How to Microwave Cup Noodles: Fast and Easy

Eating healthy has never been easy. And with the hectic lifestyle most people live, it can be hard to find time for cooking. Luckily there are a few fast and easy options out there, like cup noodles! Cup Noodles have been around for years in Asian countries and have since become a popular food for people on the go here in the US.

They take virtually no time to make and can be a good alternative for those watching their weight.

In the past, people have been known to take a cup of noodles and just stick it in the microwave with metal spoons. And as you can imagine, it doesn’t really turn out well.

That has led plenty of people to be ask a common question:

Is it OK to microwave cup noodles?

No, it is not safe to microwave Cup Noodles. The container does not work for microwaves. Instead, fill a cup with boiling water and pour that into the Cup Noodles until they are full. Cover them and wait 3 minutes until they are done.

Apart from a few modern cup noodles, most others prohibit microwaving them.

So while some Cup Noodles come with a special microwave-safe container, this is not the case with all of them. Most likely the cup noodles you have aren’t microwavable so you should avoid putting them in the microwave.

The only 100% safe way to heat up Cup Noodles in the microwave is by heating the water in the microwave first and then transferring that to the noodles

Are cup noodles supposed to be heated in the microwave?

No, you aren’t supposed to microwave noodles that are inside a styrofoam cup. Styrofoam cups were created to be used for hot foods and as a disposable container to protect the food from coming into contact with other surfaces. When you expose styrofoam to direct heat, it melts and warps which could potentially release harmful chemicals into your food or in this case the noodles.

Instead, you should remove the noodles from their container and place them inside a microwave-safe bowl.

Or you could pour boiling water into the cup of noodles which will prevent the cup from being damaged or making your noodles unsafe to consume. Then simply cover the cup noodles with a lid and in three minutes, it will be cooked and ready to eat!

What Happens When You Microwave Cup Noodles?

So let’s say you do decide to ignore all sound advice and microwave your cup noodles, what can you expect to happen?

In our tests, we used three different types of cup noodles that were bought locally. One featured a plastic cup with an aluminum lid, another used a styrofoam cup with a plastic lid and the last was a type of cardboard or paper cup with a plastic/paper lid. We tested each by themselves and the first cup noodle with the aluminum lid started sparking and burnt the top of the cup within 12 seconds.

The second cup noodle with a styrofoam cup and plastic lid started to warp/expand, then exploded around the 45-second mark. Since it started to warp we ended the test early because had we waited, there is a chance the cup could have exploded.

The last one with a paper/cardboard cup actually did well and allowed the cup noodles to be cooked in the microwave. Granted that it had a microwave-safe label while the others had clear instructions, not to microwave.

The Verdict: Most cup noodles are not microwave safe.

If you do decide to ignore this advice, at the very least be sure your cup noodles are marked as safe for use in a microwave and that there aren’t any metals or aluminum inside of them.

Related: Why can’t you microwave cup noodles?

Can Microwaving Cup Noodles Causes Cancer?

Yes, it’s proven that microwaving plastic or styrofoam cups with hot water can cause cancer.

The studies conducted by scientists have proved that a compound called styrene is leached into one’s meal from eating food cooked in polystyrene (PS) containers or drinking beverages from polystyrene bottles at high temperatures. Styrene is a probable carcinogen and linked to increasing your chances of developing cancer.

Cooking noodles with styrene may increase your chance of getting cancer. If you use a styrene container, you have a higher chance of getting cancer. But if you use paper to cook the noodles, there is no risk for cancer. So it’s best to avoid cup noodles that use plastic or styrofoam cups in general if you want to get rid of the risk.

If you’ve got a craving for cup noodles, then go with noodles in a paper cup, or take the noodles from the cup and heat them in a glass or microwavable dish instead. By doing so, you are eliminating the risk of getting cancer.

Is it bad to cook ramen in the microwave?

