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Is Ramen Deep Fried? 10 Unknown Facts About Ramen Noodles


Ramen is deep-fried ONLY if you are talking about some types of instant ramen.

Let’s find out more:

Fact 1: It is part of the manufacturing process

Basically, when you make instant noodles, you will fry your noodles.

Frying your noodles turns water content into steam, and the steam causes noodles to become porous when the water content evaporates.

So, what’s this all about?
These pores help your noodles cook quickly in a boiling pot of water because noodles with pores absorb water more easily .

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.

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

There is a different manufacturing process of instant noodles which does not require frying.
You will find out about this method later.

Fact 2: Fried instant noodles are more chewy

The chewy and bouncy texture of instant noodles sets them apart from pasta, raw ramen noodles, and other noodles.

You read correctly.

The process of pre-cooking and dehydrating in oil, makes your instant ramen chewy and bouncy.

Fact 3: Shelf life

Question: How long does instant ramen noodles last?
The answer is over 8 months.

Why is it so much longer than raw fresh noodles?
Because deep frying the noodles removes the moisture and improves the longevity of its shelf life.

On the other hand, raw ramen noodles only lasts for a few days and must be refrigerated.

You need to deep fry noodles in order to create desiccated instant noodles.

Fact 4: Why does it take 3 minutes to cook instant noodles?

Ever wondered why not longer or shorter?

Believe it or not, factories are actually able to produce instant noodles that can be cooked in 1 minute (or less).

The sad thing is that for noodles that require such short cooking time, it becomes soggy and mush very easily. 
This provides a very bad texture in your mouth when you are eating it.

But you don't want to wait too long, right?
3 minutes is the perfect amount of time to make an ideal bowl of instant ramen. At the same time, the waiting time is not too bad for a starving person.

Fact 5: Pre-gelatinization process

Did you know that 70% of ramen noodles is made of starch?

In order to eat instant noodles in its best condition, while making it easy to digest for your stomach, you need to add a process of pre-gelatinization to your noodles.

What's that?

Pre-gelatinization is a process of heating starch up.
Steaming and frying noodles are part of the pre-gelatinization for instant noodles.

Fact 6: History

One of the biggest inventions of the ramen world is instant noodles and cup noodles.

It revolutionized the food culture of the world.

Instant noodles were invented in 1958 and 10 years later, cup noodles were invented.

Since then, these two food items have gotten really popular in the world quickly.

Do you know who invented the instant noodles?

Momofuku Ando invented and patented dried ramen noodles.

Right after the World War 2, Momofuku saw a long line up at ramen food cart in Umeda, Osaka.

He thought, "I want to make ramen easier and more convenient, so everyone can enjoy ramen."

He had a great idea, but invention of instant noodles took a lot of time and effort. 
He built a studio in his backyard and experimented vigorously.

He couldn't find a way to make to preserve the noodles for long time storage.

One day, his wife Masako was making tempura, and he got inspiration from watching her cook.
He realized that frying noodles can get rid of water in the noodles, and make them capable for long time storage.

Fact 7: Shape of dried noodles

Deep fried instant noodles are always wavy.

But, why?

Because if you fry straight noodles, they will stick together.
Actually, you can’t fry noodles evenly when they are straight.
If you make noodles wavy, you can make gaps between the noodles.
This way will allow you to fry them evenly.

Fact 8: Non fried

There are 2 ways instant noodles are processed so that it can maintain a long storage life.

One is deep frying it at high heat, and the other is dehydrating it.

You put noodles into a drying machine and turn it on. It will produce heated gusts of wind at about 80°C (176°F). Using the machine for over 30 minutes will create non-fried instant noodles.

Fact 9: Restaurant noodles are not fried

Ramen noodles at a restaurant are not fried.

This is the reason why:

All professional chefs have their own preference of which noodles go with their broth. 

They can customize their noodles by either making the noodles by themselves or ordering from a noodle factory. 

Thickness of ramen noodles, cross-sectional shape of noodles, straight or wavy noodles, water addition rate, etc..

Noodle factories are very skilled and capable of making customized noodles for different ramen restaurants.

Fact 10: List of Fried and Non-fried Instant Ramen

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

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