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Japan Now Has Instant Cold Noodles That Stay Chilled Even After Microwaving

Japanese instant chilled noodles

The microwave is capable of cooking many dishes – desserts, even – but who knew it could be used to prepare chilled food? A Japanese frozen food company called Nichirei Corporation recently invented frozen instant noodles that remain chilled even after you pop them into the microwave.

Hiyashi chuka – “Chilled Chinese” noodles made convenient

According to Nichirei Corporation, the frozen food market grew significantly because of the pandemic. Frozen ramen in particular had a whopping 137% growth. Nichirei Corporation also conducted a survey and found that 80% of the respondents deemed hiyashi chuka (chilled Chinese noodles) to be a troublesome meal.

instant japanese chilled noodles - hiyashi chuka
Image credit: @masa_419

Although it is a popular summer food in Japan, many felt that it was too troublesome to boil the noodles and then chill it. As a result, Nichirei Corporation came up with hiyashi chuka that stays chilled even after you microwave it.

instant japanese chilled noodles - instant hiyashi chuka
Image credit: 株式会社ニチレイフーズ

Nichirei’s instant hiyashi chuka consists of flash-frozen noodles, braised pork, egg strips, okra, and red ginger – each in their own separate compartment to ensure the freshness of each topping. According to Nichirei Corporation, the special noodle sauce – which includes three different types of vinegar – is the “secret weapon” of the whole dish.

The science behind microwaveable chilled noodles

instant japanese chilled noodles - microwave
Image credit: @jj2_home

Fun fact: ice doesn’t melt in the microwave.

The reason behind this is because of the strong hydrogen bonds present in ice, which means the water molecules can’t absorb much energy from the microwaves. As a result, a much larger amount of energy is required to melt ice as opposed to heating up water in the microwave.

instant japanese chilled noodles - cold noodle visual
Image credit: 株式会社ニチレイフーズ

Nichirei Corporation takes advantage of this unusual characteristic of ice to ensure that the noodles are chilled even after being microwaved. 

Chilled noodles that remain cold after microwaving

The future is here – we can now microwave food and have it stay in its chilled form. Nichirei Corporation’s instant hiyashi chuka will be officially released on 1st Mar 2022. If you are interested in Nichirei’s microwaveable chilled noodles, do keep a lookout on their website should more information be released.

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Cover image adapted from: Nichirei Corporation & 株式会社ニチレイフーズ