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How to Cook Ramen in the Microwave (So It Tastes Really Good)

There are enumerable ways to jazz ramen up to add variety and flavor to your plate. First, let’s cover the basics of cooking it in the microwave.

To cook delicious ramen in the microwave, place it in a microwave-safe bowl or pot, add water, cover the dish, and microwave it. You can substitute the water for broth and add in the flavoring packet that comes with the ramen, or make your own seasoning mix.

In this article, I’ll take you through the best way to cook your ramen in a microwave. I’ll also offer a quick and easy alternative and help you understand how to make a flavorful microwave ramen dish that includes some delicious vegetables (so that you still get some much-needed fiber).

Bowl of ramen and a hand touching the buttons of a microwave

How To Make Ramen in the Microwave

Using your microwave to make ramen is a quick and easy affair. The only real thing you need to decide is whether you plan to use the flavor packet that comes with the ramen or make your own.

Either option is okay – some people enjoy the flavor packet far more than homemade add-ones. However, the main challenge with the flavor packet is the amount of sodium it contains – nearly 65% of the recommended daily value of sodium.

For this reason, many people prefer to add their own flavorings. No matter which option you prefer, I’ll walk you through how to make ramen that will satisfy your cravings – all without requiring the use of anything more than a microwave!

Ingredients and Equipment

  • Microwave safe bowl. I recommend a bow with a see-through lid, like this one. It’s perfect for microwaving ramen and is also freezer safe, so you can use it for storing prepped meals when you’re not using it for cooking.
  • 1 packet ramen
  • 2 cups of water or broth 
  • Flavor packet (optional)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Oven mitts. Be sure they’re big enough to fit all hands and can handle temperatures as high as 425°F (218.33°C).

For Flavorings (Choose As Many as You Like)

For Toppings (Choose As Many as You Like)

  • Shredded carrots
  • Shelled edamame
  • Bean sprouts
  • Green onion
  • Avocado 
  • Roasted tofu
  • Cooked chicken
  • Corn
  • Mushrooms
  • Soft-boiled egg (or hard-boiled)


Method 1

  1. Gather your primary ingredients and equipment – the microwave-safe bowl, water/broth, ramen, wooden spoon, and oven mitts.
  2. Pull the ramen out of the packet and place it in the bowl. Pour the water/broth over it and cover the bowl. If your bowl doesn’t have a cover, you can use a plate – just make sure it’s microwave-safe before doing so.
  3. Place the bowl (and the plate) in the microwave and run it for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once the time is up, gently pull out the bowl from the microwave using the oven mitts. Stir the ramen with the wooden spoon until everything has turned over, and return it to the microwave.
  5. Heat for another 30-45 seconds. 
  6. Pull it out of the microwave with oven mitts. Add in the flavor packet if you’re using it now. If you’re not using the flavor packet, add in the sauces and spices you want to flavor your ramen with. Whatever you choose, make sure you stir it into the water/broth fully, so there are no clumps left.
  7. Allow the ramen to cool for 2-3 minutes. While it’s cooling, add in the toppings of your choice. Alternatively, you can eat the ramen as is. 

While this is my preferred method of making microwave ramen, it’s not the only option available. Here’s another method you can try:

Method 2

  1. Like in the previous method, gather the main ingredients and equipment you’ll be using. For this method, you’ll need an additional bowl, though it doesn’t need to be microwave-safe.
  2. Pull the ramen out of the packet and place it in the non-microwave-safe bowl.
  3. In the microwave-safe bowl, pour the water/broth. 
  4. Microwave the water until it boils. This should take about 2-3 minutes but, depending on your microwave, can take as little as 1.5 minutes or as much as 4 minutes.
  5. Once the water is boiling, pull it out from the microwave using oven mitts. 
  6. Pour the boiling water over the ramen. 
  7. Cover the bowl with a lid or a plate. If you don’t have either, a paper towel will do. 
  8. Allow the ramen to sit for 3-5 minutes. This will allow the boiling water to cook it properly.
  9. Add the flavor packet/flavorings and toppings as directed above.

If you’re not a fan of soupy ramen, all you need to do is drain out some of the water/broth after the ramen is cooked before you add in the flavor packet and/or other flavorings. 

Is It Better To Microwave or Boil Ramen?

It is generally better to boil ramen, as doing so makes the noodles a little softer and closer to the taste of freshly made ramen noodles. However, this is a flavor preference that depends on the person, and there’s no real right answer.

A white microwave and a bowl of ramen

So, if you prefer microwave ramen noodles, don’t worry – you’re not the only one out there, and doing so is not blasphemy. In fact, given microwaving ramen is faster and easier, you may just be the smarter one. After all, you get to eat your ramen quicker and with less effort on your part!

How Long Should Ramen Be Microwaved For?

Ramen should be microwaved for 2.5 to 5 minutes, depending on how soft you like your noodles. If you’re microwaving your ramen along with the water, make sure to turn the noodles over to ensure that both sides of the noodles are cooked well.

Is Microwave Ramen Healthy?

Microwave ramen does contain some key vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin B, and manganese. However, microwave ramen is certainly not a balanced meal and contains a ton of sodium, which can seriously and negatively affect your health.

Some key elements missing from microwave ramen include fiber, protein, and several vitamins and minerals. However, you can make up for these missing sources through the toppings you add. For example, carrots are high in fiber, and edamame is a good source of protein. Additionally, without the flavor packet, the dish is significantly lower in sodium. 

That said, even if you don’t use the flavor packet, microwaved ramen – especially ramen without any toppings – is relatively unhealthy. This is because it still contains high levels of vegetable oil and salt, as well as preservatives.

Can You Freeze Microwave Ramen?

You cannot freeze uncooked microwave ramen because freezing requires the product to have some water content. However, you can freeze cooked microwave ramen and have it stay good for 3-4 months.

That said, because microwave ramen is so quick and easy to make, it’s always best to make it fresh. If you have any leftovers, you can simply store them in the fridge – they will keep for about 3-4 days, and you can reheat them once you’re ready to eat.

However, if you do choose to freeze your ramen, make sure to freeze the noodles and the broth separately (if you’re freezing the broth as well). This will increase the shelf life of both.

Is Ramen Tasty Without a Flavor Packet?

Ramen can be tasty without the flavor packet – as long as you add in flavorings of your own, like olive oil or soy sauce, or toppings like vegetables. However, very few people prefer to eat without any toppings and sauces whatsoever. 

That said, it’s important to note that, like other matters of taste, this is ultimately a personal preference. If you enjoy the taste of ramen without flavorings and toppings, there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

Final Thoughts

While microwave ramen isn’t the healthiest meal out there, it is quick, easy, and tasty – perfect for when you’re short on time and big on hunger. Plus, if you’ve got a few extra minutes, with a few additional steps, you can quickly turn it from run-of-the-mill instant ramen into an almost-gourmet meal!

For more, don’t miss How to Reheat Ramen | The Best Way.