Can You Microwave Cup Noodles: Your Questions Answered

Cup noodles are one of the easiest foods to prepare in the world. We have all enjoyed a hot steaming cup of noodles at some point in our lives.

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Cup noodles are particularly popular in young adults and college students for their easy to make and comforting qualities. 

Cup noodles are enjoyed in cultures all over the world. From Japan, to the United States, from Australia to the United Kingdom, these noodley delights are cheap, quick, cozy and warming. 

Many people enjoy the flavor of traditional ramen noodles, but the tasty broth and perfectly cooked noodles can take years to perfect.

This is why cup noodles are so sought after. They provide the flavors of ramen noodles without the fuss and the hassle! 

Instant ramen noodles are easy to make in Styrofoam cup and seasoning packet. Microwaving cup noodles in a microwave safe container (Styrofoam container) is easiest for any instant noodle recipe.

Where do cup noodles come from?

Cup noodles originated in Japan, and were invented by Momofuku Ando, of the Nissin Foods company.

They began as instant noodles, and launched in 1958 with the name Chiken Ramen. By 1971, the Nissin Foods company then introduced Cup Noodles, which were the first ever cup noodle product available. 

What are cup noodles?

Cup noodles consist of noodles enough for one person, served in a plastic or foam cup for instant consumption. They are usually inexpensive, quick to prepare and available in a variety of flavors such as chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and more. 

The noodles usually come in the cup precooked and dried with a sachet of flavoring to add. They therefore have a long shelf life and can be ready in a matter of minutes.

The most traditional way to prepare cup noodles is by opening the lid and pouring some boiling water on top. This will loosen the noodles and will need to be stirred before consuming.

You can then add the seasoning sachet for extra added flavor, for a cup of noodles that are convenient, filling and delicious!

Can you microwave cup noodles?

It is highly recommended that you do not microwave cup noodles as this is not the intended method of preparation for the product.

As previously mentioned, the cup that these types of noodles come prepared in are generally made of plastic or foam. 

These are both materials that are not deemed suitable for use in the microwave. Instead, you should always try to follow the stated instructions on the side of the cup. If you are unsure, then let us show you how to make the perfect cup of noodles!

How to Make Cup Noodles (the right way)

Making cup noodles should never be difficult. The point is to enjoy traditional noodles in a fast, and tasty manner! Follow these instructions to make cup noodles the right way! Or, at least the way the company intended. 

First, you will have to pick your cup noodles. Our favorite is the traditional chicken ramen noodles!

Once you’ve picked out your favorite cup noodle flavor, then we can start cooking them (if we can call this cooking). You will first have to boil a cup of noodle using either a kettle, or with a saucepan on your stove. 

You could also use your microwave to warm up some water. But only the cup of water! Do not place the cup noodles in the microwave!

Next, you will have to tear half the lid off the cup of noodles. Just pull it back halfway and leave the other half still attached. This is very important. Once your water has boiled, you can pour some into your cup of noodles.

Try to fill the cup of noodles up with the hot water all the way up to the inside line. This is the little line to measure inside of the cup. This will show you where you need to fill the water up to. 

Always keep to the recommended fill line inside the cup of noodles. Too little hot water will make the noodles harder than intended, and too much water will make your cup of noodles a gooey watery mess. 

Now, you should put back the half of the lid you peeled away. Fold it back over to cover the entirety of the lid. You may have to use something to hold it down so that it does not peel back again. 

Some people will use a fork or chopsticks to do this, depending on your preference. By keeping the lid folded back over and covering the top of the cup, you are working to keep the noodles nice and warm. 

You will want to keep the temperatures inside the cup quite high, so that the noodles can separate properly and soften with the hot water. For the best results, you will need to wait at least 3 minutes so the noodles have time to soften completely. 

Once this is done, you can add your flavorings or sachets for added taste. You should always make sure that you stir everything inside the cup properly before consuming, so that the noodles are not stuck together, and the broth is nice and tasty.  

If your cup noodles are ready, then dig in and enjoy them as they are. However, you can serve them in a normal bowl if you are feeling a little more fancy. But if you are a college student, then skip the washing up and enjoy them right in the cup.

Why You Should Never Microwave Your Cup Noodles

You should never microwave your cup noodles, as the packaging suggests that the materials used for the cups are not microwave safe. Microwaves work by using the highly concentrated heated power to warm up your food. 

As the temperatures generated by the microwave are so hot, they can be unsuitable for certain foods, materials and plates.

Cup noodles are often contained in plastic cups which, when heated can release harmful chemicals into your food, or even melt the cups. 

