Most kids I know love instant noodles. But the kinds you can buy at the shop often come with a hefty amount of salt and other additives. These Magic Noodles cut down on the salt, are packed full of nutrition but still retain lots of flavour. Best of all, they’re ready in minutes – if that isn’t magic I don’t know what is.
My kids call these Magic Noodles because they love watching how a packet of vacuum-sealed noodles slowly unfurl to become “spaghetti”. I call these Magic Noodles because they are literally ready in minutes; that’s magic to me.
If you’ve got a narrow window of time to get the kids fed between school and Brownies, or football training or any other after-school club, these are your answer. Light enough not to weigh down small bellies, but packed full of good nutrition, my kids really love these, giving them a hearty 10 out of 10; they’ve also asked for them at least twice over the last three days.
Kids love the novelty of eating out of different dishes or things not intended to be used as plates. So while these are just as good in a bowl, how about using heat-proof mason or jam jars, pyrex measuring jugs or special paper cups designed for hot soup. My kids also love using chopsticks – which they manage, sometimes more successfully than others. The point is, if they’re having fun with their food, they’re more likely to eat it.
One quick point about stock cubes. I’ve realised over the past week that they’re not all created equal. I was surprised to see that OXO cubes contain MSG (monosodium glutamate) which I don’t do very well on and I’m not about to give my kids. So, it’s worth checking the nutrition labels just to make sure you know what you’re buying. One alternative is to use powdered stock. Or you can heat home-made or ready-made stock in a saucepan and add in place of the boiling water.
This is a perfect recipe for using up leftovers; yesterday’s leftover roast chicken or pork work well in this, for example. Slice the chicken and vegetables quite thinly to make sure the ingredients warm through thoroughly. Once you add the boiling water, let the noodles sit for two minutes. That way the ingredients absorb the heat but also cool down enough not to burn tongues. If you like yours a little hotter you can always zap in the microwave.
Like a lot of recipes we feature on Meals Our Kids Love!, we really encourage you to play around with the ingredients. I used udon in the photo but you can try thread noodles or rice noodles, whatever you fancy. This recipe calls for chicken stock but you can make this completely vegetarian by using vegetable stock, loading up with veggies or tossing in slices of tofu. To make your own version, follow our guide below. Remember to add ingredients from the bottom up i.e. base first, then protein and noodles, then veg and lastly boiling water.
The recipe below is for one serving.
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 tsps soy sauce
- 1 packet of straight-to-wok noodles
- handful of cooked chicken, sliced thinly
- 2 Tbsp frozen peas
- Vegetables of your choice, sliced very thinly
- 400g boiling water
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Put the stock cube, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce into a heatproof bowl or jug
- Add the noodles, frozen peas and chicken.
- Top with the other thinly sliced vegetables.
- Pour the boiling water over the ingredients to cover.
- Cover the jug or bowl with cling film and leave for two minutes for the noodles to warm through.
- Serve immediately.
We’re linked to: