If you’ve ended up on this article, you might have been newly introduced to ramen noodles, not have anything else to eat or just generally love them. Either way, you have bought a couple of packets and are now possibly wondering, ‘Do ramen noodles go bad?’
Well, like every other food item that you pick from the superstore, ramen noodles also come with an expiry date. We have compiled all that you need to know about ramen and what might happen if they go bad, so read on.
What Are Ramen Noodles?
Ramen is a Japanese word, which automatically indicates their place of origination. According to the website Knife Up, these noodles are handmade with egg as the main constituent.
Other basic ingredients include wheat flour, water, salt and alkaline mineral water. A perfect bowl of ramen noodles consists of the broth, the noodles and some toppings to go with all that.
What makes ramen different from normal noodles is the fact that normal noodles come in a simple package, are made in some factory and are meant to be an easier alternative to the original ramen noodles.
One other major factor that distinguishes ramen noodles from any other wheat-based noodles like pasta is ‘kansui,’ which is a combination of various alkaline salts.
Here's a quick hack to make your ramen noodles taste better than ever.
How Long Do Ramen Noodles Last? Does Ramen Go Bad?
All ramen noodles surely come with a Best By date on their packages. All three types have different expiration limits. The dry and wheat noodles usually have a way longer expiration date as compared to the fresh ones, given that they’re safe from moisture and are stored in dry places. Fresh ones don’t stay fresh for long due to the absence of preservatives. As you read further, you will find the healthy life of all three discussed separately.
The dry ramen noodles have the longest shelf life of more than a year. You can even consume them a few months after their expiry date due to the number of preservatives they have, which will keep them fresh.
Unlike dry noodles, wheat noodles have a shorter shelf life, ranging from around a year or less, because they aren’t as processed as the dry ones. Even though they might be consumable for some time after the expiry date, they start losing their freshness and getting stale.
Fresh noodles don’t have a long shelf life, usually last a maximum of 2 to 3 weeks. Hence, if you want to eat the leftover noodles sometime later, your best option is to freeze them in freezer bags so that they maintain their freshness for a longer time. However, don’t let them sit in the freezer for over a month or else they’ll only be good for the dumpster, not in your food bowl.
How to Tell If Ramen Noodles Are Bad?
Instant dry ramen noodles will remain fresh in most cases if they’re kept away from moisture. When you take the block out, crush it with your hands to check if there’s any moisture or bugs inside. Also, before adding them in the bowl, sniff them once to see if they smell alright.
Wheat noodles follow the same guidelines. Keep the pack away from moisture, open it, check for moisture or bugs inside, and smell the noodles once.
Dry and wheat noodles don’t tend to get expired. The worst that can happen to them is that they either lose their taste or get a little soft and squishy.
While dry and wheat noodles don’t really expire, fresh noodles expire pretty quickly. The reason is that they are moist and can possibly go bad. To tell if fresh ramen noodles have gone bad, the first step is to check for any dark spots on the noodles. Secondly, sniff them properly to make sure they’re free from any kind of smell. If the noodles pass both tests, go ahead with the cooking.
Ramen noodles don’t have a high nutritional value (source). They’re just instant noodles, meant to be eaten sometimes and not every day unless you’re stuck in an emergency or in a natural disaster where it’s better to eat food with a low nutritional value rather than no food at all. According to the website ‘Food Revolution,’ consuming ramen noodles every day has proven to be dangerous in the long run as they can cause heart diseases. A 2014 Baylor University study also indicates that ramen can be dangerous for your health.
How to Store Ramen Noodles?
Ramen noodles come in three different types. First is the dry ones that usually come in a block form. The second type is the wheat noodles which are like thick spaghetti, and the last one is the fresh noodles that are sold mostly at ramen shops.
With the types covered, let’s move onto their storage, as recommended by experts. The dried noodles are to be kept in a dry and dark place at room temperature, and they’ll stay good. If you use a portion of the block, just keep the unused part in a Ziplock bag or an airtight container for later use.
For the wheat noodles, you need to follow almost the same procedure as the dry ones. Choose a cool, dry place where sunlight and heat can’t reach. Once the package is opened and you’ve used a portion, keep the other half in an airtight jar and you’re done.
The slightly tricky part lies with storing fresh noodles. With fresh noodles, you need to refrigerate them the moment you reach home. To ensure that they’re fresh, make sure you pick them from the cold section.
The leftover noodles are to be sealed in airtight bags, preferably freezer bags, and since fresh ramen expires early, it’s recommended to instantly freeze them so that they don’t lose their freshness when you eat them again.
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