Being quick, easy, and most importantly—tasty, instant ramen is a popular meal choice among busy people. While cooking it on the stovetop isn’t necessarily difficult, you may be looking at a certain kitchen appliance and wondering if there’s an even easier way—using the microwave.
So, can you microwave instant ramen? Yes, you can certainly microwave instant ramen. Most packs of ramen will even have cooking instructions for the microwave, and if not, it usually just takes a few minutes. Ramen noodles don’t take long to cook, so just like their time on the stove, their time in the microwave is shorter than a regular noodle.
Ramen was already great, although its ability to be cooked in the microwave makes them just that much better.
Whether you’re simply just looking for areas to cut time in the kitchen, or you live in a dorm with limited cooking supplies, making your ramen in the microwave is never a bad idea.
In this article, I’ll go over the different ways of cooking ramen, as well as some things you can add to your instant meal to spruce it up a bit and make it that much yummier.
Cooking Ramen Using the Microwave
Using the microwave to cook your ramen is a great idea; it’s very fast, easy, and as a bonus, requires fewer dishes. It only takes a bit of water, a bowl, and a few minutes to cook ramen in the microwave, leaving you with perfectly cooked noodles and the start to a delicious meal.
Some brands of ramen even sell their noodles in a disposable bowl, which allows you to just add water before putting it in the microwave. This makes for an incredibly easy cleanup, as all you’ll need to provide is the fork.
When it comes to adding the spice packet, some people like to wait until the noodles are cooked, whereas some prefer to add it during the cooking process.
Both are valid options, although if you plan to drain some or most of the water from your noodles, you may want to wait until after cooking to add the spice packet. This way, you don’t dump most of the spices down the drain. I prefer to add my spice packet after I’ve strained my noodles, as the flavor is much more concentrated this way.
Follow the instructions on your ramens packaging to ensure you end up with the tastiest noodles possible, as different brands sometimes require slightly different cooking times. Usually, they won’t differ by much, as all instant ramen noodles are made quite similarly, but it’s still best to check. This article has a great step-by-step list of instructions that you may want to check out.
Cooking Ramen Using the Stove
Cooking ramen on the stove is another excellent option, which allows you to check on the noodles while they’re cooking. Using the stove can add a few extra minutes to the cooking time, but the process is still almost as easy as using the microwave.
To cook ramen on the stove, you’ll want to first let the water come to a boil, and then you’ll add the noodles. It won’t take long for them to cook, but you’ll want to stir them every so often to ensure that the block of noodles breaks up properly as it softens.
Just like in the microwave, you have the option to either add the spice packet before or after draining the noodles. The concentration of flavor will be stronger if you wait until after cooking and draining, so definitely keep that in mind.
Cooking Ramen Using the Disposable Bowl Provided
This is only an option for ramen that comes in the disposable plastic bowl, but it is an excellent method of cooking if you’re able to. The process of cooking ramen this way is incredibly easy, as you only have to add boiling water to the container and then cover for a few minutes.
You can also add the spice packet before cooking with this method, as the water doesn’t need to be drained from the bowl once the noodles are done cooking. Only enough water to cover the noodles is added to the bowl, so you won’t have too much excess water either.
Things to Add to Your Ramen to Spruce it Up
While instant ramen is delicious all on its own, it can be made even tastier with added toppings. Some great options are thinly sliced veggies, meat, or even a poached or fried egg. You can even add a splash of another sauce that would compliment ramen well, such as sukiyaki or teriyaki sauce.
Personally, I like adding a poached egg to my instant ramen by cracking an egg into the pot for the last few minutes of cooking. This way, the yolk stays runny, which makes for extra-decadent noodles when mixed all together. This article does a good job of showing and explaining exactly how to add an egg into your ramen.
Leftover meat is another great thing to add to your ramen, such as chicken or beef. Slicing or shredding it beforehand makes for easy consumption, as you won’t have to worry about cutting it into bite-sized pieces while trying to eat your noodles. You could also try adding frozen shrimp into the pot while boiling the noodles for an easy way to add some extra protein.
Common veggies like carrots and broccoli work really well in instant ramen. Small broccoli florets will cook nicely in the boiling water when cooking the noodles, and thin strips of carrot work great too when thrown in closer to the end. Green onion or chives are another quick and easy thing to add to your instant ramen, adding more flavor and some fun color.
If you ever find yourself with an extra spice packet and no noodles, you may be wondering what to do with it. Luckily, adding the spice packet to other types of noodles works well, such as udon noodles. Another great and tasty option is lo mein noodles—and if you’re wondering the difference between the two, this article does a great job at differentiating them.