Can You Eat Ramen Raw? Your Questions Answered

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If you have never eaten ramen noodles before, then you are really missing out. If you have eaten ramen noodles, then you know exactly what we are talking about. Ramen noodles are a delicious, warming, comforting and flavorful snack to enjoy. 

If you are a ramen noodle lover, then you may have at some point wondered whether you could eat the ramen in its raw form, straight from the packet.

Let’s be honest, we’ve all thought about this whilst we are waiting for the water to boil, and for our ramen noodles to cook.

Ramen noodles are a firm favorite for snack time among many, but can you eat ramen noodles raw?

In order to answer this question, we are going to look at what ramen is, and how it is made.  

What Is Ramen?

Ramen is the term for an Asian soup dish served with noodles, and occasionally vegetables and meat. Many people refer to instant noodles as ramen, or as ramen noodles, which are noodles sold in a precooked and dried block, along with a flavoring sachet, for an instant, quick snack. 

Instant noodles were first sold by Nissin Foods in Japan, and called Chikin Ramen, but are now marketed by countless brands across the globe.

Most instant ramen noodles are made with wheat noodles, that are dried and formed into a block, ready to be cooked and soaked in boiling water before seasoning and eating. However, these blocks of noodles can be eaten dry, and as they are. 

How Is Ramen Made?

So many of us know exactly how to make ramen noodles, that we do not even have to look at the instructions on the packaging.

But how many of us have actually wondered how ramen noodles are made? You may be surprised to learn that ramen noodles are actually already cooked when you take them out of the packet. 

Most brands of instant ramen noodles are precooked and dehydrated so that they can be packaged up and sent all over the world, ready to be boiled back to life by you! Whilst there are hundreds of different types of instant ramen noodles, they are all basically cooked the same way.

Furthermore, most ramen noodles are made up of the same ingredients. These include flour, wheat, water and salt for flavoring. In addition, ramen noodles are made with what is called kansui.

This is added to the mixture when the dough is being made to help control the acidity in the noodles, for better results when they are eventually cooked. 

The noodle dough is then kneaded, rolled and pressed into thin, long noodley like pieces before being sliced into the noodles they become. Once the dough is cut and manufacturers have the noodles ready, they are then steamed in the pre-cooking process. 

However, steam creates a lot of moisture, which would not make the noodles last well for the packaging and distribution process, so the noodles are then dehydrated in order to last much longer.

To dehydrate the noodles, most manufacturers will fry them or use many other techniques to ensure that they are preserved and ready for consumer use. 

This is why instant ramen noodles can cook in a matter of minutes in boiling water, as they were already cooked to start with, they just needed hydration, and for the dehydration process to be reversed.

It is during the cooking process then that you can add your flavoring sachet, or add in some cooked veggies, pork, beef or chicken and customize your ramen noodles to your tastes.

Can You Eat Ramen Raw?

If you have ever emptied a packet of instant ramen noodles into the pot, and found a few loose pieces of dried noodle at the bottom of the packet, you are not alone. The temptation to just throw a piece of the raw noodle in your mouth is just too much, and you may have tried it from time to time. 

You will have also noticed, then that this tastes quite good, and is not as disgusting as you thought it could have been, and wondered, can you eat raw ramen?

Your parents may have taught you otherwise, and told you never to eat anything raw as it can make you unwell, or upset your stomach, but actually yes, you can eat ramen noodles raw. Sorry mom! 

You can eat ramen noodles raw because of the fact that instant ramen noodles are actually already cooked. The noodles are cooked off, then dehydrated and preserved ready to be packaged and sold as instant noodles. 

But, if you are a hardcore ramen noodle lover, then you will already know this, as you have probably tried the ‘raw’ noodles before for yourself.

The truth of the matter is that yes, while you can eat ramen noodles fresh out of the packet and uncooked, it is not as tasty as cooked instant ramen noodles, at all. 

However, there is a way that you can enjoy your raw ramen noodles, without cooking them, and you can see for yourself whether raw ramen noodles are a tasty snack that you too, can enjoy!

The best way to eat raw ramen noodles is to crush up the packet whilst it is still closed. With enough air inside, the packet will not explode, and you can use your fists to break up the noodle brick inside. 

If you want really small noodle pieces to snack on, then you can utilize the back on a frying pan to crush and break up the noodles inside the packet. Once this is done, you can open up the packet, and take out the seasoning sachet found inside. 

