The quick answer to either microwave cup noodles or not is maybe. This answer entirely depends on which method you pick to prepare the noodles and whether the packaging material is microwave safe. Most cup noodles comprise of some materials that aren’t microwave safe. In order to get a full picture of why it isn’t advisable to microwave cup noodles, let’s delve more into defining cup noodles. Then we will find out how to safely microwave cup noodles.
What Are Cup Noodles?
Cup noodles, also known as instant ramen noodles, are cheap, quick meals. The meal is popular with young adults, and college students survive the chaotic school years. The brainchild behind this ingenious easy-to-make meal is the Japanese company Nissin. Usually, they are packaged inside foam soup cups. Each cup contains a brick of dried noodles and a flavor packet that contains seasoning. For you to enjoy this speedy meal, all you have to do is pour hot water over the noodles, then add the seasoning and mix. Wait for a couple of minutes, and your instant cup noodles are ready.
Ideally, one should boil the water before pouring it into the cup. Use of safe cookware such as a kettle or pot is advisable for this step. The process of adding cold water into the cup then microwaving isn’t advisable.
Why Can’t You Microwave Cup Noodles?
Most cup noodles packaging has cooking directions printed. At times even pictures have been added to ease understanding. You’ll notice that the shown methods are usually the safest preparation methods. These companies do research and experiment on the packaging material to find out if they are user-friendly. Then they’ll put explicit warnings telling you not to microwave.
The main reason why you shouldn’t because the cup material reacts when exposed to microwave-generated heat. This exposes the cup in conditions it wasn’t designed for. A chemical chain reaction develops that releases harmful chemicals into the noodles. Additionally, the heat inadvertently compromises the structural integrity of the cup. This leaves the cup susceptible to leaks and breakages.
In case you aren’t too sure whether the container used is microwave safe, check out the manufacturer’s website for this specific information.
What Are the Steps to Safely Prepare Microwave Noodles?
Here is the standard procedure for preparing microwave sage noodles.
Step 1: Replace The Noodles from The Cup
Open up the sealed noodle cup and empty the content into a microwave-safe plastic bowl. Styrofoam and plastic materials are of concern to the consumer due to the risk of toxins leaching into the food during microwaving. Therefore, confirm the particular bowl used is microwave safe.
In noodle preparation, you have the option of breaking up the noodles into smaller pieces. This step will later make it easier to eat with a spoon. However, if you like slurping the noodles as strings, leave the noodles block whole.
Step 2: Add cold water in the bowl
Add between 1 and 2 cups of water into the plastic bowl. However, the amount depends on the bowl size and the desired broth wanted in the soup. To reduce the risk of soup splattering all over your microwave, use a lid. The created seal contains all your noodles plus water in an enclosed space. You will therefore avoid potentially a big mess after that might be challenging to clean.
Step 3: Microwave the noodles for about 3–5 minutes
Place the container with noodles in the microwave and set the timer for 3-5minutes. The exact cooking time may vary due to the different microwave models and energy output. To ensure the even cooking of the noodles, there is a trick that will evenly distribute the hot water. About midway, stop the microwave and stir up the content using a fork. This step might break the noodle brick into pieces. Therefore, if you want an intact brick, press lightly or flip the brick to maintain it as a whole.
Step 4: Allow the noodles to set after the microwave stops
Don’t immediately remove the cooked noodles. Let it cool for about 3 minutes in the closed microwave. Most impatient noodle lovers have had their tongues burnt by skipping this step. Following this crucial step will guarantee unburnt fingers and mouth. However, if you still want to take out the noodles as soon as the cooking timer ends, use mittens as an extra layer of protection. While you wait for the noodles to cool, you add the seasoning packet while the water’s nice and hot.
Step 5: Add and mix in the seasoning packet
Add the content of the seasoning packet into the still-hot noodles and stir with a fork. You should continually stir until the flavoring dissolves. Then, transfer the cooked and now seasoned cup noodles into another bowl and enjoy all the noodles goodness. Alternatively, you could add the flavoring before cooking the noodles. You will instantly get flavored noodles once they are ready from the microwave.
Fancy Versions of Preparing Microwave Cup Noodles
- Embrace condiments and add-ins
Break free from the oppression of the flavor packet. Join the Ramen club by being able to customize your very own cup of noodles. Cook up the noodles and flavor the soup with the help of a variety of ad-ins and condiments. You’ll thus be able to achieve a restaurant-level meal. Examples of great ingredients to try to include rice vinegar, honey, green onions, honey, sriracha, hoisin sauce, miso paste, basil, and lemon juice.
- Add vegetables
A little extra veggie in your cup noodles gives you an immunity boost. Toss in a bit of spinach or freshly chopped Thai basil leaves to improve your dish. The right time to add the vegetables is either before cooking or after cooking the noodles. Celery, chopped onions, and garlic are the best veggie add-on to the soup before cooking the noodles. Frozen peas also work well since they can slowly thaw in the microwave as the noodles cook. However, already cooked noodles need chopped herbs like basil and cilantro to give the noodles an extra flavor kick.
- More protein with eggs
Lastly is a common addition to Ramen, the incredible egg. You have the option of tossing a chopped boiled egg on top. Another way is to add flavor and density to the soup. Once the noodles are ready, remove them from the soup. Crack a fresh egg in the soup, then stir to mix everything up. Place the mixture in the microwave for about a minute. The heat should temper the egg. Add back your already cooked noodles and enjoy the protein-rich meal.