Learn how to reheat ramen in one of two different ways, and you can even enhance the flavor by adding in some new goodies; why not?
Slurping a bowl of delicious hot Ramen noodles is one of the best eating experiences in the world. It's not only the best way of eating noodles quickly, so they don't get too cold, it's also fun.
While slurping may not seem very polite in table manners here in the West, it's the traditional way the Japanese eat their Ramen. You should try it.
Ramen is one of those dishes you can make in large batches, and don't worry - you won't waste any leftovers. When you've finished reading this article, you'll know how to reheat it, so it's almost as good as when you first made it.
How to reheat Ramen
You can reheat Ramen just like any other noodle or pasta dish. But the important thing with the noodles is to transfer them separately into an airtight container with just a little liquid and store any other solids separately.
As far as the actual reheating process goes, you'll get the best flavor and texture if you reheat your Ramen on the stovetop. You have to set it over medium heat and gently warm it through until it's just starting to bubble.
Certain people reheat their Ramen in the microwave but I prefer to use the stove. While microwaving is quick, it also turns the noodles mushy, and I don't know about you, but I'm not too fond of them. I prefer them to have a little bit of a bite left in them.
I have experimented with several ways of reheating Ramen to preserve its taste and texture, and I'm more than happy to share my findings with you, so please read on.
The key to successfully reheating Ramen is to ensure any leftovers are correctly stored. If you leave the noodles sitting in the broth overnight, you're always getting mush when you reheat them. It's crucial to keep the noodles separately from the broth - otherwise, they will become soggy.
The right way to store Ramen
As with most foods, Ramen has an expiry date. But, to be honest, even if you were to eat it a little past its expiry date, it is hardly likely to kill you.
Extending the Ramen's shelf life is dependent upon:
- What type of noodles in contains - dried, fresh, instant, or frozen
- The other ingredients in the Ramen
- Whether it contains any toppings such as braised pork (chashu), marinated egg (ajitsuke tamago), or other frozen, pre-cooked, or raw ingredient
No matter what way you obtain your Ramen - whether you made it yourself, bought it frozen from a supermarket, or got it from takeout, the way you store the noodles dictates how good reheating the Ramen will be.
Noting the ingredients with a shorter shelf life, what I describe below indicates how long the various types of leftover Ramen will last.
We will discuss some tips on how to store Ramen broth, noodles, and toppings so that when you come to reheat them, you can enjoy them in their best culinary glory.
Guide to storing leftover Ramen
- Segregate the noodles and broth straight away before storing. The noodles will suck up the broth and become mushy if you don't.
- Transfer the broth and the noodles into separate airtight containers and store them in your fridge.
- The broth is best consumed for up to 4 days.
How long is Ramen good for in the fridge?
When reheating Ramen, it's best to use noodles that have never been soaked in broth in a perfect world. Unsoaked noodles will be okay to store in your fridge for up to seven days.
Once they've been immersed in broth and removed, the shelf life of Ramen noodles reduces to only one or two days. Keep this in mind; it's a good reason not to initially put too many noodles in your broth.
If, in your estimation, the noodles are already too far gone, dispose of them and store the broth only, knowing that you will have to add fresh noodles when it comes to reheating.
As regards any veggies, they all have different shelf lives.
- Bok choy and mushrooms will become slithery after only two to three days in your refrigerator, particularly when stored in broth.
- Ingredients such as eggs and meat won't last longer than three to four days maximum in your fridge.
Don't worry when the broth thickens or solidifies in the fridge. It's nothing to be concerned about. When you reheat it, it will quickly return to liquid form.
Leftover noodles tend to stick together when refrigerated. You can avoid this by lightly tossing them in oil before refrigerating.
Two different ways of reheating Ramen.
- Reheating on the stovetop -(my favorite method)
- Using the microwave
How to reheat takeout ramen?
In essence, you got to realize that takeout noodles have been soaked or saturated in the broth. As a result, they are likely to become squashy, which means they won't taste as good when reheated.
Consequently, it is imperative to split up the noodles and the broth for the maximum result when reheating. You can save the broth in a cup or container and, when you're ready, reheat it in your microwave for between a minute and a minute and a half.
As far as the noodles and the other ingredients are concerned, sort the noodles from the other veggies, put them into separate bowls, and microwave each for a 30-seconds burst or until slightly reheated.
