Kabuto noodles

Pot Noodle, is there any shame in it?

Kabuto noodles

There has always been talk of the Pot Noodle. How it’s not real food. How it’s a bit too addictively easy. How it’s a lazy meal for people who can’t or won’t cook. Today I tried some Kabuto Noodles and it got me thinking, is there any shame in eating a Pot Noodle?

Just to point out, Kabuto Noodles are not Pot Noodles. Like Pot Noodles, they come in a pot. And like Pot Noodles they are almost instant – just add water and wait. Unlike Pot Noodles though, they use fine thread noodles and their flavouring comes in a sachet. But like any other fast cooking noodles on the market, whether it comes in a pot or not, these are quick and easy meals. But then again if you think about it, how hard is it to make noodles?

Those Sharwood Egg Noodles, for example, only take five minutes to cook. All you need to do is add flavouring to create a meal and I use them all the time. And I was quite surprised that my mother also used them. But the great thing is that if you add fresh vegetables and low salt stock, you have a delicious meal which is light, refreshing and healthy.

Of course, some noodles take longer than others to cook – especially if you’re making them from scratch. But unless you are making noodles from scratch, dinner can easily be made within 20 minutes. So where is the merit of eating instant noodles (that may or may not taste better than what you can make)?

Admittedly there may be a time and place for instant noodles – camping. If you have a camping stove (or can nab water from somewhere) instant noodles, especially if they come in pots, could be a life saver. I’m not a regular camper but I know that on the few camping trips I have been on, instant noodles felt like the nicest and healthiest thing. But maybe that’s just because I’m an inexperienced camper?

So, is Pot Noodle something you wouldn’t touch with a barge pole or could you come to consider it as a bit of a gourmet treat?

Qin Xie

Qin Xie is a London based food, wine and travel journalist and trained chef.

When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and CNN.

Her first cookbook, co-authored with YS Peng at Hunan Restaurant, is out March 2014.

According to friends, her watch is always set to UTC -- ready for the next big adventure. In reality, she is happiest at the dinner table or by the sea.

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