Microwaving ramen noodles is generally okay as long as you put them in a microwavable container with water, but the container should be a different one from the one that it originally came in.

In most cases, your noodles will tell you whether it is microwavable and how to cook them in case they are or aren’t. But to be on the safe side, you’ll always want to cook your noodles by boiling the water first then pouring it on top of the noodles.

How do you cook Nissin cup noodles in the microwave?

You need to break the noodles and put them in a microwave safe bowl. Then you add ½ Cup water and cook it for 1 minute. If the water isn’t boiling or hot enough, you’ll need to heat it again with 30 seconds intervals until it is done.

This process should take no more than 3 minutes in total. When you’re done, go ahead and add the flavoring packet.

How to Prepare Cup Noodles in the Best Way

You can enjoy your cup of noodles in two different ways. You can either eat them in the container or you can pour them into a soup bowl which is generally safer. However, it’s far more convenient to just consume the noodles in the container provided.

To make the perfect cup of noodles just follow these steps if you want to cook it in the cup noodle container:

  1. Bring one cup of water to a boil.
  2. Tear the lid of the cup noodles to the marked line which is typically half of the circumference of the cup.
  3. Tear the packet in the cup noodles and pour the seasoning onto the noodles.
  4. Pour boiling water over the dried, pre-cooked noodles and cover the top with the lid while using something to keep the lid sealed.
  5. Wait about 3 minutes until the noodles become cooked and tender.
  6. Remove the lid after 3 minutes and stir before consuming.

If you don’t want to cook the noodles in the cup to avoid the possible risks involved with styrofoam cups then follow these steps:

  1. Bring a cup of water to a boil on the stove.
  2. Remove the noodles from the packet or cup.
  3. Break it up and put it into the pot after the water has been boiled.
  4. Add the seasoning packet into the pot and cover for 3 minutes.
  5. After 3 minutes pour the noodles and soup into a bowl and enjoy.

How to store microwaved cup noodles:

On the off chance, you have eaten or slurped more than you can stomach, what happens with the leftover? Do you bin in or is there a way to store it for eating (or slurping) another day?

The good news is there is!

After letting the leftover noodles cool to room temperature (do not store away when hot), transfer noodles to an air-tight container and place them in the fridge.

However, bear in mind that you cannot keep it in the fridge longer than 2 days. Beyond that and the noodles will lose flavor and can get dry.

Things to remember when microwaving cup noodles:

  • Cup noodles should not be cooked directly in the microwave. This is because the styrofoam container is not built to withstand the heat of the microwave and can melt or warp while being heated.
  • Another reason why it is not safe to cook cup noodles in the microwave is that containers used to package cup noodles can leach harmful chemicals into the food while it melts.
  • There are 2 methods you can use to cook your cup noodles. 
  • You can either move the noodles from the cup or place the noodles in a microwave-safe bowl. Then add seasonings and veggies and cook in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Or you can heat up a cup of water in the microwave until it gets to boiling point. Then pour hot water into cup noodles and tightly seal for 3 minutes. The heat and steam will cook the noodles until it is soft and edible.
  • If you opt for method 1, use standard heating to cook the noodles in the microwave


How long to microwave ramen cup?

You should never microwave a ramen cup. However, you can boil water for it or place the noodles in a microwave-safe cookware and heat for 3-4 minutes instead.

The Bottom Line

Cup noodle is generally considered a cheap and affordable meal, but most people don’t know that there are some risks associated with them especially if you microwave them. Microwaving your dish in styrofoam cups or plastic containers with hot water will release the chemical styrene into your food and increase your chances of getting cancer.

If you want to avoid these risks, there are two ways that you can cook noodles: boiling them on the stovetop without adding anything else (which may take more time) or microwaving the water and pouring it in the cup.

Or you could opt for cup noodles in paper bowls instead.

We hope that the information provided will enable you to make the best decision when it comes to microwaving your cup noodles!

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