If you love Asian noodle soup and stir-fried noodles, and love having either of them for your first meal, often time constraints get in the way.
The obvious alternative is to go for instant noodles which require nothing but boiling water.
Sadly, instant noodles are unsatisfying. With instant noodle soups, it's the broth and the lack of real and substantial pieces of meat. The broth, often laced with MSG, tastes too artificial and leaves an aftertaste that lingers long after the meal is over. With dry noodles, the instant version of stir-fried noodles, it's the lack of real vegetables and meat that leaves the experience wanting.
So, we thought of a few practical techniques to make cooking noodle soup or stir-fried noodles for breakfast easy and less time-consuming. It's all about preparing ahead of time.
How to Prep Noodles Ahead of Time
Anyone who has tried making Vietnamese pho at home knows that the most time-consuming part is making the broth. The spices are roasted and the beef shank and tail are simmered with the herbs and roasted spices for long, long hours to make sure that every bit of goodness is drawn out and transferred to the broth. You don't have to be awake while making the broth. You can just dump everything in the slow cooker and leave it on overnight. By the time you wake up and ready to prepare breakfast, that broth will be ready.
Because rice noodles need soaking prior to blanching, it is also a good idea to soak the noodles before you go to bed. You can even leave them in the water overnight so long as you keep noodles and water in a covered bowl in the fridge.
Fifteen minutes before breakfast, all you have to do is blanch the noodles and assemble the pho.
Stir-frying is an ultra-fast cooking process. It doesn't take more than a couple of minutes to cook a stir-fried noodle dish. What takes up a lot of time is prepping all the ingredients that go into it. Vegetables have to be peeled, trimmed and cut. The meat has to be marinated. All this, you can do the night before so that cooking a stir-fried noodle dish for breakfast can be accomplished in less than 15 minutes.
Take your aromatics and vegetables, cut them into whatever shape and size you desire then keep them in separate covered containers in the fridge. Why separate containers? Some vegetables expel water while others, like mushrooms, are highly absorbent. You don't want some ingredients to lose their delicate flavor and natural texture or even turning nasty during the night.
Cut the meat into super thin slices, toss with marinade and keep in another covered container in the fridge.
Fifteen minutes before breakfast, the only work that remains is boiling the noodles and stir-frying everything together.