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Nadiya Hussain’s Instant Noodles

Nadiya Hussain's clever take on instant noodles is a go-to comfort food recipe, with four variations packed with delicious flavours and satisfying ingredients. These stress-free noodles make a warming lunch or an easy weeknight supper.

From the book

Nadiya Hussain


Instant noodles are my favourite thing when I need comfort food – they’re easy, simple to make and so versatile. They can be eaten as they are or jazzed up to be a bit more special, either with extra chilli sauce or bulked up with some vegetables. By making my own, I’m never short of noodles when I run out of the foil packet variety. I’ve given the ingredients for four variations – these are the ones I enjoy the most, using up things I tend to have at home. You’ll need a selection of 500ml jars with lids – each variation makes one jar. And get your scales out, because we’re making a big batch of spice paste to last.

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For the spice paste:
3 medium onions, quartered
2 bulbs of garlic, peeled
100ml vegetable oil
125ml balsamic vinegar
150ml fish sauce
150ml light soy sauce
100g brown sugar
200g chilli paste
For the noodles:
40g noodles (per portion) of your choice (you can also buy instant noodles that don’t need boiling)

Essential kit

You will need: a 500ml jar and a food processor.


To make the spice paste, blitz the onions and garlic until pulsed but not a smooth paste.

Put the oil into a pan on a medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onions and garlic and cook for 10–15 minutes, until the onions are brown. Now add the vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar and chilli paste, and cook until the mixture is a thick paste with no liquid. This should take about 20 minutes on a medium to low heat.

When the spice paste is cooked and cooled, put it into a jar – it should keep in the fridge for 2 months.

Now to make the noodles. Put a tablespoon of the spice paste into a 500ml jar, along with your portion of noodles and all the other bits. Leave it in the fridge, and when you are ready to eat, pour 300ml of boiling water into the jar and pop the lid on. I like my noodles brothy, but if you like a drier noodle, just add less water. These are great for home but also perfect for taking to work.

Noodle Variations

Chicken and Pea:
1 tablespoon spice paste + 3 tablespoons frozen peas + 3 tablespoons frozen onions + a small handful of cooked chicken + ¼ of a lime, squeezed, then dropped into the jar + 1 teaspoon dried dill

Beef and Kimchi:
1 tablespoon spice paste + 1 spring onion, sliced + 1 tablespoon kimchi + 2 strips of beef jerky, thinly cut with scissors + ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

Soya Mushroom:
1 tablespoon spice paste + ½ x 285g tin of sliced mushrooms, drained + 4 tablespoons soya mince, dried or frozen + 1 cube of frozen spinach + a slice of lemon, squeezed and dropped into the jar

Egg Noodles:
1 tablespoon spice paste + 4 tablespoons mixed frozen veg + 2 eggs, cracked straight into the jar + 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed + 1 teaspoon dried dill

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From the book: Time To Eat

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