“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Noodles „
I love noodles but until recently there was one sort I had never tried - the flavoured instant type. Yes, I have never ate a Pot Noodle! To see what I was missing out on, I bought these Sainsbury's Instant Noodles in the vegetable flavour.
These are dry noodles which come in a plastic package, accompanied by a little foil sachet of flavouring. The packet is a bright yellow which certainly helps find them on the supermarket shelves. Opening it is thankfully easy without scissors - there is nothing worse than fiddling to open something only for it to suddenly explode everywhere! The noodles come compressed in a pale little block and look much the same as other noodles. They don't have any paticular scent themselves but the flavouring sachet reminds me of instant vegetable soup. Although "vegetable flavouring" makes up nearly a third of the sachet, there isn't any more specific information as to what it actually contains. Personally, I would like to know if this was made from actual vegetables or not, but I suspect I know the answer.
The noodles are very quick and easy to prepare and you can do so in the microwave or on the hob. I have tried both methods. As I can't tell any difference between the two, I usually opt for the microwave as I can cook it in the serving bowl which saves washing up! Whichever way you choose, the preparation is the same. The instructions tell you to break the noodle block up into 3 or 4 pieces, add a measured amount of boiling water and then the seasoning . Cooking in a pan takes two and a half minutes, and around 3 minutes in the microwave. I have found that you need to break the noodles into a greater number of pieces if you are using a smallish bowl, in order to make sure all the bits are under the water. If they aren't covered they don't cook, and remain hard. The noodles are brittle when raw so breaking them up can be quite messy too. Now that I have cooked them a few times, I no longer bother to precisely measure the water and I have had no disasters as a result. As you can see, they are something even the most hopeless cook could prepare!
In my experience, they are always cooked in the time they are supposed to be. They are quite hot at first so I usually let them cool for a minute or so. So are they worth the wait?
~TASTE AND TEXTURE~
I was impressed by the aroma coming from the microvave when I first cooked the noodles. It was very appetising, similar to vegetable soup, with a slight undertone of garlic. The noodles themselves have a good texture - not too soft or chewy. There are a some discernable pieces of carrot but very, very few of them and they are so tiny in size. I think some more obvious pieces of vegetables would make the dish seem more attractive and colourful. I do usually add some veg of my own anyway - to get me closer to my 5 a day.
As for the taste, I love it!. It is hard to pick out any individual flavour except onion, but whatever they have used blends together very nicely. The carrots pieces are sadly too small to make much impact. I do think it tastes a little salty as I often want a drink of water after having this. [ Each packet contains 1.3g of salt.] Although I think these smell of garlic and it is one of the ingredients, it isn't really obvious when you are eating them. I don't think they need any additional seasoning so I am happy to eat them as they are for a quick snack. If I take them to work with me, I find that they fill me up nicely until the end of the day. The other way I use these is as a side dish to a stirfry or Chinese style dishes. This is when I tend to add the extra vegetables, in order to make the dish look a little more attractive. Mushrooms seem to work especially well with them.
I would certainly recommend these to anyone looking for a quick and easy snack or a tasty side to a meal. They are good value at 28p for a 85g packet. This makes 335g of noodles once cooked. I would try and buy these in a main Sainsbury's shop as I have paid 29p - 35p for the same product in Sainsbury's Locals which I don't think is justified. I have deducted one star because of the small size of the vegetable pieces.
* Suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
As a student, I find these noodles filling, quite tasty, quick to cook and cheap into the bargain. At 28p for the packet, or something very similar, it's hardly a strain to do these. In fact, I don't even need to venture out of my room to cook them - I've found that if I put them in a bowl of boiling water and cover for about 5 minutes, they're cooked perfectly well. In this way, they're probably a relatively healthy choice - certainly healthier than Pot Noodles and the like.
Because these aren't served in a plastic pot, you can add vegetables of your choice, to personalise it a bit. And because you get quite a lot of noodle for your money, you could probably even share these with a friend, if you had quite a lot of veg with it.
Taste-wise, the flavouring you get with the noodles is good, and blends well with the noodles. It's not very strong, and there's not that much flavouring powder, but these noodles *are* 28p, after all, so perhaps that's to be expected. And it's one step up from their Basic's noodles, so I get to feel all civilised. :P