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I picked up the ASDA smart price equivalent to a Pot Noodle for 23p on my latest shop, thinking it was worth giving it a try. For those that have never had a pot noodle, it is a dry noodle snack which you pour boiling water over to soften the noodles, mushrooms and sweetcorn. In doing this it also brings the powered chicken flavour to life which is then stirred into the noodles. The ASDA smart price version is identical in method, but very different in every other aspect.
The 70g pot is the same as the traditional noodle snack it seeks to imitate, but the packaging is plain and simple. The Smart Price green and white packaging with no fancy pictures, no posh text is just what you would expect from the Smart Price range. Just a simple style with what you need to know written on it. The thin plastic peel back film lid differs to the Pot Noodle snack, in that the premium brand has a foil lid for freshness.
My first surprise was that the ASDA noodle snack comes with no additional flavour, i.e. soy sauce, which left me hoping that the powered stock would be so full of flavour it needed no added extras. The second surprise was that it wasn’t.
The noodles cooked well, but you cannot really go wrong with a product like this – if you like soggy noodles just leave it to stand for longer if you prefer them undercooked then don’t wait as long before eating.
There was no evidence of chicken or soy pieces in my pot, but there was some evidence of very small pieces of mushroom and sweetcorn. Neither the mushroom nor sweetcorn tasted of anything, nor do they appear to have ‘cooked’ to the same level as the noodles which left them bit crunchy. I didn’t over pour the water into my pot instead I used just enough so that the noodles were not swimming in water. The taste test proved no better. The noodles were bland and didn’t taste particularly pleasant. There was no evidence of any powder chicken stock in the pot at all, and I really did give it a good stir looking for that all important flavour!
I could taste no chicken or mushroom, but the pot boasts an improved recipe for their “Noodles, textured soya protein and vegetables in a chicken and mushroom flavour sauce.” I have no idea what the sauce they refer to is, as stirring this definitely did not coat the noodles in any form of flavour/sauce.
The only similarity between the original pot noodle and the Smart Price version, once opened, was that they smelt quite similar. However, the ASDA version had a much milder fragrance compared to a real pot noodle. Once the water was poured, the scent dispersed quite quickly. I would avoid this product at all costs. I tried it because I don’t regularly eat Pot Noodles but the price of them has rocketed to well over the Ł1 mark
This is not a good alternative. Next time I will just buy the real deal.