Does Ramen expire? (5 methods to check)

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Does Ramen expire”, and methods to check for its expiry.

Does Ramen expire?

Yes, ramen can expire. The shelf-life of cup ramen noodles is usually around six months after the date of manufacture whereas that of instant bagged ramen is eight months.

How to check whether ramen has expired?

  • Check the ramen’s packet for its expiry date. If the expiry date of the ramen was over three months ago, it is better to avoid consumption.
  • Check for mold or dark spots on ramen’s packet or on ramen itself.
  • Check for the color of the ramen.
  • Check for the smell of the ramen.
  • Taste the ramen and also observe the texture of the ramen to determine whether it is fit for consumption. Spoilt ramen would usually have an oily texture.

Why does ramen expire?

Ramen noodles are manufactured by frying them in oil at a temperature between 150 to 160°C. The oils undergo an oxidation process, past their expiration date which gives out a foul smell and taste.

Can ramen be frozen?

Yes, ramen can be frozen to increase its shelf-life. Freezing would help in preventing chemical and enzymatic breakdown which would preserve the quality of ramen. 

If the ramen packet is not yet opened, keep it as it is in the freezer. Avoid freezing cup ramen as it is likely to burst in the freezer. 

Once you have opened the ramen packets, you can transfer the noodles to an airtight container or place them in resealable bags.

How do I store ramen noodles?

  • Store the ramen in a dark place away from sunlight and moisture. Moisture can promote mold formation.
  • Store the ramen in an airtight container. 
  • Keep the ramen away from foods having a strong odor or taste.
  • Cooked ramen should be finished immediately. Cooked ramen would have a shelf-life of typically two days if kept in a freezer.

Fresh noodles should be stored immediately. Finish leftover and old ramen first before opening the newly bought ones. You can read more on storage here

Is there a difference in expiry between different types of ramen?

Yes, dry ramen noodles have a longer expiry date compared to fresh ramen noodles and wheat ramen noodles. Fresh ramen noodles do not have added preservatives compared to dry and wheat noodles. 

Wheat ramen noodles spoil quickly compared to dry ramen noodles but last longer than fresh ramen noodles. They can last for around six months. In contrast, fresh ramen noodles would last for not more than two weeks.

What is the shelf-life of cooked ramen at room temperature?

Cooked ramen would not stay for more than four to five hours. It is better to refrigerate ramen if you are not wishing to consume it immediately.

Can ramen be reheated?

Yes, you can reheat ramen. Make sure to not use expired ramen. Microwaving for about 50 seconds is fine. You can also reheat on the stove and boil for a few minutes.

Avoid reheating take-out ramen as reheating take-out ramen would not improve its taste or flavor.

Does ramen broth and toppings determine the shelf-life of ramen?

Yes, the broth also determines the shelf-line of ramen. Depending on the ingredients used in the ramen, ramen is prone to spoilage. Toppings used in ramen are another factor that can determine spoilage.

Eggs or pork slices can accelerate spoilage. Exposure to air for long time periods can further accelerate spoilage. Vegetable toppings and seaweed used as toppings promote a longer shelf-life.

Should I keep the flavorings separate from the ramen?

You can separate the flavorings from the ramen once the ramen is opened. You can store the seasonings in an airtight pack to prevent moisture from spoiling the seasonings.

Why do dry and instant ramen last for long?

As dry ramen noodles are devoid of moisture content, it lasts long. Lesser moisture would promote lesser microbial growth. 

Instant ramen is also deep-fried which can further prevent spoilage. Vitamin E added to ramen can also reduce the spoilage process as it acts as an antioxidant. 

What needs to be kept in mind while buying ramen?

  • It is essential to look for the manufacturing and expiry date.
  • Avoid buying ramen that is not packaged properly. Badly packed ramen can accelerate microbial growth and spoil quickly. If the ramen packet has been torn by accident, use it up quickly.
  • Though cup noodles are costlier than the usual noodles, it is packaged efficiently using plastic which makes it more durable and protective against rodents.

Other FAQs about noodles that you may be interested in.

How to preserve zucchini noodles

Can you eat expired noodles?

Are noodles and pasta the same?


In this brief article, we have answered the question “Does ramen expire?” and various methods to check for its expiry.