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Does Instant Ramen Expire? 7 Burning Questions ANSWERED

Yes, it expires and they CAN go bad.

Here are some facts about the expiration of instant noodles.
Let's take a look...

1. How long do instant noodles last?

Have you ever looked for the expiration date on a package of instant noodles?
According to the companies that produce instant noodles,
expiration of cup noodles is about 6 months after production, and 8 months for bagged instant noodles.
But wait, you don't see instant noodles go bad immediately after the expiration date has passed.
Do you?

So, does that mean you can still eat them after the expiration date has passed?

The answer is yes, BUT I don't recommend it.

8 month after the production of your instant noodles, the oil will start to deteriorate and the taste of the noodles just won't be good as when it was fresh.

You shouldn't eat instant noodles that is too old.

In my opinion, and from personal experience, I wouldn’t eat instant noodles that is 3 months past the expiration date. 

Keep in mind that you still need to check the quality of your instant noodles.  

2. How to check if your expired instant noodles are OK to eat

If you really want to eat expired instant noodles, do so at your own risk.

There are a few things you must look for.
Do my instant noodles...

...smell bad?
...have mold?
...change colour? 
...have an expiry date over 3 month ago?
...have a strange first bite?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you must not eat them. 

3. Does expired instant noodles taste good?

I have tried instant noodles which have been expired for 2 months, it just doesn’t taste as good as a fresh, new pack! 

4. What happens if you eat expired instant noodles?

After reading several Japanese blogs on the brave souls who have tried (long) expired instant noodles, here are some of their thoughts and experiences...

After 0.5 year from expiration date
"The soup was bland”
"I couldn't tell the difference even though it was old"
"This ramen tastes bad”

After 1.5 years from expiration date
"I had an upset stomach”
“I found something strange floating in the soup”
“It tasted like cardboard”
“It did not taste like food"

After 2 years from expiration date
"It tasted sour"
"I went see a doctor because I felt like vomiting."
"Smelled really strange"

After 2.5 years from expiration date
"The oil tasted like it could be the oil for machiney"
"The noodles tasted really bad"
"My stomach hurts"

After 3 years from expiration date
"I wanted to vomit"
"The soup smelled really bad"

Yes, you read that right.
It is very dangerous to eat instant noodles that have expired long ago.
If stored for a long period of time, the instant noodles will become unedible.

Please do not eat it!

5. Why does instant noodles go bad?


Do you know the reason why instant noodles go bad when they expire?

It is because of the oxidation of the oil in the instant noodles.

Deep frying instant noodles is a part of the manufacturing process.

In a factory, you put noodles in a metal frame and put them into high-temperature oil ranging between 140°C to 160°C (284°F to 320°F)...

...And fry them for 1 to 2 minutes.

The oil will start to oxidize after the expiration date, and noodles will start to produce a smell and the taste will turn bad. 

6. Why can instant noodles last long?

Do you know why instant noodles can last up to 8 months?

The answer is that the noodles don’t contain as much water as raw noodles.

Originally, water makes up about 30-40% of ramen dough, but through the frying process, it goes down to 3-6%.

Also, dried soup packets make the storage time longer.
The process of dehydration and frying removes moisture and water content which inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

Vitamin E is also added as an antioxidant to help slow down the oxidation of the food. 

These components added together help prolong the shelf life of instant noodles. 

7. Storing instant noodles

How do you usually store your instant noodles?

Here are the correct ways to store your instant noodles:

  • Avoid sun light.

  • Store at room temperature.

  • Store in low humidity.

  • Avoid storing with things that have a strong smell.  

Here are some examples of deep-fried noodles, and non-fried noodles.
I have taste-tested each one and made reviews for them.

Check them out: 

Deep fried noodles
Nissin Cup Noodles Curry

Sapporo Ichiban Tonkotsu Flavour

Sapporo Ichiban Shio Flavor

Sapporo Ichiban Miso Flavor

Sapporo Ichiban Ramen Original Flavor

Shin Ramyun

Neoguri Instant Noodles

Non fried noodles
Nissin Raoh Miso Flavor

Nissin Raoh Shoyu Flavor

Nissin Raoh Tantanmen Flavor

Nissin Raoh Tonkotsu Flavor

Maruchan Seimen Miso Flavor 

Maruchan Seimen Shoyu Flavor

Due to Covid, a lot of good ramen restaurants have closed

It makes me feel very angry.

I used to eat ramen out frequently,

But in this situation,

Ramen shops have started to shorten the hours, limit the number of customers, or even closed their shops.

It has affected the industry so much.