Then, open the sachet, and pour the contents of the seasoning packet onto the crushed up ramen noodle bits. Reseal the bag, and shake it up! This should cover all of the little dried noodle pieces, and make them coated completely in the seasoning.

Once you have shaken up all of your noodles, you can open up the bag and enjoy your raw ramen noodles much like you would chips! 

Is Eating Raw Ramen Bad For You?

Ramen noodles are a firm snack favorite, beloved not just by college students, but people all across the globe. Raw ramen noodles are exactly the same, just the uncooked version, so it really is not better or worse for you than eating cooked ramen noodles. 

This is because ramen noodles, raw and out of the packet are already cooked, and have just been dehydrated, which is why you have to boil them to bring them back to life. Therefore, eating them raw is not damaging or dangerous in any way, it is more like eating potato chips, as it is just dried noodles.

In addition, eating a lot of ramen, whether it is raw or cooked, is not healthy for you, as this is quite carb heavy, high in calories, and contains a lot of sodium.

In this sense, ramen noodles have no real nutritional value by themselves, which is why many people pair them with a few veggies, a cooked egg, or even some meat.

Then, you can top off your ramen with some spicy sauces and flavorings to create a more flavorful, and more balanced meal that you can enjoy. 

You may snack on ramen noodles, cooked or uncooked, however you prefer, but you will find that you will be hungry a little later on. This is why we recommend that you eat ramen noodles cooked, with some soup, sauce or flavorings, along with cooked vegetables and meats for a more healthy, balanced and filling meal. 

That being said, in answer to the question, raw ramen noodles and cooked plain ramen noodles are just as bad for you as each other, with little to no nutritional value, but they are a well favored snack loved by many. 

Ways To Use Raw Ramen

If you do feel that you want to eat raw ramen, then there are a few ways in which you can! We recommend that you do not really eat it plain as a snack, as this is not very nutritious, or flavorful. Instead, why not use raw ramen in other recipes to create a more rounded and flavorful meal? 

One of our favorite ways to use up raw ramen is with a salad. You can use the crunchiness of the raw instant ramen as a tasty salad topping!

All you have to do is crush up the ramen to add a little more texture into your salads and use as a new, inspired version of croutons! If you really need your ramen fix as much as we do, then this is the way to go. 

Another way that you can use your raw ramen noodles is as breading for other foods. Have you ever been making a delicious meal, such as some fried chicken or fish, and realized you have nothing to use as breading?

Worry no more, why not try out some ramen noodles for an extra crunch like never before! For this to work, we recommend using a few packs of uncooked ramen noodles, and crushing up the pieces. 

Then, you can use small amounts of raw ramen for breading. All you have to do then is add the normal spices and seasonings that you would for regular breading, and fry them up in the ramen crumbs! Trust us on this one, you have got to try it! 

What Is The Best Way To Eat Ramen?

The best way to eat ramen is to cook them as per the instructions. Eating cooked ramen noodles can make for a delicious, filling snack when cooked properly, so we have a few easy steps that you can follow to make the best ramen noodles.

Instant ramen noodles cooking instructions:

  1. First, you will need to pour 2 and a ½ cups of water into a large pan, and bring it to the boil.
  2. Once you see the water boiling, you are going to need to add the dried instant noodles into the water. 
  3. In the boiling water, cook the noodles for at least 2 minutes. 
  4. Then, add the ramen soup flavor packet that comes with the instant noodles, and stir this in to combine. Cook for 30 seconds.
  5. Next, turn off the heat, and add an egg into the pan. Pull the noodles over the egg to cover it, and the heat from the noodles should cook the egg quickly. 
  6. Finally, transfer your noodles into a bowl, and throw in some butter, veggies or other flavorings to suit your preferences. 

Summary

If you have ever wondered if eating raw ramen noodles is okay, then now you know! Your questions have been answered. Yes, you can eat raw ramen noodles, as they are already cooked before they are dried anyways, which makes them no more unhealthy for you than if you cooked them as normal. 

The good thing is that if you wanted to, you can eat uncooked ramen noodles straight out of the packet like chips, or use them for breadcrumbs, or any other recipes that you can think of.

Just make sure that you add them to some veggies so that you can get a more balanced meal, with some nutritional value.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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