Can Ramen Noodles Be Reheated?

July 21, 2022
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With Proper Storage You Can Reheat Ramen in a Number of Different Ways

In China and Japan, ramen is a staple food almost as predominant as rice. It is sold in convenience stores much like hot dogs in the US. It’s fast, convenient, and inexpensive.

In the US, ramen noodles or cup noodles are a quick and cheap meal. A package of them costing less than one dollar, they stock the pantries of single people and families on a budget across the country.

Photo of Cup Noodles

Cup Noodles are Extremely Popular in the United States

As inexpensive as they are, not much thought goes to them as leftovers. But if you did not finish your meal of ramen noodles, would it be okay to reheat them? Would they still have a decent flavor? Would they make you sick?

The Story of Instant Ramen Noodles

Storing Leftover Ramen

The key to eating leftover ramen noodles is the way you store them. If you are eating out of a bowl and just put it in the refrigerator, those noodles will dry out and become a sponge by the time you eat them.

Sealing them in an airtight storage container is the way to go. If you have more broth, you could add some to keep it from drying out. Do not add too much because they soak up the moisture and may become soggy.

The most important part is to keep it in the refrigerator. Ramen noodles have to stay cold after they are cooked. That keeps them from growing bacteria that can make you sick.

How Long Will Ramen Noodles Last in the Refrigerator?

If you put your cooked ramen noodles in a storage container and place them in the refrigerator, they should last up to three days. Even in an airtight container, any amount of time beyond that will risk bacteria that could make you sick.

When you take the ramen out of the refrigerator to prepare it, check that it has not gone bad. If it has, the first thing you will notice will be a rancid smell. There may be some discoloration to the noodles, or it may even have begun to grow mold. If you see any of those things, throw them out and eat something else.

How to Reheat Ramen Noodles

There are a couple of different ways to reheat ramen noodles. You can microwave ramen noodle or heat them on the stove. There are tricks to doing both that may help add some life to your leftover meal.

Reheating Ramen Noodles in the Microwave

The microwave is the quickest way to reheat anything. What it makes up for in time may come out in flavor. When reheating in the microwave, there are things you can do to make it remain appetizing.

Using a fork, separate the noodles. They tend to stick together when they are not fresh. Also, add a little of the ramen broth you saved it. Or you can add a little butter to the noodles. As it cooks, it will melt the butter, making your noodles come out creamy.

Reheating Ramen Noodles on the Stove

The best way to reheat instant noodles is on your stove. It will seal in the most flavor and make it taste the most like it did when it was fresh. Again, separate the noodles before you start so they will not cook in one big clump.

If you stored your noodles and broth separately, you should now add the broth to a pot and bring it to a boil. Once the broth is hot, add your noodles. You do not have to cook them for long because they will get soggy. Add in a little butter as before to make your noodles come out creamy.

Making Leftover Ramen Go Further

Reheating leftover ramen is a good way to battle food waste. Eating leftovers is always a good idea for people on a budget. But sometimes there is not enough ramen left to make a meal, especially if more than one person is eating.

If you have leftover broth, heat it on the stove until it comes to a boil. Add in fresh ramen noodles and any vegetables or meat you want to include to the boiling water. Once the noodles have reheated, remove the pot from the heat and throw in your leftover ramen. Use a fork to pull the noodles apart.

Stir it all together well until the cold ramen becomes the same temperature as the fresh noodles. You have a great way to expand your food budget and use your leftovers to supplement a new meal.

Adding Flavor Back Into Leftover Ramen Noodles

Heating ramen is probably not going to be enough. Ramen is good, but anything leftover and reheated later has to have things added to give it flavor. If you want plain ramen, you could open a new pack and start from scratch.

Photo of Noodles with Chicken, Egg, and Vegetables

Add Flavor to Your Noodles with Additional Proteins and Vegetables

  • Throw a stock cube into the broth as it comes to a boil. It will thicken into a sauce that you can add your ramen to.
  • Add in some other leftovers that you might have in your fridge to turn them into a meal. Steak, pork, and shrimp are all great when added to ramen.
  • Stir-frying some vegetables to add to your ramen in a little bit of sesame oil is a way to spruce it up and add nutrition to your meal. Broccoli, bok choy, green onion, bean sprouts, and carrots are all great choices.
  • For additional protein, consider dropping a soft boiled egg or cooked chicken breast in the pot with your leftover noodles. When you are ready to eat, you can pop the yolk and add a little soy sauce.
  • Add some spaghetti sauce and ground beef to make a super simple pasta that you can serve with some garlic toast.
  • You can never go wrong by adding cheese!

What Dishes Can Be Made With Leftover Ramen Noodles?

If you are trying to make a dish with your leftover ramen, do not be afraid to use your imagination. The great thing about instant ramen is that they are a springboard to many flavors.

  1. You can make a simple ramen noodle stir fry with your noodles called yakisoba. Just put the noodles in a pan with some chopped cabbage, carrots, and pork. Add some soy sauce as it cooks.
  2. Add an egg to your ramen and flatten them into silver dollar-sized circles in a hot pan with butter. That will make crispy ramen cakes that you can serve with sour cream and chopped onion.
  3. Throw your noodles into a pan and cook with some leftover chicken or steak. Add some taco seasoning. Put it in a bowl and top with cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocado for a delicious ramen taco bowl.
  4. Mix your leftover ramen with garlic powder, parmesan cheese, and one egg. Spread it on a large pan, and you have a pizza crust. Top with pizza sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
  5. If you like mac and cheese, put your ramen noodles in a pot with a little water to reheat them. Add a cup of shredded cheese of your choosing. A mixture of cheddar and mozzarella works great.

Can Ramen Noodles Be Frozen?

If you have some cooked ramen in the refrigerator that you do not want to waste, but you know it is not going to be eaten in two days, then you may want to freeze it. There is no reason that you cannot freeze ramen noodles that are already cooked as long as it is done properly. Place the noodles in a storage container, and be sure to get the air out of it to protect them from freezer burn. They can also be placed in plastic zipper storage bags and may be easier to reheat that way.

Photo of Freezer Burned Ramen Noodles

When Freezing Your Noodles, Avoid Freezer Burn (shown above) by Vacuum Sealing Your Noodles in a Plastic Bag or Airtight Container

This is also an excellent meal-planning idea for people on a budget or pressed for time. You could make a large ramen stir-fry dish and divide it into portions for the freezer. You can pull the containers out and reheat them as needed throughout the week.

How to Reheat Frozen Ramen Noodles

Frozen ramen noodles are similar to those out of the fridge in that they can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.

To heat them in the microwave, take the lid off and put them in for five to seven minutes. They may not have the same texture as when they were fresh, but they will still be good.

Heating them on the stove is the best way to keep the flavor. Let the ramen sit on your counter for a few minutes. Turn your stove on medium heat. Pour the ramen into the pot and slowly stir for about fifteen minutes.

If you stored your ramen in plastic bags, you can bring a pot of water to a boil and put them in. The heat from the water will thaw the noodles without letting them soaking it up and becoming mushy.

Ramen noodles are among the most cost-efficient and culinarily diverse foods there are. The wonderful thing about them is how they can be added to so many dishes and make them better. And the way they can expand your pantry without breaking your wallet is good as well.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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