It might not make for the most glamorous meal in the world, but there’s no knocking ramen when it comes to food that’s budget-friendly and convenient.
Can ramen noodles be microwaved and made even more convenient though? The answer is a definite yes!
In this guide I’ll walk you through the quick and simple steps involved, and give some useful tips for adding a little extra bite to this basic meal.
What You’re Going To Need
There’s not much to talk about here. Just make sure you’ve got the following to hand:
Ramen Packet – Just pick your favorite brand or flavor here. Make sure you hang onto the seasoning packet that comes with the ramen.
Liquid – Use water as per the instructions on the ramen pack, or make a vegetable or chicken broth instead.
Ramen Microwave Instructions
Here are the simple steps that explain how to microwave ramen noodles to perfection!
Step 1: Take the noodles out of the packet and break them up. If you’re worried about making a mess, break them up while they’re still inside the packet.
Step 2: Put the ramen noodles in a microwave-safe bowl (see the section after these steps on using a cup instead).
Step 3: Add liquid according to the instructions on the packet. If you want something more like a broth or a soup, add a little more liquid than the packet says. Adjust the liquid volume halfway through cooking if it still needs more.
Step 4: Add the bowl to the microwave and cook for around 1 minute. Stir the contents, then cook the noodles for another minute. Stir again, then give it a final blast for around 30 seconds. If you like your noodles a little more done, give them another 30 seconds.
Step 5: Take the bowl out of the microwave (carefully, as it will be hot), then tip in the contents of the seasoning packet and give everything a good stir.
Step 6: Serve in a bowl while it’s still hot.
Those are the simple instructions for making ramen in the microwave!
It’s pretty basic – and let’s be honest bland – stuff, but you can do a few things to improve the flavor with just a little extra effort. Jump past the next section to find out how.
How To Microwave Ramen In A Cup
If you haven’t got a microwave-safe bowl to hand, it’s really easy to make them in a cup instead.
- Break up the noodles just as you would with the bowl method.
- Add the right amount of water for the amount of noodles you’re using (ie, if you’re using half the noodles, add half the water indicated on the instructions.
- Cook as before, but this time check and stir every 30 seconds. Be mindful of the cooking time on the instructions if you’re only using part of the packet contents.
How To Spice Up Microwave Ramen
To improve the somewhat bland experience of a basic bowl of ramen, consider the following tips:
Skip The Seasoning: Rather than using the packet of seasoning that comes with your ramen, buy some cheap chicken, vegetable or beef stock cubes. Dissolve these in the same amount of water, and add them to the ramen noodles before cooking in the microwave.
Spice Things Up After Cooking: A few splashes of kitchen staples can work wonders on a bowl of plain ramen. Try soy, chili or sriracha sauce to give this basic meal a much-needed injection of flavor.
Vegetables: Adding a bit of bite – and some-much needed nutrition – a selection of vegetables will immediately transform your basic ramen broth. You don[‘t even need to worry about buying fresh either. If you’ve got some frozen veg in the freezer, it’ll cook in the microwave in around the same time as the ramen.
Make It Meatier: You’ll need to throw a pan on the stovetop for this, but consider frying up a little chicken, pulled pork, diced ham or beef while the ramen’s cooking in the microwave. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and cook, but makes a huge difference to the final meal.
Here are some useful tips for making even better ramen in the microwave:
- The more you break up the noodles before cooking, the more evenly they’ll cook. They’ll have a much more even texture as a result.
- The cooking time is all about getting the right texture. If they’re soft and loose in the bowl or cup, they’re ready to eat. If there’s still an unpleasant crunch, give them another 30 seconds.
- Experiment with the amount of liquid you use. Making a more liquid broth works really well if you choose to add vegetables or protein, for example.
In the last section of my guide to making microwave ramen, I wanted to answer some questions that are commonly asked.
Can You Microwave Ramen Cups?
Here we’re talking about Cup Noodles and the like. Whatever brand you’re buying, check the cooking instructions. If a microwave method isn’t included, don’t do it!
What happens when you microwave ramen cups that aren’t designed for this purpose??
Well, the simple answer is that the material will break down in the microwave.
Very often the materials these cups are made from are not microwave-safe. At best you risk creating a soggy mess in your microwave as the cup leaks or deteriorates.
What Can You Microwave Ramen Noodles In?
What about using different containers for the job? Can you use anything you have lying around the kitchen?
The answer to this is no. There are certain materials that are designed to be used in the microwave, and other materials that certainly aren’t!
Can You Microwave Ramen Noodles In Styrofoam Containers?
I’ve written about microwaving styrofoam elsewhere on Viva Flavor. For the most part, this is a material you really don’t want to put in the microwave.
Styrofoam breaks down quickly at relatively modest temperatures. Microwaves tend to work at high temperatures, with fast cooking speeds.
Not only does that risk creating a mess, styrofoam also contains chemicals that are not designed to be heated in a way that’s safe for food preparation. Once heated to a high enough level, these can leech into the food.
Can You Microwave Ramen In A Paper Bowl?
You can use a paper bowl to reheat your ramen in the microwave. In fact, many environmentally-friendly meals make use of this material.
There’ll be hot water soaked into that bowl though, so don’t overcook the ramen, and use care when removing the hot bowl from the microwave.
Can You Microwave Ramen In Tupperware?
Yes, but make sure your Tupperware container is microwave-safe before you do so.
The telltale sign here is a logo on the bottom of the Tupperware box.
If you can see a small square with wavy lines on the bottom of the container, that means you can microwave your ramen in it.
Now you know not only how to make ramen noodles in the microwave, but also significantly improve their flavor.
Just because this is a simple & convenient meal to make, it doesn’t mean you can’t experiment and create much better results!
Experiment, try different broth flavors, and throw in some random proteins as well. You might just discover the next big thing in one of cooking’s rather unfairly maligned meals…