App review: Noodler

It's the only noodle soup recipe app you'll ever need...
by
App review: Noodler

If you’re feeling stressed or out-of-sorts, nothing soothes the soul more than a satisfying bowl of noodle soup, right?

If you’re nodding along in agreement, then you’ll want to check out Noodler (free on iOS and Android). It’s an app dedicated to the art of noodle soup making, with over 3 million recipes available. That’s a lot of noodles.

As the most Zen-like, philosophical and healthiest member of The Lowdown team (that was a joke – I’m Scottish) I was asked to put Noodler through its paces. Here are the full results of my hands-on investigation.

What's Noodler all about?

The Noodler app is the brainchild of New York-based writer and illustrator Michele Humes, and Joshua Sierles, a tech expert located in Sevilla, Spain.

They designed Noodler as a “love letter to noodle soup”, with a random element that gives them that amazing sounding ‘3 million recipes’ figure.

Humes’ illustrations are great, and they make each recipe a mini work of minimalist art. You’ll enjoy looking at each one, which is a good thing, because you might end up going through a lot of them…

How does Noodler work?

The first thing you’ll see in Noodler is a randomly generated soup idea. If you like the look of it, tap the bowl for more details. Or tap ‘refresh’ for another recipe.

The random nature of Noodler is what it’s all about. Forget about searching by specific ingredients or preferences, and awaken your inner Zen - let the universe decide on your choice of soup.

Unfortunately this lack of choice and functionality slightly annoyed me (not very Zen-like, I know). It would have been nice to be able to search by ingredient. Or perhaps even to ‘deselect’ ingredients you don’t like.

And now that I come to think of it, each soup idea seems to come with meat or fish – a vegetarian option would have been nice. Noodler's ingredients library does list a lot of vegetarian protein options, but to date, none of them have appeared on any of my recipe suggestions. Very strange.

Let’s get noodling…

Anyway, after a short period of meditation and reflection, I flicked through a few recipe suggestions and settled on one that I liked the look of. Buckwheat soba noodles in coconut-curry broth, topped with thinly sliced pork tenderloin, and chopped fresh chillis.

The beauty of noodle soup lies in its simplicity, and each recipe has a mere handful of ingredients. Some ingredients need preparing beforehand, but that’s not too much of a problem. Just tap the picture to find out the exact method.

So how did I get on with my noodle soup creation? Not bad at all. The recipe was simple, the instructions clear and in no time at all, the universe had presented me with a delicious, steaming bowl of noodle soup.

As you can see, it looks almost identical to the artwork.

Okay, so maybe not exactly identical. Obviously I hacked my pork to pieces rather than slice it thinly, but it still tasted great.

If you want to bring some more noodle soup into your life, there's no better app than Noodler. If you can embrace its random nature you’ll love it. For example, if you want to try out the exact same recipe that I did above, you’ve got a 1 in 3 million chance of finding it. Happy recipe hunting!

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