Assemble the various ingredients immediately after reheating and enjoy.
On the other hand, I prefer to reheat broth on the stovetop instead of the microwave. Let it boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the rest of the ingredients plus any seasoning that you see fit.
You should reheat any other ingredients such as meat or veggies separately and slowly, and then add them at the last minute just before serving.
1 Reheating Ramen on the stovetop
Reheating Ramen on the stovetop is the best way to get the best taste and texture.
Follow these steps:
First, always separate the noodles, veggies, and other ingredients from the broth.
- Determine the right pan or pot. What you want is the one that gives you the largest surface area to mass ratio. It's all about getting the best heat distribution. Deep frying in a wok or using a Dutch oven are equally good options.
- Using taller cooking utensils with a smaller surface area is to be avoided. The wider the pan and the more spread out the ingredients are when reheating, the better the texture will be.
The idea is to reheat the noodles for the shortest possible time. So it's best to reheat the broth and other ingredients separately before adding them together.
When the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer.
Now add the noodles and allow them to warm for about one minute. This timeframe is all right for one or two portions, but if you're reheating more, you may need to increase the cooking time by a minute.
Pay attention that noodles are somewhat delicate. Overcooking them will result in them turning mushy. Be sure to reheat them gently until they're just warm through.
The same principle applies to cooking a new Ramen dish from scratch. Don't add your noodles until the last minute.
Why I prefer the stovetop method
I like overseeing things while reheating or cooking from scratch, which means that reheating on a stovetop allows you to monitor with far more control and flexibility.
As a bonus, you can see what is happening and adjust the heat instantly.
2 How do you heat up ramen in the microwave
Aside from being convenient, the advantage of microwaving is that it heats food faster. You can have your Ramen ultrahot in under a minute if you nuke the broth on full blast, on a high-power setting of 1000W.
Stick the bowl slightly to the edge of the microwave side, which is the place for the highest concentration of hot spots. For this reason, the microwave has a turntable for even cooking. How to Find these hot spots. Picture of a microwave with marshmallows - credit picture
Benefits of using the microwave method
- It's quick reheating and convenient.
- Ease of clean up
- Useful in defrosting food
- Variable heat settings
The detriments of using the microwave
- Reheating broth in the microwave is not befitting as you don't want your Ramen noodles to soak up too much moisture because they will become mushy.
- Microwaves are good at cooking things that absorb moisture - like lentils, oats, and rice.
Valuable tips for reheating Ramen
Following these pointers make reheating Ramen without a hitch.
1 Splitting up the Ramen noodles
When you store Ramen in your fridge, the noodles tend to cleave together and can be tough to separate.
Though allowing the noodles to soak in the hot broth helps, you can accelerate the process by giving them a quick 10 to 20-second nuke in the microwave.
The steam generated works to loosen the noodles, making separating them much more manageable. It helps when you're portioning them out.
2 Pre-warm the bowl ahead
My way of doing this is to fill the bowl with boiling water and allow it to stand for about 30 seconds. It warms the bowl nicely so that when you pour the broth into a nice warm bowl, it won't cool down so much.
Bring the other ingredients up to room temperature.
3 Allow other ingredients to cool down
When you keep ingredients in the fridge, they will be cold when you take them out. While that's useful for storing, it's detrimental to reheating the complete dish because it will cool the broth down.
Allowing the ingredients to come up to room temperature before adding them will lessen any cooling.
4 Reheat the meat
If you like eating your meat hot, you can warm it up before adding it to the broth. So, I usually microwave it for around 30 seconds while reheating the broth over the stovetop.
You can do it with the meat because it's not as delicate as the noodles or veggies.
How long does fresh Ramen last?
To be clear, what I mean by fresh Ramen is Ramen that has just been cooked. It applies to Ramen you might have picked up from a takeout, a ready-made pack that you've just cooked up, or a dish you've created entirely from scratch with fresh ingredients.
It's so scrummy. It seems hard to imagine having leftovers, but let's say you have.
The best way to understand how long fresh Ramen will last when stored is to look at it in different segments.
Shelf life of Ramen noodles
You can make Ramen with various types of noodles, but the noodles with the shortest shelf life are fresh ones.