As some cups are made from plastic or styrofoam, when they overheat, they can release carcinogens that can be absorbed by your food. By microwaving these cups you may be increasing your risk of cancer by ingesting the toxins and chemicals from the cup.

In addition, the cups are designed to handle hot water, but not the temperatures of the microwave, and may lose their structural integrity if exposed to the heat of the microwave.

Microwaving may also alter the texture and flavor of the noodles as they are being processed much quicker than with the hot water method.

We always recommend that with any food or product, you should always follow the intended instructions carefully.

How to Tell If Your Cup Noodles are Microwave Safe

In some rare cases, cup noodles can come in microwave safe containers, however this is not always the case, and you should always follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

To check if your cup noodles are safe in the microwave, you should examine the packaging of the product.

Most will either have a written warning or an image to communicate whether the cup noodles will be safe in the microwave or not.

In the majority of cases, the cup noodles will have the symbol of the microwave with a large cross going over it. This signifies that they are not safe for use in the microwave. 

We suggest that you follow the traditional way of making cup noodles for your own safety. However, we do have some tips for how to serve your cup noodles. 

Our Best Cup Noodles Serving Suggestions

Cup noodles are perfect for quick meal preps and convenience. But you cannot always live on a diet of dried noodles alone. Luckily, we have some wonderful ways of upgrading your cup noodles into a more balanced and delicious meal with these serving suggestions.

The best thing to add some flavor and really make a difference to your cup noodles is to add some meat and veggies into the mix.

Slice up vegetables like onions, shallots, carrots, cabbage, brocolli and garlic. Mix some of these ingredients to give your cup noodles some healthy additions of greens and veggies!

You can always add a little meat to your cup of noodles to make them more of a rounded meal. We suggest adding some pork, beef or chicken to your cup of noodles to make them more like a stir fry or traditional ramen. 

Try cooking some chashu pork to add to your noodles. This is the traditional Japanese braised belly pork that goes so well with ramen noodles. It will literally melt in your mouth, and goes great with some veggies and noodles for a full, rounded meal. 

If you are looking to spice things up a little, then add some sriracha sauce for a little more oomph in your cup noodles. Sriracha is a hot sauce that is famous for its spiciness, and is made with red chilli and garlic for an extra kick. 

One of the best ways to add some extra taste to your noodles is to sprinkle a little bit of bacon over the top. Who doesn’t love bacon? You can add it to literally any meal to take it from a 4 to a 10. 

Finally, one of our favorite ways to serve cup noodles better is by adding a ramen egg to them!

Eggs are a great source of protein and will make your noodles a much more filling meal. By adding a soft boiled egg to your noodles, you will gain extra flavor and lots of nutritional value from your meal.

Our Favorite Cup Noodles

There are so many different cup noodles available on the market, so we have gathered some of our favorites to help you find yours.

Check out some of the best flavors from Nissin Cup Noodles, and try some of them today. 


Nissin Cup Noodles Ramen Noodle Soup, Chicken Flavor 2.25 Ounce (Pack of 30)

This is the number one favorite chicken noodle flavor- stock up with a pack of 24 for a quick and easy meal whenever you need it!

This chicken ramen soup flavor packet will warm you right up with a delicious taste that feels homemade.

Chicken flavor not your thing? Try the hearty beef flavor cup noodles.


Product of Nissin Cup Noodles Beef Flavor Soup, 24 pk./2.25 oz. [Biz Discount]

As we mentioned before, cup noodles come in so many different flavors, including seafood and shrimp for a beautiful taste!

You will have to try the Original Cup Noodles with Shrimp flavor. 

Enjoy the flavors of the ocean with the Nissin shrimp option for a fraction of the usual price of seafood.


Nissin the Original Cup Noodles with Shrimp Twenty-four 2.5 Ounce Ramen Cups

Cup Noodles even have flavor options suitable for vegetarians!

If you lead a veggie lifestyle, then you will love the Nissin Very Veggie Ramen Noodles Soup with chicken flavoring, but no meat!


Nissin Very Veggie Ramen Noodle Soup, Chicken Flavor, 2.65 Ounce (Pack of 6)

With Cup Noodles, there really is a flavor for everyone. We love the newer Stir Fry range with a wide variety of tasty options just booming with a zing that you will love.

Why not try the Nissin Cup Noodles Stir Fry Korean BBQ flavor for a ramen meal packed with punch.


Nissin Cup Noodles Stir Fry Noodles in Sauce, Korean BBQ, 2.89 Ounce (Pack of 6)

But these are just to name a few!

The different varieties are countless when it comes to cup noodles, and you can always add your own toppings for bursting flavor!

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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.
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