Did you know that instant ramen is so easy to prepare that you can eat it raw? If you don’t believe us, you should see that episode in the Mind of a Chef where David Chang, the owner of Momofuku, ate ramen raw!
And perhaps you also know a few people who love snacking on raw ramen, but you’ve never tried it yourself because you’re afraid of experiencing different digestive issues afterward. But if one world-renowned chef has done it, maybe it’s safe to give it a try?
Before you do, allow us to enlighten you on this matter: can you eat ramen raw? Is it bad or safe to eat raw ramen noodles?
Yes, you can eat ramen raw. It’s safe to eat it as a snack from time to time.
There are even other ways how you can use ramen without cooking it. Read this article to know more! In this article, you’ll also learn about:
Are you ready to get this party started? Then, let’s rame ‘n roll!
How is Ramen Made?
Before we answer the big question, let us first look at how ramen is made.
A package of instant ramen contains three things—instant noodles, a packet of seasoning, and either a packet of oil or dried vegetables or meaty flakes.
Let us take a closer look at the most critical part of the package: the instant ramen noodles. These noodles are commonly made with water, salt, wheat flour, and kansui.
Kansui is an alkaline lye water solution added to help control the acidity level during the noodle dough-making process. (*)
Afterward, the dough is kneaded and rolled out thinly before slicing into long, thin noodle-like pieces.
Here’s the exciting part:
At this point, the manufacturers pre-cook the ramen by steaming them. So you see, the raw ramen isn’t precisely raw since it has already been previously steamed.
But here’s the thing: If they are steamed, why are they available in dry form?
That’s because the noodles are dehydrated before packaging. The dehydration process is done by exposing them to high temperatures, frying them, and many more.
Did You Know?
The rule of thumb is that any food item with less than 12% water content is considered shelf-stable. For example, after the dehydration process, the moisture content of instant noodles is not higher than 10%.
Now, we get to the exciting part. We’re about to answer your question!
Can You Eat Raw Ramen Noodles?
As we’ve said, you can eat ramen raw. However, based on how it’s made, the raw ramen in your instant noodle package is not technically “raw”. It’s already steamed and fried or dehydrated afterward.
With that in mind, you won’t have to worry about getting diarrhea or experiencing any digestive symptoms commonly associated with eating raw food items. But unfortunately, there is already plenty of evidence that can prove this.
Case in point: Momofuku’s David Chang eating raw ramen in the Mind of a Chef episode.
And if that’s not enough to convince you, you might also want to check out the FAQ section on Nissin’s website.
In this section, they addressed a question about the safety of eating their Top Ramen without cooking them in boiling water. Here’s an excerpt from their answer, “Since the noodles are already cooked, they are safe”. (*)
Is It Safe or Bad to Eat Raw Ramen Noodles?
While consuming raw ramen is safe, you shouldn’t eat it every day—no matter how addictive it is.
To give you an idea of the nutritional value of ramen, here are the nutrients that you can get from one serving of a typical instant ramen noodle:
- 188 calories
- 27 grams Carbohydrates
- 7 grams of fats
- 5 grams of proteins
- 1 gram of fiber
- 891 mg of sodium
Ramen noodles also contain a few vitamins and minerals like iron, Niacin, Manganese, Riboflavin, and the like. However, it also lacks a few crucial nutrients like magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, etc.
It’s possible to get intestinal worms from eating raw or undercooked ramen noodles, but the risk is low.
Intestinal worms are parasites that live in the intestines of humans and other animals. They can be spread through contact with contaminated soil, water, or food, and they can also be spread through contact with an infected person’s stool.
So if you’re going to eat ramen noodles, make sure they’re cooked all the way through.
Here’s How to Prepare Raw Ramen
If you’re curious about what raw ramen tastes like, you should try it. For the best raw ramen experience, here are the steps on how to prepare it:
Step 1. Crush the noodles before opening the package.
Crushing the noodles while still in their unopened package is the best and least messy way to prepare raw ramen.
Pro Tip: If you accidentally opened the package or it is already broken, you can transfer the noodles to a resealable plastic bag before crushing it.
Step 2. Pour the seasoning packet into the bag.
Open the bag, pour the seasoning in, and then shake the bag to coat the noodles properly. Please remember that the seasoning can get quite salty, so add it gradually.
Step 3. Taste and enjoy!
Taste the noodles to see if the seasoning is already enough. If you want it to taste saltier, add more seasoning and shake again. Continue doing this until you’ve achieved the desired taste.
Pro Tip: You don’t have to settle with the seasoning inside the packet. You can also make your seasoning mix by adding the herbs and spices of your choice. Our personal favorite is a mix of chili powder and lemon salt to give it a citrusy flavor with a kick.
More Amazing Ways to Use Raw Ramen
Aside from eating it as is, did you know that there are other ways how you can enjoy raw ramen. Here are some fantastic ideas:
1. As a salad add-on
Do you want to add a crunchy twist to your salads? Most people would go for nut toppings, but we recommend using crushed raw ramen if you want something unique and more flavorful.
We’ve tried pairing uncooked ramen noodles with different greens and toppings. So far, here are the best pairings that we’ve come across: green onion, shredded cabbage, carrots, and shredded chicken.
You can even use this to boost the flavored of a chicken salad simply by coating the uncooked noodles with the chicken ramen seasoning before crushing them and putting them on top of your salad.
Pro Tip: We love using uncooked ramen instead of crispy noodles to make Asian salads.
2. As a crispy breading
Here’s another idea you might haven’t tried yet: use uncooked noodles in place of breadcrumbs when making crispy breading.
This is perfect for making breaded chicken and fish. In addition to making your meals crispy, the uncooked noodles will also impart a unique taste.
You just have to crush the uncooked ramen noodles until they are fine enough to be used as a breading.
Next, add the herbs and spices of your choice (you can also add the powder seasoning of the ramen), then add it to your dishes the same way you would use breadcrumbs.
4. As a dessert topping
Okay, this may seem to be a bit too farfetched. But if you think about it, the only thing that makes the uncooked noodles taste salty and savory is powdered seasoning. Without it, the noodles would just be another topping you can add a crunchy twist to your desserts, like ice cream sundaes or puddings.
Pro Tip: To make this topping more dessert-friendly, you can mix the crushed ramen noodles in a blend of cinnamon and sugar before adding them to your dessert.
4. As a pizza crust
Now, this is an out-of-this-world idea, but hear us out first. Due to its nature, it will be one of the crispiest pizza crusts that won’t get soggy over time.
You can slice the ramen noodle vertically to make two thinner blocks to create the crust. After that, spread pizza over it, then top it off with lots of cheese and other toppings.
Bake until the crust is already golden brown and the cheese has melted.
The Bottom Line
Yes, you can safely eat ramen raw without worrying that you’ll experience food poisoning and other digestive problems.
But please keep in mind that snacking on raw ramen a few times weekly is not healthy as it’s a highly processed food item. That’s why you should limit your consumption of raw ramen to at least once every few months.