Noodles are sold pre-cooked. Some are served dried others may be served fresh. The purpose of boiling is to refresh the noodles and to heat them to an enjoyable eating temperature which can allow better penetration of additional flavours. Noodles in most cases are enjoyed al-dente as are other pastas. Al-dente is a combination of two processes. hydration and cooking. If noodles are over-boiled they will become too soft and friable as well as extra-swollen. This changes two aspects. The friable nature of the over-boiled noodle means that they are very likely to break into small pieces which prevents easy eating and secondly because of the over-hydration the increased water content leads to a tastelss product. Sauces and additions are then competing for the flavour volume and their flavours will be significantly reduced. Often the flavour of the over-boiled noodle is described as a dishwater flavour and is generally not appreciated.

Noodles are most often simply heated in boiling water or broth for about a minute. Stirfried noodles are often mixed with the cooking additions for the same period as the cooking as there is no signifcant water addition potential for the noodles to over-hydrate.