I am afraid good ramen will be gone

But meanwhile, you still can enjoy ramen in the comfort of your own home.

Here are some of my recommendations for ramen lovers.

1. Sapporo Ichiban Shio Flavor


In truth, Sapporo Ichiban delivers a good quality shio ramen experience.

Actually, it is very difficult to find good shio ramen.

Do you know why?

Because it is very difficult to make it since it is very simple.

There are many good shoyu and miso flavored instant noodles out there.

But I feel specifically, the shio flavor market is monopolized by Sapporo Ichiban.

Think about this for a moment having good shio ramen for your dinner with your favorite ramen toppings.

Now, you want some, don’t you?

2. Nissin Raoh Shoyu Flavor


It is nearly impossible to make restaurant quality noodles at home without the right tools and equipment.

How can you beat that?

Using Raoh’s shoyu flavour will help you achieve this easily. This is top-notch ramen hands down!

One pinnacle of instant noodles is the soy sauce flavor. It is expensive compared to regular ones but let me tell you, it deserves every single penny.

In a nutshell, I loved every bit of it.

...And I am sure you will too.

3. The problem here is that no toppings come with these packets.

Here are some topping options and recipes for you.

Green onion

4. Have you ever faced these issues...

A lack of large, high-quality soup bowl sets at home?

Are you still struggling with...

😢 ...small bowls that aren’t large enough for soups, noodles and toppings.

😢 ...spillage every time you eat out of your bowl.

😢 ...low-quality tableware and utensils that don’t compliment your food.

Look no further,

Our best-selling bowls are here to fix all the issues you face with small, inefficient tableware.

After struggling with spillage and leakage during dinner time,

We decided to introduce APEX S.K’s large soup bowls to the market.

Want to hear why some people absolutely love our ramen bowls?

"These are perfect for homemade ramen soup nights! The bowls we have at home are not large enough and my wife has been trying to look for larger bowls. I'm so glad I stumbled upon these. They made a great Christmas gift for the whole family. Everybody was so excited and we can't wait to put them to use on our next ramen night."

"Amazing quality! They are very durable. I dropped it from standing height to test if they would break, but no dents or anything."

"The shape, the color, and the overall appearance of the bowl was exactly what I was looking for - the shape, the color"

Check our sets on Amazon..

About the Author

Kei is a self-proclaimed ramen lover, blog writer and founder of "Apex S.K. Japanese tableware".

"I am from Ibaraki, Japan.

Ramen is great! It can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that no other food can. I have been eating ramen for 30 years.

If there is no ramen, my life would be miserable.

Ten years ago, I worked as an office worker. The job was really stressful - excessive working hours, low wages, unpaid overtime work, and constantly being yelled at by my boss.

I was new and alone, no girlfriend, no friends, and felt very lonely.

My only oasis was the ramen shop near the office. For me, the ramen chef there was literally an angel. I saw a halo on his head. (No joke)

Tonkotsu shoyu ramen was my all-time favorite. He made ramen with broth chock-full of umami flavor, nice chewy handmade noodles, and tender chashu.

My greatest dream is connect people with ramen through my blog. I want to share a lot of interesting and funny stories and ramen trivia with you.

Knowing more about ramen can help you appreciate your ramen and make it taste extra delicious."

Did you know that we offer more than just a ramen blog?

We also have an exclusive collection of ramen-inspired t-shirts and hoodies that any true noodle lover will adore.

Head over to ApexRamen and check it out for yourself


  • John Buczek

    I would like to know where the experation date is on a 12 pack of Maruchan Ramen Noodles. Every thing I find seems to dance around the answer without giving it and I sure can’t seem to find evidence of it on the box or wrap. All the information given is fairly useless if the experation date isn’t known.

  • Jessica

    We accidentally cooked 4 year old expired instant ramen, given to us from someone’s old storage that we didn’t check before cooking

    It smelled like rotting flowers and heavy cleaning chemicals, maybe machine oil, one bite made my partner instantly nauseated with a burning sensation and he is inducing vomiting rather than let himself digest the noodles
    I only had a tiny portion to test of the noodles were cooked and felt a mild allergic response followed by a mild anxiety attack but no stomach upset at all. We had it on an empty Stomach so nothing could absorb it

    Eat fresh noodles. Check the expiry dates

  • Kei

    Hello Macky,
    Thanks for leaving a comment! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed ramen when visiting Japan.

  • Macky Ramos

    Hi, I visited Japan and tasted ramens that were hidden among the walls (small ramen stores) but they taste So Good. I Love RAMEN!!!!! 👍

  • Kei

    Hi Ai,
    Thanks for reading my article. I am glad that you found it useful!

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