Short of time? Fancy up your instant meal in 15 minutes with these hacks

Short of time? Fancy up your instant meal in 15 minutes with these hacks

Fear not, for all is not lost … here’s how you can make the meal you truly long for

Transform your meal with these hacks Image Credit: Cats Coming/

Dubai: Einstein said time is relative. But how relative is it, when you’re always running out of it? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. When it comes to food, time is key and patience is more than just a virtue. And food definitely takes time and (a lot) of patience.

The trick is to make your meal, yes. But how do you make it tasty, nutritious and less time consuming all at once? Enter … hacks.

These tricks will be sure to help you get through each day and most of all, a gourmet meal.

1. Crack an egg

Crack and egg... that will make all the difference Image Credit: Agung Pandit Wiguna/

Did you know, there are over 10 ways in which you can make an egg? Boiled, poached, scrambled … you can make it any way you like it. Place it on top of your noodles or rice, add it with a side of cooked vegetables and you’ve got yourself a healthy meal. You can also crack an egg while you’re cooking your meal and whisk it with a fork so that the egg white and yolk are blended well together.

2. Stir fry it

Don't spare your vegetables Image Credit: Lisa/

Don’t spare the vegetables. You heard us … your greens are very important. But do we like it? Well, most of us feel a little repelled, if not all of us. Sneak in a vegetable or two when you make your instant meals because it does also gives you the nutrition your body needs. Broccoli, carrots, peas or bell peppers, take your pick and make it grand, colourful and delicious all at the same time. You could also stick to the trusty spring onion and chop it up to garnish on top of your bowl of instant noodles, soup or rice.

3. Sauce it up

Don't skip the seasoning Image Credit: Monica Turlui/

Chop up your onions, crush garlic, add in a little bit of ginger, a few chilli flakes and top it off with sesame seeds … voilà! It’s a whole different meal itself. But hey, don’t stop at that. You can add in a little bit of spice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce to enhance the flavour to your liking a little more.

4. It’s always a good ‘thyme’

Stock up on your herbs Image Credit: Shutterstock

Herbs. You can’t go wrong with them. Not only are they healthy, but cook it in with a little butter and the flavour is elevated instantly. Spinach, basil, parsley (among others) are some of the herbs you can also use while you make your meal.

5. From the land to the sea

Don't know what to do with the shrimp in your refrigerator? Add it to your noodles of course! Image Credit: Anthony Leong/

So we’ve listed where you can get your nutrients, but don’t skip out on other protein. If you’ve got leftover rotisserie chicken, a chicken fillet, red meat or even shellfish, will help do the trick of transforming your instant meal into a filling, gourmet meal. And of course, cook your choice of meat or seafood before you add in the noodles or rice.

6. Fry it

Fryums are a great addition to amp up a dull meal Image Credit: Shutterstock

So, noodles aren’t the only instant meals you would usually find at a supermarket or grocery store. You would also find rice and lentils (dal chawal), spiced rice or biryani, roasted semolina with herbs and vegetables (upma), and more. If you’re craving something other than noodles, you could fry a few fryums, pappads (spiced and dried flatbreads), pair it with a pickle or raita (curd with vegetables and spices), to give you the satisfaction you get from a full meal.

In case of instant pizzas or frozen food, your best options would be a fruit drink or vegetable sides, respectively.

7. Try butter instead of oil

Adding butter instead of oil gives you a different meal altogether Image Credit: Katerina Holmes/

While we’re all inclined to pour a few drops of oil to cook our meals, try using butter instead to sauté your vegetables. You could cook your instant meal separately and then add it to the cooked vegetables, mix it all together and then place a knob of butter on top till it melts. Ah, perfect!

Know of any other ways you can transform an instant meal into gourmet food? Tell us about it on

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