Noodles are a cupboard essential. Not only are they comforting, but they are convenient.
If you have ever had two hours left until a deadline, then you know wrestling a soufflé is not always an option. Sometimes all you need is a flavor-packed cup filled with indulgent noodles.
But there is a debate around these 5-minute dinner mates. Is it safe to prepare cup noodles in the microwave?
If you are among those wondering: can you microwave cup noodles? Then we have a list of answers for you.
What Are Cup Noodles?
Cup noodles are a quick and satisfying form of precooked and dried noodles packaged in a foam or plastic cup.
These noodles come with flavor sachets of beef, chicken, shrimp, and the list goes on.
What Is the History of Cup Noodles?
Cup noodles or instant ramen started in war-ravaged Japan through the genius of Momofuku Ando.
After watching people buy cheap noodles from black market vendors, Ando thought he could make a form of noodles people could enjoy at home.
After a series of trials and errors, he finally had a breakthrough in 1958. But it was not until 1971 that Cup Noodles officially launched. And they have since become a dinner staple.
Types of Noodles
Several types of noodles rule the culinary scene. And a few of our favorites include:
Fresh or dried, thick or thin, but always firm and springy. Egg noodles are a Chinese staple full of flavor and have incredible texture.
There are three types of egg noodles. First, we have the Wonton noodles. Whether you use thick or thin wonton noodles, they will add great flavor to any noodle soup.
The second type of noodles is Chow Mein or Hong Kong-style noodles. These egg noodles bring a crispy flavor to the plate. And they are perfect for stir-fry dishes.
The last type of fresh egg noodles is Lo Mein. This is the thickest of the bunch. And they make for good additions to dishes that you want to eat over several days.
Ramen noodles are the royalty of the noodle world. This Japanese delicacy comes in four major broth varieties.
In the first class, we have shio, which is salt, followed by shoyu or soy sauce, miso meaning fermented, and lastly, we have tonkatsu which is pork.
Ramen noodles come in a brick weave of dried noodles. And they may just be the most popular form of noodles.
Cup Noodles Flavors
Cup Noodles have 17 distinct flavors. We couldn’t tell you which one you should try because we all have our flavors. But we can however recommend a few:
1. Hot Garlic Chicken
2. Firey Korean Chicken
3. Korean Spicy Beef
4. Spicy Lime Shrimp
Should You Microwave Cup Noodles?
Though the sheer thought alludes to convenience and ease, this is a definite no. Never microwave your cup noodles. This is particularly true if the packaging doesn’t indicate that the cup is microwave safe.
The science behind it is simple: styrofoam cups and other expanded polystyrene (EPS) materials are made from some toxic materials. Once these objects are heated at a high frequency, like what they would encounter in the microwave, they will release these chemicals.
This chemical leak will go directly into the food. The result? Humans consuming practically laced food.
So unless otherwise stated, don’t microwave styrofoam.
Of course, there are a few exceptions. Some styrofoam material has been FDA-tested and approved for safety. This makes them a lot safer to use in the microwave. However, we would still want you to be cautious as to what you place in your microwave.
Alternatives to Microwaving Noodles
There are several alternatives to microwaving noodles. And most won’t even take up more than five minutes.
Hot water is the recommended method of preparing most cup noodles. Not only is it safe, but the cooking process usually takes three minutes.
First, you will want to prepare your hot water. You can do this with a kettle or over the stove.
Peel back the lid off your cup noodles. Now the most integral part of preparing cup noodles is right here. Don’t pull the lid all the way. Try to leave at least half of it attached to the cup.
Remove all the spice sachets within your cup noodles. They will come in handy when it is seasoning time.
Add the hot water to the cup. Ensure that the noodles are submerged, but not overflowing. You can use the inner circle as your marker. Once the water is in, reseal the cup. As an extra precaution, you can place your chopsticks or a little saucer on top of the lid to secure the heat. Let it sit for three minutes.
After draining the water, add your spice.
Quick note: There are two ways to play the seasoning. You can add it before you put the hot water into the cup or after the noodles have been cooked. Both are up to preference. We would advise adding the spice at the end to avoid diluting the flavor.
Enjoy eating cup noodles. You can add some veggies or sauces to your noodles for added flavor. But if you are looking for more depth, you can microwave some kimchi and toss it in.
Over the Stove
Another great way to cook your cup noodles is over the stove. This will take away the cup part but will allow you to add bolder flavors to your noodles.
Put water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. If you already have hot water, you can pour that into the pot to reduce the preparation time.
Peel the lid. Since all your preparation will be in the pot, you can peel the lid all the way. Then add your noodles to the pot.
Let it continue to boil for 30 seconds to a minute. Drain any excess water and spice.
Place in a bowl and enjoy. You can elevate the flavor by dicing in some bacon, adding a boiled egg, or by playing with a range of sauces.
Enjoy a Hearty Noodle Cup Dinner
Cup noodles are a delicious way to weather a busy weekend. But when it comes to answering; “can I microwave cup noodles?” the answer will always be no.
Unless stated otherwise on the cup, don’t microwave your cup noodles. There are other alternatives to preparing cup noodles that are safer.
If you want to lead a microwave-safe life, follow our blog.