Not that we ever really needed an excuse to eat instant ramen, but the coronavirus has given us a pretty compelling reason to up our intake as we have more meals at home. When eating noodles from a cup, one of our go-to brands is naturally Cup Noodles, but recently we learned of a way to turn them into something delicious yet decidedly non-noodley: dumplings.
This isn’t a half-baked idea born out of our staff’s hunger and laziness, either. Cup Noodle maker Nissin itself created the recipe for “Cup Noodle Takoyaki,” combining its famous instant ramen line with the signature snack of Osaka: takoyaki octopus dumplings.
So how do you make Cup Noodle Takoyaki? Surprisingly, you don’t need any octopus, since this is really more about the spirit of takoyaki, and the list of ingredients is kept short and simple.
● 1 Cup Noodle pack
● 1 egg
● Water (200 milliliters)
● Flour (3 tablespoons)
● Cooking oil (a dash)
Step 1: Take the Cup Noodle out of its cup and transfer it to a plastic/Ziploc bag – not just the noodles, but the entire contents of the cup. Once you’ve got everything in the bag, use your hands to crush it into small pieces.
Step 2: In a bowl, combine the egg and water.
Step 3: Pour the crushed Cup Noodle into the bowl, combining it with the egg/water mixture.
Step 4: Stir in the flour and ramen broth powder.
Step 5: Depending on your kitchen setup, things might get a little tricky here. For optimum results, you’ll want to use a takoyaki maker, a plug-in cooking appliance with little half-sphere into which you can pour the batter.
Even overseas, you can find takoyaki makers for sale online and in Asian specialty markets (here are a whole bunch on Amazon, including non-electric frying pan-style versions), and in a pinch, we suppose you could use a muffin or cupcake pan as long as you’re OK with extra-large takoyaki. Regardless of the equipment you use, dab the surface with cooking oil first, then pour in the Cup Noodle batter and give each of the dumplings an occasional stir with a toothpick or ice pick so they don’t singe. Once the batter cooks from a liquid into a solid, give it a test-poke with the pick, and if it comes out clean, it’s ready to eat.
If you’ve done everything correctly, the finished result should look nothing like instant noodles, and instead look like this:
Following Nissin’s recipe to the letter results in a great hybrid of the Cup Noodle flavor and takoyaki texture. If you want to get fancy, you can add traditional takoyaki fixings like takoyaki sauce or katsuobushi (bonito flakes), and if you’re a true gourmet you could even add a chunk of octopus or other seafood to each dumpling after you pour it into the takoyaki maker.
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