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Article  •  6 July 2023


How to make a kid-friendly night noodle market at home

MasterChef star and cookbook author Tommy Pham explains how to have some foodie fun at home.

Have you ever wanted to go to the night noodle markets but didn’t think it would be possible with kiddos? While the night noodle markets are so much fun, they can be a bit crazy and sometimes overwhelming with tired, hungry or overstimulated little ones. But never fear – now is your chance!

By recreating the night noodle markets at home, you can have the excitement without the hassle. Sounds ideal, right? 

How to have your own ‘night noodle markets’ at home

  1. It might sound counterintuitive to begin with dessert, but trust me when I say that making dessert ahead of time as a special surprise is 100% worth it. I recommend making Creamy Mango Coconut Sago and popping it in the fridge for later. Watch your little ones light up when they discover you’ve secretly made a special dessert for your at-home noodle market. 
  2. Now that you’ve got dessert sorted, it’s time to think about dinner. Prepare your favourite noodle dish (mine is Mì Quảng – Turmeric Pork and Prawn Noodles)! Make it interactive by placing your family’s favourite garnish options in individual bowls. This allows each family member to customise their noodles, making it easy for little ones to get involved. Possible garnishes include crispy onions, fresh herbs, or even sliced chilli for those who like a bit of spice. 
  3. The ambience is key to any great event, and your at-home noodle night is no exception! Lay the big bowl of noodles on a table in your kitchen, living room or outdoors, and place the smaller garnish bowls around it. Add lights, candles, or music to set the fun night scene. Let your little ones serve themselves to the best of their abilities, plating up noodles and adding their favourite garnishes.  
  4. Once everyone has enjoyed their noodles, it’s time for a game! We love to make our own shaker instruments by filling old spice bottles and plastic cups with dried pasta, rice or fried beans to create a musical dance party! 
  5. Once the dance party is complete, you can reveal the dessert surprise to your excited little ones (and big ones!) 

The great thing about my night noodle markets at home is that everyone can be bathed and in bed at a normal time while still having an exciting dinner. The magic of food is that it can play a huge role in creating special memories, so I urge you to set aside some time and create a magical meal like this for you and your family to enjoy together. 

Check out My Family Kitchen for more recipes, hacks and tips for making cooking playful.

Feature Title

My Family Kitchen
From MasterChef favourite, dad and teacher Tommy Pham, this book – jam-packed with 60 recipes and fun kitchen activities – will help families to develop a love of food through cooking and play.
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