You make fresh noodles Ramen using wheat flour, salt, and a special alkalized water, known as kansui. It's important because it gives the noodle dough that wonderful, springy and slippery texture that is just right for slurping.
In search of the best quality slurp, Ramen chefs will experiment with the ratio of ingredients to achieve the best harmony between Ramen broth and noodles.
Generally speaking, the greater the water content of noodles (which imparts more elasticity), the quicker they go off.
If you bought raw or pre-cooked fresh noodles. They will last for between two to three weeks in your fridge.
Raw or pre-boiled noodles can be frozen and stored in your freezer for one month.
If the noodles are leftovers and have been soaked in the broth and their topping partners, the only way to store them is to remove them from the Ramen and store them separately.
These noodles will last for between one and two days in your fridge or up to 30 days in your freezer.
Shelf life of Ramen broth
When talking about the shelf life of Ramen, the ingredients used to make the broth are an essential factor as they will determine its shelf life.
Light Ramen broth
If one of the ingredients is meat, it needs to be simmered at a low temperature for less time to achieve a clear broth.
Rich Ramen broth
Richer, heavier Ramen broths, sometimes referred to as kotteri, are made by boiling chicken, fish bones, or pork for longer to create a rich, milky, opaque base.
You'll probably have a diverse number of ingredients in your base broth. So it makes it difficult to pinpoint an expiry date accurately.
One addition that many people include in their Ramen is dried flakes of bonito, which add to that lovely umami flavor. If you have these, it's worth bearing in mind that the longer the Ramen is stored, the less intense its umami flavor becomes.
This type of Ramen should only be stored in your fridge for one or two days - the same as fresh Ramen noodles.
If you want to save pre-cooked Ramen broth for as long as possible, it's best to freeze it, in which case it will last for up to one month.
Toppings, too, impact how long you can store Ramen.
If you use classic Ramen toppings such as chashu sliced pork or ajitama eggs, storage time is limited to between one and two days in a refrigerator.
Vegetables such as moyashi, raw scallions, or wood ear mushrooms will quickly go slimy. They won't make you ill, but you might find the texture disagreeable, unlike eggs or meat, which would make you sick if stored too long.
Veggies like dried seaweed or fried onions will keep a little longer.
As I said earlier, if you're storing cooked Ramen to reheat later, you need to separate the toppings and the noodles from the broth before storing them, whether in the fridge or freezer.
Reheating Ramen eggs
Before reheating Ramen eggs, it's crucial to remove them from the fridge and allow them to get up to room temperature before putting them in the broth.
Here's what I do:
- Heat a pan of water, so it's hot but not boiling
- Once hot enough, drop in the eggs and allow them to warm for around one to two minutes
- You can then transfer the eggs into the broth for further heating when warmed.
An alternative way of warming Ramen eggs from the fridge is to transfer them to your microwave and nuke them for between 10 and 20 seconds.
Don't use cooked eggs that haven't been kept in the fridge. They might make you ill. If unsure, it's best to create marinated eggs, after which you can them add to the Ramen.
Top tips for storing fresh Ramen
You already know that the best way to store Ramen is to separate the broth, noodles, veggies, and toppings.
Put each element into its own airtight container for storage in your fridge or freezer. But before you start reheating them again, make sure that they are not displaying any signs of deterioration.
If you bought fresh, packaged, ready-made, or frozen Ramen, pay attention to the best-before date.
Can you freeze Ramen?
Once you've separated the various components, you can either store them in airtight containers, as just mentioned or transfer them into resealable freezer bags and squeeze the air out before transferring them to the freezer. You can even store the broth in a resealable freezer bag. If you so wish.
In my experiment, I found that the vegetables and eggs didn't freeze very well, so I preferred to dispose of them and add fresh when ready to reheat.
Steps how to freeze ramen
- You will need a minimum of three airtight containers or resealable freezer bags.
- The main elements to separate are the broth, any meat, and the noodles.
- If you plan to reheat in the next day or two, you can store everything in the fridge. Just let them cool down to room temperature before transferring them to their containers.
- If you're freezing the various elements, it's good to write the date freezing on each bag. You should only freeze the noodles for one month, but the broth and meat will last for up to 6 months in the freezer.
The biggest problem when frozen food is letting air get to it. That's why it's important to squeeze as much air out as possible when using resealable freezer bags.
