Saturday, 28 January 2012

Economy Fried Instant Noodles

Economy fried bee hoon, essentially stir-fried rice vermicelli with other cheap ingredients, chiefly fried luncheon meat (known in the UK as Spam, or chopped pork and ham; luncheon meat in the UK refers to a deli cold cut) and a fried egg, was something I ate on occasion, either because it happened to be there when we were outside and stuck for breakfast options, or a quick dinner given prior to an event, provided by the event organisers. It has not been a major feature of my diet so far though. That said, when I came across this blog post I was reminded me of home, and the little things that made home so special. In the Google searches that followed, I learnt just how much luncheon meat mattered to people back home, when a government import ban triggered panic buying.

It took a while for Sainsbury's to come up with a Basics version of chopped pork and ham, but its introduction would tie in pretty nicely with the overall theme of this blog. No supermarket in the UK stocks rice vermicelli though, so to compensate I will probably cook three packs of Basics chicken flavour instant noodles. Incidentally, doing this is popular in Hong Kong, where time-poor residents can even go to cafes which serve instant noodles with luncheon meat and egg. To assuage my mother's concerns about my diet I will cook up some spinach to go with it too.

The gelatin you see on the block of pork comes from the bottom of the can. I remembered having the luncheon meat in semi-circular slices, so I did the same. Half a can of the luncheon meat would be enough for one person, according to Sainsbury's nutritional guidelines anyway. The other half could be saved for something else, like fried rice.

Pan-fry the slices until golden brown.

Cook the instant noodles while frying an egg sunny-side up.

When fried to a crisp, the Basics chopped pork and ham tastes more like bacon than the luncheon meat I'm familiar with, possibly due to differences in the meat itself. The cost breakdown of the meal is: 50p for half a can of meat; 12p for a Basics egg; 30p for 3 packs of instant noodles, and; a variable cost for vegetables depending on what you add. Replacing the instant noodles with pasta would probably lower the overall cost of eating this. Still, it's good to know that when homesick and the nearest Chinatown is inaccessible, one can still turn to Sainsbury's to be reminded of home.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Chopped Pork and Ham£0.99/kg200g+£0.30Higher meat content.

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