Mama Instant Noodles and WaiWai are both top-selling brands of instant noodles in Thailand, and ‘Mama’ has been the universal term for Thai people to refer to any instant noodle. Some love WaiWai but still refer to it as ‘Mama’.
The way people eat Mama is usually like any other instant noodle. Pour hot water, empty the small tasty sachets into the bowl, cover, wait three minutes if you can, and eat. But the other ‘not so usual’ way we also like is to snack it dry and uncooked! But the health department probably wouldn’t approve of this, so we will not tell you how tasty that slightly salted, crunchy noodle is.
Now – the other nice way of cooking mama noodles is as a Yum Mama or Larb Mama. These are Thai style, spicy Mama salads. The easiest place to try this is Yum Saap Restaurant, which is located at most shopping malls all over Thailand. In Phuket, there’s one at Central Festival Phuket. Yum Saap actually serves a large variety of dishes made from Mama noodle.
One funny thing: a pack of Mama or WaiWai, found outside Thailand tastes totally different. I guess that Thai people snack the noodle on their own means that the noodle will have to be tastier. You have to try! The bestselling one is the silver pack Mama Tom Yam Goong, but I personally like the original WaiWai Moo Sub – minced pork flavour. A pack of Tom Yum Mama costs about 6 or 7 baht, and there is probably at least one pack of instant noodles in every Thai house.
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 27 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run Phuket101.net and manage large international online travel guides.