MSG-Free Instant Mi-Goreng Recipe

It's Friday! Woot woot, I get to indulge in carbs because Fridays are our cheat days (it's also takeaway day since I'm the resident cook in this humble abode and even chefs need a break every now and then). Now, when I'm talking about carbs on cheat days, I don't mean I eat sugary treats and call it a day - no, it means I can lick my lips at the possibility of pasta, rice, or noodles. For lunch on Fridays, I like nothing more than to prepare myself a bowl of Mi Goreng. It's cheap and tasty, and takes no more than few steps and minutes to prepare, so I don't have to whip up a full meal, and wait ages for it to be ready.

When you're being thrifty, sometimes life calls for some super cheap food so you don't break your budget. Everyone's familiar with the Mi Goreng - but what's not good about the noodles, are all the additives, such as MSG, preservatives and flavouring with animal origins.

There are generally five sachets with each packet of Mi Goreng. There's the oil infused with some soy sauce and onions, a sachet of fried onion, some chicken/beef seasoning, a small serve of chilli sauce, and the sweet soy sauce. When you look at the ingredient listing, you'll find a lot of conflicting additives that are completely unnecessary. For example, palm oil is used, and I highly doubt that it is from a sustainable source. When I looked at the nutrition panel, there was a high quantity of sugar, and a lot of that is in the seasoning sachet. Since we're trying to drastically cut down on simple carbs, this sugar is a massive no.

I managed to get my hands on a vegetarian version without the animal-derived flavourings, and I began experimenting with different combinations to duplicate the flavour. After some attempts, using my fiance as the taste tester, I finally found a combination that I liked best. What's great about this combination is that when you get all the ingredients and put them together, they'll last a long time, and it works out to be so much cheaper than the individual packets, especially if you buy them in bulk.

I avoided adding sugar to the seasoning by using sweet chilli sauce instead. This recipe is pretty straightforward, however, and does not take more than a few minutes to prepare, thankfully.

1 block instant noodles
1 tsp kecap mani, also known as sweet soy sauce (it has to be sweet soy sauce or else this recipe won't work)
1 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1/4 tsp Massel Stock Powder in Chicken (you can use any flavour you want, or even other brands)
1 tsp sesame oil
Dried onion flakes to taste

1. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions. I normally cook it for slightly less than three minutes. Drain in a colander, making sure to retain a tiny amount of water. Tip the noodles into a bowl.
2. Measure out the rest of the ingredients and add to the noodles. Once all of the ingredients have been added to the bowl, stir through to combine.
3. Enjoy.

When I did the cost calculations for this using ingredients sourced from Woolworths, the total for each serve came to 50c. However, if you have an Asian grocery store, no doubt the total cost will be smaller, as most of the ingredients used to make the recipe are Asian, and can be found at a cheaper price, and you can get plain instant noodles in bulk.
Imagine all of the mi gorengs you can eat that are vegetarian, MSG-free, almost additive-free, and best of all, cheap as chips.

I'll soon post a real mi goreng recipe using egg noodles, veggies and tofu, so look forward to it, it's guaranteed to be abso-bloody-lutely delicious - both of the men I live with request it almost weekly, though ever since we've gone on the diet, it hasn't been on our weekly meal plan for quite a while now, much to their sadness.

TGIF, I'm going to go and whip up another bowl of mi goring for a late lunch. Enjoy your weekend, and don't get into trouble.


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