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Chefs at home: Watch Woo Wai Leong of Restaurant Ibid invent a carbonara dish from a clever instant noodle recipe

Fake it till you make it

Text: Janice Sim


If we could thank our stars for one of the greatest culinary inventions, it would be instant food. And there’s never any shame in indulging in processed, yet so satisfying strands of alkaline-glazed noodles. At least for Woo Wai Leong, chef-owner of Restaurant Ibid and winner of Masterchef Asia who continues our Chefs at Home series with a jazzed up version of instant noodles. Roping in plump egg yolks and fancy bacon, one might say it looks like “carbonara”.

Recipe for Woo Wai Leong's Instant Noodle "Carbonara"
Serves 2 or a single hungry beast

Here's what you need

2 packets of your favourite Instant Noodles (we won't be using the seasoning packets so save them for fries)
As much as you want of your favourite Cured Meat (bacon works)
2 Eggs
½  Onion, finely minced
3 tbspn Unsalted Butter
2 tbspn Fried Shallots (bawang goreng)
Lots of Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Century Egg, diced (optional)
1 tspn Baking Soda
Salt, to taste 

How to make it

1. Start with a knob of butter and cook onions over medium heat till they are translucent and sweet.
2. Dice up your cured meat product of choice and saute in a pan with the butter till caramelised and fragrant.
3. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add baking soda. Add instant noodles and stir constantly.
4. In the meantime, mix eggs, bawang goreng, century egg. Mix thoroughly to incorporate.
5. Once instant noodles are cooked to your preference, immediately drain and add to the egg mix while mixing constantly. You are looking for the heat of the just cooked noodles to start cooking the eggs without scrambling them.
6. Keep mixing until the egg mix turns into a thick sauce that coats the noodles, add the cured meat product mix. Mix well before serving with freshly cracked black pepper. 

Creative Producer: Vanessa Caitlin
Videography: David Bay
Sound: Hazirah Rahim

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