Are the shrimp in cup noodles real? The surprising truth

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  September 12, 2021

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Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

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Do you love your cup of noodles? Have you ever wondered about those teeny dehydrated shrimp and whether they’re real, or some kind of clever fake shrimp? Can you really dehydrate shrimp?

Are the shrimp in cup noodles real? The surprising truth

The answer is that yes, in many cases shrimp are real and they’ve simply been dehydrated so you can enjoy them in your cup noodle just like the rest of the ingredients.

What kind of shrimp are they?

They don’t look like the kinds of shrimp you might buy in a grocery store and they’re really tiny, so this is the obvious next question.

Are they baby shrimp? Are they shrimp meat pressed into little molds to disperse the flavor through the cup?

It might vary between brands, but generally, many brands use one of the small varieties of shrimp, often brine shrimp.

There are thousands of types of shrimp in the world, but most grocery stores find that the big varieties are more popular, leaving the little ones with not much of a market.

These small shrimps are perfect for cup noodles. Not all keep their color once frozen and dehydrated, so brands choose carefully to try and make their product look as appetizing as possible.

Is this true of all cup noodles?

Not all brands use real shrimp, so you’ll have to check the ingredients to be sure.

Some just use the flavoring of shrimp, rather than go to the hassle of catching and dehydrating seafood to add to their instant meals.

Have a quick skim through and see what the ingredients say before you assume one way or another, and remember to check periodically even with brands you know, as manufacturers do change their processes from time to time.

Also read: Will Ramen Noodles Soften in Cold Water? Let’s find out

Are these dehydrated shrimp safe to eat?

Yes, because the moisture has been removed from the shrimp, they will not go off, or at least not for a long time.

Like other ingredients in cup noodles, they have been designed to be stored for long periods of time without any detriment to their quality or safety.

Always heat your cup of noodles according to the packet instructions (and never in the microwave!) before you consume it to make sure that all ingredients are properly cooked and safe to eat; this goes for ones containing shrimp too.

Conclusion

So, the shrimp in cup noodles are usually – but not always – real shrimps that are simply tiny and dried. At other times, you may encounter shrimp flavoring rather than the actual crustacean.

Feeling like eating shrimp now? Why not try this Filipino Garlic Buttered Shrimp Recipe

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.