Do Ramen Noodles Go Bad?

Do ramen noodles go bad or not? How long do ramen noodles last? How should you store ramen noodles? Here are all the answers you seek.

Just bought a huge multipack of ramen noodles on offer?

Or just fished out an old pack of noodles from the back of your cupboard?

In this guide, we’ll run through how to store ramen noodles, as well as how to tell whether they’ve gone bad. Plus, we’ll be covering all the different types of ramen noodles.

Here’s the deal: Dried ramen noodles won’t actually go bad for years, though they may go a bit dry and stale. However, fresh ramen noodles will go bad in a matter of weeks. Look for signs of mold and freeze your fresh noodles to get them to last longer.

Types of Ramen Noodle

ramen noodles and sticks

First up, let’s talk about the different types of ramen noodles.

  • Dried instant noodles. Ramen fanatics may claim this doesn’t really count as ramen, but we’re including it here today. These come in loads of different flavors, like beef, mushroom, and chicken.
  • Wheat noodles. You’ll probably find this in the Asian section of the supermarket. They look like thick spaghetti noodles.
  • Fresh ramen noodles. It’s likely you’ll only have these if you visit a ramen shop or a specialty store. These are considered the prime of all ramen noodles!

Help! Has My Ramen Gone Bad?

instant ramen noodles

How To Tell If Your Instant Noodles Have Gone Bad

Your instant noodles should be fine as long as the packaging is intact, as the packet is sealed, acting as a barrier between your noodles and the outside world.

If you’re still suspicious, check for mold and give the noodles a good sniff. As long as everything looks and smells normal, you’re good to go.

How To Tell If Wheat Noodles Have Gone Bad

Again, wheat noodles are dry and come in sealed packaging, so it’s unlikely they’ll actually go bad unless the seal is broken. If it is, you may see signs of mold.

If the packaging is not open, but the wheat noodles are out of date, they may be stale and dry, but they probably won’t be unsafe to eat.

How To Tell If Fresh Ramen Noodles Have Gone Bad

Unfortunately, fresh ramen noodles do go bad quite quickly since they are moist and can, therefore, harbor mold and bacteria. Look for mold or dark specs.

Don’t see any? Move on to the smell test.

If everything smells normal, then feel free to taste a noodle. Don’t worry – having one funky noodle won’t do you any harm. However, if it does taste different, chuck the pack.

Where Should I Store Ramen Noodles?

asian miso ramen noodles

How To Store Dried Instant Ramen Noodles

Store instant noodles in a dark, dry place, like a cupboard or pantry. They’ll do fine at room temperature, so you can even keep a pack of instant noodles in your work drawer!

How To Store Wheat Ramen Noodles

Opt for a cool, dry, dark place, like a pantry or cupboard that’s far away from heat sources.

Once the package is opened, reseal it tightly, or transfer it to an airtight container. Then, it can go straight back to where it was before.

If you’re ever in doubt about how to store your wheat ramen noodles, just treat them the same as dry pasta.

How To Store Fresh Ramen Noodles

The moisture in fresh ramen noodles means they go bad faster. That’s why they are stored in the chilled section at the grocery store.

You should follow suit and refrigerate your fresh noodles as soon as you get home.

Once you’ve opened your noodles, reseal them, transferring them to an airtight container if necessary, then place them back in the fridge.

Now: to extend the shelf life of your fresh ramen noodles, you can freeze them. If they’re unopened, just chuck them in the freezer like that.

If you’ve already opened your fresh noodles, then double-bag with a freezer bag.

When ready to use your noodles, allow them to thaw overnight.

How Long Do Ramen Noodles Last?

ramen noodles in bowl and hands holding sticks

Storage Times for Instant Noodles

Expect your instant noodles to last for 1-2 years according to their best-before date, though they’ll be good for 1-2 months after that date.

Storage Times for Wheat Noodles

Wheat noodles also come with an expiration date. Because they’re not as highly processed as instant noodles, wheat noodles will only last 1-1.5 years. They won’t go bad until a few months afterward, though you’ll notice a degradation in quality.

Storage Times for Fresh Ramen Noodles

In the refrigerator, your fresh noodles will last for 2-3 weeks. In the freezer, they’ll last for up to 3 months.

The Round-Up on Ramen Noodles

ramen noodle soup

This article has run you through the different types of ramen noodles, how to store them, how to tell when they’re off, and how long they last. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Whatever kind of ramen noodles you have, the most surefire sign they’ve gone bad is mold.
  • Dried ramen noodles should be stored in the cupboard or pantry. Fresh ramen noodles should be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Dried ramen noodles will last for over a year. Fresh ramen noodles will only last a few weeks in the refrigerator, but they’ll last up to 3 months in the freezer.

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Alisa Shimoyama

Alisa eats her way around the world on her travels and likes to have good food ready and waiting for her when she gets back.