Do Ramen Noodles Expire? Can It Really Go Bad?

image of expired ramen noodles in cup

Ramen noodles are popular dried noodles that are a pantry staple.

Since they last a long time, it will be common to occasionally be left with a package of ramen noodles that you forgot about at the back of the cupboard. But how do you know that they are still good? What is the ramen noodles shelf life?

Short Answer: 

Ramen noodles have a shelf life of around two years if stored correctly.

Dried products like ramen noodles have considerable shelf lives, but it is still important to know when it has gone past their best.

In this article, we are going to work out the shelf life of ramen noodles and give you some tips to keep them fresh.

Read on to find out more.

image of dry ramen

What Keeps Ramen Noodles Fresh?

Ramen noodles are simple, made from wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui.[*]

Kansui is alkaline mineral water and sets these noodles apart from regular noodles.

Most often, you will buy ramen noodles dried. It is the drying that allows their shelf life to be so long.

Fresh noodles are susceptible to molding due to their moisture content. Dried ramen noodles don’t have this problem.

The noodles are made in a factory and go through a thorough drying process that gets rid of all the excess moisture in the noodles.

This means that the noodles can safely be stored at room temperature for long periods without going bad. 

It is key that they are kept away from moisture as this will cause them to rehydrate and go bad quickly.

Ramen Noodles Shelf Life: How Long Do They Last?

How long ramen noodles last depends on how well you store them. If you do correctly, ramen noodles can last up to two years [*]

Even though they are unlikely to make you ill, it is still worth knowing whether they are fresh or not so you don’t spoil a dish with bad noodles.

Fresh ramen will be:

1. Crunchy Texture

The texture is the easiest way to tell if noodles are fresh.

The noodles will be easy to snap and break into portions. Once cooked, they will be slightly chewy.

2. Pale and Even Colored

Each cake of noodles will be pale beige to light yellow.

The color should be even across all the noodles.

3. Fresh Neutral Flavor

Once cooked, the ramen noodles will have a neutral and fresh flavor that lets the other ingredients take center stage.

Learn more:

How To Tell if Ramen Has Gone Bad

Telling if ramen noodles are fresh is quite simple but telling if they are off is a little more challenging.

Bad ramen noodles will be:

1. Soft and Pliable Texture

When dried, the noodles will be hard to break apart and bend instead of snapping.

Once cooked, the noodles will have an unpleasant mealy texture.

2. Discolored Noodles

Off noodles may begin to dark in color from the original beige shade.

The color will be mottled and uneven across the surface of the noodles.

3. Bugs or Mold Present

If the noodles have not been stored in a sealed container, they might be susceptible to a bug infestation.

However, if the noodles have been exposed to moisture, there might be mold present. It will present as a white fluffy mold amongst the dried noodles.

If you notice bugs or mold, discard all the noodles and their packaging immediately and check the rest of your dried goods just in case they have spread.

4. Unpleasant Flavor

When cooked, the noodles will taste old and very unpleasant to eat.

Learn more: Can You Eat Ramen Raws? Is IT Bad? (THE TRUTH)

Is it OK to eat ramen noodles after they expire?

Ramen noodles are good for three months after their expiration date if they are stored in the proper manner.

The expiration date on ramen noodles is indicated when the product is at its best rather than when the product becomes unusable.

This means that they are not likely to make you feel sick if you eat them within three months of expiry.

After this period, the noodles are unlikely to make you sick, but they will not be pleasant to eat.

Learn more: What Do Rice Noodles Taste Like? (Very Mild Flavour And…)

The Best Way to Store Ramen Noodles For Long Term!

Exposure to harsh light and heat, and moisture are surefire ways to reduce the shelf life of your ramen noodles. For this reason, we recommend storing them in a dark cupboard away from the stove, so it stays cool.

If the noodles come in individually wrapped packages, you can leave them in their original packaging and place them in a dark cupboard away from direct sunlight, as they are

However, if your ramen noodles come in a larger pack, this is how we recommend you store them:

  1. Remove the noodles from their original packaging
  2. Break into position sizes
  3. Transfer to an airtight plastic container and seal tightly
  4. Label and date the container
  5. Place in a cool dark cupboard



So, after all this talk of ramen noodles, what can we take away from this?

  • The shelf life of ramen noodles is two years.
  • The best way to store ramen is in a cool, dark cupboard.
  • Ramen noodles are good for three months after their best-by date.

We hope this has helped you figure out if your noodles are so good that you avoid eating bad noodles ever again.

Up Next: The Shelf life of Canned Foods

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