Plant-Based Instant Noodles From the Noodelist

Plant-based instant noodles made with a super-food ingredient.
Plant-based instant noodles made with a super-food ingredient.

Thuong Tan launched her Silicon Valley startup two years ago. It wasn’t centered on hardware or software.

But on noodles.

Instant ones that were plant-based, shelf-stable, and could be ready to eat in all of 5 minutes.

You see, Tan, has never been a big fan of rice or potatoes, despite her Chinese, Vietnamese and Finnish heritage. For her, noodles have always been where it’s at.

So, while working for Business Finland, the Finnish organization focused on funding, trade, investment, and travel promotion, she got the notion to start her own business, one that would bring her the same warm satisfaction as a bowl of her mother’s Vietnamese brothy noodles.

The Noodelist was born.

Now sold on its web site, as well as locally at Sigona’s at Stanford Shopping Center, it comes in two flavors: Lemongrass Vegan Chicken’ish and Bold & Juicy Shiitake. A pack of four individual servings is $19.50.

While the Noodelist offers a gluten-free option with rice noodles, its primary kits feature noodles made with a combination of wheat and moroheiya, otherwise known as mallow leaf, which has been cultivated in Egypt since ancient times.

Each box contains individual packets of noodle and soup base, enough for four servings.
Each box contains individual packets of noodle and soup base, enough for four servings.

Moroheiya, also referred to as Egyptian spinach, is considered a super food because it is rich in fiber and beta carotene, and has far more calcium than regular spinach.

What Tan especially appreciates about the moroheiya is that it creates noodles that don’t turn soggy but stay chewy until the last slurp.

When Tan recently sent me samples of the Lemongrass Vegan Chicken’ish, I definitely found that to be the case with these green-tinged noodles.

Just add the noodle and soup base packets to a bowl, and add boiling water. Cover for 5 minutes, then dig in.

Just add boiling water.
Just add boiling water.

You will need to use your chopsticks to break up the mass of noodles even after the allotted 5 minutes or else it will stay together in one big clump. But once you do, you will be rewarded with tasty, toothsome, al dente noodles with definite springiness.

The broth does have a nice savoriness. The lemongrass is subtle, with a pronounced herbalness coming across more fully instead. The taste is similar to that of instant chicken soup, though, of course, with no real chicken in this plant-based version.

Although not as frighteningly high in sodium as many other instant ramen or noodles, it still does have 980mg of sodium, which is not insignificant. One serving is 230 calories, and makes for a satisfying lunch that doesn’t leave you weighed down.

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