese noodle dishes that not only offer you new, exciting flavours, but also let you do so in the comfort of your home. And the best part of all? None of these dishes take more than ten minutes to prepare. 

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