15 minute after school special noodles.

15 Minute After-School Special Noodles

We were able to stay home alone from 2:45 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. when I was eleven years old since my parents finally (finally?) decided that we were old enough.

We’d had after-school activities before that and even a short spell with a Chinese nanny who picked us up from school with her hair in hot rollers and a shower cap over her head (not the best look for a third grader).

A-Bomb Pop or a Chipwich at the ice cream truck down the street? Being able to walk the 10 minutes from school to home and having our own set of keys? It was an exhilarating experience.

However, the time between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. was the most enjoyable part of our daily routines. This was the day when we’d turn on the TV, catch up on our favorite shows from Nickelodeon or PBS, and make a quick snack. Let’s just call it a snack for the time being.


  • Any dried pasta
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • White pepper (optional)
  • Chili oil (optional)
  • scallions (chopped, optional)


1. Cook the pasta in accordance with the package’s instructions. Drain. Adjust the seasoning with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil, if desired. Stir in the scallions and white pepper if using.

2. Be careful not to overdo it with seasonings, especially soy sauce, which may quickly become very salty. You can start with a teaspoon of soy sauce and work your way up.

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