Ramen noodles are a cult favorite. From hot and spicy ramen to the mellow warm flavored and anime-looking bowl of ramen, these noodles are one of the most popularly consumed foods out there.
Put merely, ramen noodles are comfort food for many, and whether you admit it or not, everyone loves this instant meal.
But, are ramen noodles vegan friendly?
The quick answer is, yes they’re safe to consume in vegan or vegetarian diets. However, there are few factors you need to note before purchasing the first pack you see.
Today we’ll be discussing what makes ramen noodles vegan and how you can identify ones suitable for your vegan journey. Let’s get started!
In this post we'll cover:
Are Ramen Noodles Vegan? What’s In Them?
Ramen noodles are essentially made with a mix of wheat flour and oil. Some recipes call for the addition of salt and filler ingredients such as potato starch, but that’s pretty much it. So, the noodle itself is safe to be consumed on both vegan and vegetarian diets.
So, the main foundation of the ramen meal is vegan, does that make ramen noodles vegan?
Well, that’s where the process gets tricky. While noodles provided in instant ramen packs are vegan, the seasoning may not be. These seasoning packets are fundamentally made with ingredients such as beef extract which has been dehydrated or cooked chicken in powdered form.
This is why while the noodles themselves are vegan, the seasoning packets can break the deal. So, what exactly makes the ramen noodles not safe for vegans are the contents that make up the enticing ramen soup.
Is Ramen Soup Vegan?
Since the seasoning itself is what determines whether the ramen is vegan or not, the same can be said for ramen soup. Most ramen packs are made with seasoning that isn’t vegan.
To counter this issue, most vegans and vegetarians just buy the ramen noodle packs and throw away the seasoning included with it. To season the ramen themselves they opt for options like sesame oil, hot sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, curry powder and even tamari.
So, you can make your vegan seasoning and soup vegan by making it on your own. Otherwise, there are certain specifications you need to follow when it comes to instant ramen noodles and how you can find vegan options for them.
Also read: how to make vegan miso soup
Are Instant Ramen Noodles Vegan?
Well, the answer to that is entirely dependent on the brand you’re opting for along with its flavor. With Top Ramen, their Oriental flavor is the perfect vegan instant ramen noodle option. The seasoning contains no animal ingredient which makes it 100% vegetarian and vegan safe.
You can find the Top Ramen oriental flavoring in your local stores which makes this an accessible vegan option that you must stock up on. Their Chili flavored ramen is also a vegan-friendly option; however, you can’t find it as commonly as their Oriental flavor which can be identified by their blue color.
However, don’t confuse the Oriental from Top Ramen with Maruchan’s Oriental flavor. It has the same blue color; however,it’s not vegan friendly. Always double-check the label to cross out any doubts.
Vegan instant ramen noodles are definitely a thing, but some health food stores may be pricing them relatively higher than they should be. So, if you’re looking for some cheap comfort food, you definitely will have to look.
Some renowned vegan options for instant ramen noodles include Soken noodles and Dr Mc Dougall’s ramen soup noodle cups. Most of these have vegan and vegetarian written on top of them, so going into the nitty-gritty details may not be a requirement.
Best Vegan Instant Ramen Noodles Brands
Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered with the best vegan ramen options you can find. All these options offer exciting flavors while maintaining the authentic taste of ramen we know you’re craving.
Here are our top vegan ramen noodles that are affordable and can be easily found on Amazon:
Dr McDougall’s Right Foods
Made with organic ramen, Dr McDougall’s is a cult favorite when it comes to options in vegan ramen. They offer a wide variety of cup noodle options, even a vegan chickenoption! If you’re in the mood for some pad Thai even, you got it. Our personal favorite is the Vegan Miso Ramen Noodle cup.
Nissin Top Ramen
Ah, the American favorite, Top Ramen. These ramen noodles are basically the leader of all ramen companies in America. Their Soy Sauce Top Ramen is their most popular vegan option alongside their Chili variant.
Koyo offers you a wide variety of vegan ramen options. From garlic pepper to shitake mushrooms, the flavors are immaculate and give you that authentic ramen spice that makes your taste buds want more. Our favorite is the Koyo Miso and Tofu ramen option.
Thai Kitchen Ramen Noodles
This gluten-free and vegan-friendly option gives tons of flavors to choose from. They offer the real oriental experience through flavors like Thai ginger, garlic, and vegetable, and our personal favorite the Thai Kitchen Spring Onion Ramen.
Lotus foods offer us an array of vegan flavors for ramen that is easily a gourmet treat. One of their most renowned flavors, and our personal favorite, is the gluten-free Millet ; Brown Rice Ramen with Miso Soup. They’re delicious, nutritious, and sustainably sourced too!
While these are our go-to vegan options, there are a variety of undiscovered brands that may even be better. Always make sure to check out the ingredient list and if it states “Natural Flavors” it’s best to steer clear from it. Additionally, you can always contact the company to inquire about the animal contained within the food itself.
We hope that our article on vegan ramen was helpful for you and will assist you in making informed decisions. Ramen noodles are soul food, and it is essential to find the perfect ramen fit for every soul. Good luck on your ramen hunt!
Every month new cooking tips in your email?
Japanese recipes, cooking tips and more with the first email our FREE mini-recipe guide "Japanese with ease"