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 on 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, located at most shopping malls all over Thailand. In Phuket, there’s one at Central Festival Phuket. Yum Saap serves a large variety of dishes made from Mama noodles.
One funny thing: a pack of Mama or WaiWai, found outside Thailand, tastes different. I guess that Thai people snack on the noodle on their means that it will have to be tastier. You have to try! The bestselling one is the silver pack Mama Tom Yam Goong, but I 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.