I must admit, I’ve never really been a huge noodle fan, more so in recent years thanks to being wheat intolerant. Most ready-prepared noodle dishes, both ready to eat or in restaurants, usually contain gluten-packed soya sauce, plus I’ve never really cooked with them and when I have in the past, they have ended up being a gloopy mess – I hold my hands up, that could be my mistake when overcooking them and adding to a stir-fry!
During Coeliac Awareness Week (12th-18th May 2014), it was nice to get an unexpected tweet from @KabutoNoodles, who kindly offered to send me some of their newly launched gluten-free rice noodle soup pots. Founded in 2010 when Crispin spotted a gap in the market for quality noodles on the go, Kabuto launched in 2011 ready to “do battle with an instant noodle market that sells over 100 billion servings a year”.
I liked the sound of the brand’s no-nonsense mission statement: “A delicious combination of authentic Asian flavours and quality ingredients, prepared with the skill, dedication and discipline of a Samurai warrior,” plus, being a sucker for decent branding and a hint of a product’s personality, I smiled at the amusing quotes on the packaging – “If a man has no noodles in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty” being an example.
What appealed to me the most about these noodles is that while they are super quick and easy to prepare (no need for a fridge, simply a boiled kettle and a fork!), these bad boy pots contain none of the usual bad stuff you’d associate with standard instant noodles. Forget additives, preservatives or salt-packed sachets of gloop, Kabuto Noodles are simply made from high quality ingredients and tasty Asian-inspired recipes.
The first of the two varieties I sampled was the Rice Noodle Soup with Chicken: ‘A light and fresh tasting rice noodle soup with chicken, ginger, chilli, coriander and spring onion.’ New for summer this year and completely gluten-free, I decided to make this into a quick but healthy main meal and added the made-up pot to some stir-fried spinach, mushrooms, onions and peppers. Ready within 10 minutes, the noodles themselves were deliciously moist without being soggy, held their texture and were enjoyable to eat, while the flavours were perfectly balanced and complimented each other without being overpowering or too bland – I didn’t need to add any extra herbs, spices, salt or sauces.
After a weekend of partying at a festival and drinking rather than eating, I wanted a substantial but healthy lunch earlier today at work, so the second gluten-free variety was the ideal option. Also new for summer 2014, the Rice Noodle Soup with Miso proposed to be a ‘light and fresh tasting rice noodle soup with miso, soy and vegetables.’ Admittedly, I’d not tried miso and thought I wouldn’t be a fan so was a bit apprehensive about trying this…but in less than 5 minutes I was enjoying this refreshing, warming pot of goodness. Slightly salty but tasty with chunks of onions, leeks and dried mushrooms, I was once again impressed with the quality and texture of the noodles.
Being so quick and easy to prepare, it’s great to be able to enjoy restaurant flavours for lunch or dinner, so long as a kettle is nearby, making these noodles ideal for work, home and camping outdoors. I must say, thanks to Kabuto Noodles for converting me to something I thought I would never really enjoy again. I’m looking forward to seeing more from these guys in the near future; they already have a great range of other (non gluten-free) noodles such as Beef Pho and Prawn Tom Yum, so keep your eye out and see why these pots are fit for a Samurai warrior!