How to cook cup noodles in the microwave

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Have you ever been in a hurry but needed a quick meal or just too tired to cook a proper meal? Cup noodles may have been your go-to solution, but did you know you could prepare them in an even quicker way? If you have wondered if and how to cook cup noodles in the microwave, this post covers all your questions and methods to get things done.

Regardless of being one of the quickest and easiest to prepare meals, these noodles have questionable nutritional value. This, however, doesn’t make them an absolute waste. After all, you need something quick to recharge as you prep for the main course.

If you are going to try the microwave method, don’t get the cup inside the oven for one good reason, as we shall see in a minute. 

Another Cooking Tips:

How long to microwave cup noodles?

One of the most important precautions to take when microwaving cup noodles is not to use the original packaging in the microwave. You need to microwave the noodles in a microwave-safe bowl for 5 minutes to get them ready.

Should you choose to go the fancy way of preparing the noodles, you might want to include some veggies, sausage, tofu, or even minced meat. In this case, prepare all the ingredients before nuking the cup noodles. For the noodles part, cook for 3-5 minutes as you stir every 30 seconds. Once done, you’ll need to mix all the ingredients, including the kappu men, and microwave as a whole for 30-60 seconds. 

Can you microwave cup noodles?

You can microwave cup noodles just as quickly as you prep other foods in the microwave. However, there are several ways of getting instant ramen noodles done—the basic way or the fancy route. So let’s understand how you prepare microwave noodles from scratch in those 2 ways. 

How to microwave cup noodles the basic way

This is the quickest way to have your meal in no time. It’s just a matter of minutes-5, and you don’t need more than a minute of total work.

Cooking instructions:

Use a microwave-safe plate

Pour the cup of noodles into a microwaveable bowl. This is mostly any ceramic ware, although Pyrex glass can also do. Depending on how you want the noodles, you can leave them or break them apart to facilitate stirring.

Adding water and seasoning

For one cup of cup noodles, add 1-2 cups of hot water. Pour the water into the noodle cup or in a microwave-safe bowl. The water should be sufficient to submerge the noodles for easy cooking, but not too much unless you want soupy noodles.  Add any seasonings you prefer and place a microwave-safe lid, plastic wrap, or paper towel over the plate. This is to lock in the steam and contain any spillage.

Setting the microwave

Now place the noodles in the microwave and set medium-high power level. Also, set the timer to between 3 and 5 minutes and begin cooking. Check every minute and stir the noodles with a fork to spread the spices evenly.

After the cooking time lapses, check the doneness and cook in 30-seconds increments if not fully done.

Serving the instant ramen noodles

Once cooked, let the meal rest for 3 minutes inside the oven, then retrieve it, ensuring you have oven mitts. Serve the bowl of noodles hot with chili flakes or oregano.

How to microwave fancy cup noodles

If you want to breathe some oomph into the plain cup noodles, you could include other ingredients like tofu, vegetables, herbs, pepper, and favorite flavor sauce like sriracha sauce, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and hot chili sauce. This calls for a longer cooking time, but the rich flavor will be worth it.

Cooking instructions:

Preparing the vegetables

Should you include your favorite vegetables, bacon bits, meat, or tofu, cook them in the microwave first. Cut up the veggies, and if you have meat, tofu, or sausages, thaw them at room temperature for half an hour.

Cook the vegetables on a microwave-safe plate with 2 tablespoons of cooking oil for a minute. Add seasonings like salt and pepper before nuking.

Check the doneness and cook for30 extra seconds if not well done. Be careful not to overcook your veggies! Leave some crunch in them.

Preparing the meat/tofu/sausages

Add 3 tablespoons of cooking oil to a microwavable dish and place your favorite meat/sausages into the bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and sauce for extra flavor, and put a paper towel over the bowl.

Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring every 30 seconds throughout cooking.

Once the temperature reaches 165F, turn the oven off and let the meat rest in the oven for 30 seconds.

Remove from the oven and set aside.

Preparing the noodles

Place the block of noodles in a separate bowl and add 1 cup of water; you can even add 2 depending on how you want the final meal. Place a paper towel over the bowl, and place it in the microwave.

Cook for 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Check and stir every 30 seconds until the kappu men are well cooked.

Combining all the ingredients

Add the meat and veggies you prepared before into the noodles. Season with some sauce (hoisin sauce or soya) and stir.

Place a lid or a paper towel over the food and microwave on medium heat for 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and let the food rest for 1 -2 minutes in the oven.

Your microwave noodles are now ready to be served.

Why can’t you microwave cup noodles?

However, you cannot microwave cup noodles in the original container they come packaged in because it’s made of Styrofoam which melts at high temperatures.

When Styrofoam melts, it releases chemicals into the food, including carcinogens. You should always use a microwave-safe bowl in the oven and not a Styrofoam cup. 

Tips and precautions for microwaving cup noodles

Cup noodles in the microwave are easy to make and mess with. Here are a few tips to save you from spoiling the cup noodles vibe:

  • Don’t microwave in the packaging cup: Cup noodles come in Styrofoam. This substance melts under high temperatures (like those inside a microwave oven), releasing toxic chemicals. If you want to cook the noodles in the cup, boil some water in a microwave-safe container and pour it into the noodles.
  • Don’t use metals, plastics, or foam in the microwave: Metals, including aluminum foil, will arc in the microwave. On the other hand, a plastic container will release harmful chemicals into the food if exposed to intense heat.
  • Cover the cooking cup noodles: Covering the bowl prevents spillages inside the oven and allows heat to distribute more evenly for uniform cooking.
  • Add enough water to submerge the noodles:  The best bet to cook the ramen evenly is to ensure the water rises above the noodles. You can also use chicken broth or beef broth to substitute for water.
  • Use a meat thermometer for the meat: Microwaves are not the best at cooking food evenly.  A meat thermometer allows you to check the internal temperature of the cooking meat. It could be 2000F on the outside but below the recommended 1650F minimum on the inside. Always use a meat thermometer to check if the internal temperature is as required.
  • Let the frozen ingredients warm up to room temperature: Before cooking anything in the microwave, ensure thawing has completed and the food has attained room temperature. Otherwise, you risk ending with partly cooked food or warmed food with cold spots.
  • Stir continuously: Keep stirring the noodles, meat, and/ or vegetables whenever cooking in the microwave to reduce the chances of overcooking or undercooking some parts.
  • Use correct water temperatures: Adding hot water to your instant noodles helps them cook more evenly. With cold water, salt doesn’t dissolve as fast and might not get the perfect el dente. Cold water also tends to stop noodles from cooking, and it’s better to use warm water instead of cold water.
  • Storing leftovers: Store plainly cooked noodles(without sauce) in an air-tight container and put them in the refrigerator to last for 5 days and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Video: How to Cook Ramen Noodles in the Microwave in 3 Minutes!!


You can now enjoy your cup noodles without starting the stove or the conventional oven! If you have any more tips or queries on how to cook cup noodles in the microwave, leave us a comment below, and we’ll address them asap!

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