Two simple ways of extracting excess air are to use a straw or mouth to bag. Leave a corner of the bag unsealed, suck out the air, then immediately seal. Because I do quite a lot of freezing, I invested in a food vacuum sealer.
How to thaw and reheat Ramen from frozen
The best and easiest way of defrosting your Ramen ingredients is to transfer them from the freezer into your fridge and leave them overnight.
If you forgot to take them out the night before or are simply in a hurry, you can use the microwave to thaw the frozen broth.
- Place the container in the microwave and press the defrost button. Periodically check if it thaws properly.
- Meanwhile, you can submerge the noodles (sealed in a Ziploc bag) in hot water for about 60 seconds.
Once all the elements are defrosted, you can reheat the broth either on the stovetop or in the microwave and when it's hot, pour it over the other ingredients to heat them through.
I wouldn't advise you to put frozen noodles into hot Ramen broth. It cools the broth down too much and takes longer to reheat, leading to the noodles becoming mushy.
How long can you store Ramen in your freezer?
It may surprise you to hear this, but freezing the separate elements of Ramen at their peak quality preserves their flavor better than storing them in the fridge.
The freezing process also protects the Ramen's nutritional value because it slows down enzyme deterioration and other chemical activity.
This slowing down process also helps maintain the appearance, flavor, and texture of all of the elements when reheated.
By way of a recap, noodles will be okay in your freezer for up to one month, while the broth can be stored for up to 6 months.
How to get the best out of leftover Ramen
No matter how carefully you follow the tips above, it will lose a little of its original flavor and texture when you reheat Ramen. The noodles, too, can suffer a little by losing moisture and becoming dry, and sticking together. They become a little less chewy.
But all is not lost. Here are some things you can do to pep it back up again.
- You can add some shredded cheese - cheeses like Cheddar or mozzarella work well. As the cheese melts, it covers the noodles and gives them mac and cheese flavor and feel.
- You can also try adding a little butter to the new noodles. It puts back some of the moistness and delightful chewiness.
- I also like adding a fried egg to the noodles for another flavor dimension.
- You can also try adding some cooked protein, sliced chicken, beef, or some seafood such as salmon or shrimp.
- Some new veggies will also bring additional flavor to your reheated Ramen. Bean sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and sugar snap peas all work well, as does a little splash of soy or teriyaki sauce.
- You can also turn the Ramen into a bisque by adding a stock cube and some roux. Once the broth thickens up a little, you can add the noodles and veggies back in.
Don't lose any sleep about having leftover Ramen. It's pretty easy to reheat in one of two different ways, and you can even enhance the flavor by adding in some new goodies; why not?
Ramen is one of the best comfort foods on the planet, so throwing any leftovers away is a sin. It can make you an impromptu lunch or dinner, anytime.
Just remember to separate the main ingredients and store them in airtight containers until you're ready to reuse them under the instructions I've outlined above.
Step by step guide on how to reheat ramen
Reheating ramen on the stovetop
- First, always separate the noodles, veggies, and other ingredients from the broth.
- Determine the right pan or pot. What you want is the one that gives you the largest surface area to mass ratio. It’s all about getting the best heat distribution. Deep frying in a wok or using a Dutch oven are equally good options.Using taller cooking utensils with a smaller surface area is to be avoided. The wider the pan and the more spread out the ingredients are when reheating, the better the texture will be.
- The idea is to reheat the noodles for the shortest possible time. So it’s best to reheat the broth and other ingredients separately before adding them together.
- When the broth comes to a boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer.Now add the noodles and allow them to warm for about one minute. This timeframe is all right for one or two portions, but if you’re reheating more, you may need to increase the cooking time by a minute.
How do you heat up ramen in the microwave
- Always separate the noodles, veggies, and other ingredients from the broth.
- Stick the bowl slightly to the edge of the microwave, which is the place for the highest concentration of hot spots. For this reason, the microwave has a turntable for even cooking.
- Reheat the broth at 1-minute intervals (for 2 minutes or until heated through). Check the hotness of the broth for each burst.
- Once the broth is hot, you can add the noodles to the mixture and nuke for 30 seconds.
- As soon as you're satisfied with the warmness of the broth, take it off the microwave. Add extra vegetables or ramen eggs. Serve hot