Everyone enjoys a steaming bowl of ramen. It’s cozy, filling, and it makes me think fondly of cozy college dorm nights. In addition, whether you’re rushing or simply on the go, it’s inexpensive and simple to create.
But ramen isn’t only practical. One of the more adaptable meals you may find is this one. Whether you want your flavoring salty, savory, spicy, or a combination of the three, you may get it in a variety of forms. You have a great go-to dish even if there aren’t many alternatives.
For those without dietary limitations, at least, such is the situation. Yet, if you’re a vegan, you should consider if you’re consuming any animal products. Since not all noodle packs and recipes are the identical, this can be a problem.
Are you wondering if you can consume inexpensive ramen noodles while following a vegetarian or vegan diet? Is ramen vegetarian? I have excellent news for you, though: you can! But it’s not quite that easy. So read on to learn everything you need to know about ramen that is vegetarian.
What Is Ramen?
The only components used to make ramen noodles are wheat flour, oil, and occasionally salt or other fillers like potato starch for taste. These components are all entirely vegetarian and even entirely vegan.
What, therefore, is wrong with a vegetarian or even vegan eating ramen noodles? The spice packets that come with the noodles are almost always definitely not vegetarian because they frequently include delectable ingredients like “dehydrated beef essence” or “powdered cooked chicken.” Just to be clear: The small spice packets are typically not vegetarian, but the ramen noodles itself are. But, keep reading.
One notable exception to this rule is the Top Ramen brand’s Soy Sauce and Chili varieties, which are vegetarian and vegan and include no animal products at all, not even in the flavoring package. Get enough of this vegan ramen brand, then! Visit your local grocery shop and look for the Top Ramen containers. Although though the chili flavor of Top Ramen’s ramen is less popular than the soy sauce taste, it is vegetarian and vegan.
But take caution! Be careful not to mistakenly buy Maruchan Original flavor, which comes in a blue container but is NOT vegetarian. Make sure you obtain Top Ramen brand if you want to be sure you’re buying vegetarian and vegan ramen. If you’re unsure, read the label!
If the main reason you eat ramen is because it’s cheap, then there’s no use in buying ramen if it isn’t inexpensive. Health food stores may have vegetarian ramen noodle brands, but they aren’t as inexpensive as you might anticipate. If convenience is what you’re looking, try Dr. Mc Dougall’s ramen noodle soup cups or Soken brand vegetarian ramen (in great varieties like “Spicy Dragon,” “Bengal Curry,” and Wasabi). There is really no need to study the ingredients list for these brands because they are clearly labeled as vegetarian or vegan. Last but not least, Koyo brand vegetable ramen is both vegetarian and vegan even though the label reads “Vegetable” rather than “vegetarian.” If you are unable to get them locally, they are reasonably priced on Amazon.
INSTANT RAMEN BASICS
Let’s speak about the fundamentals before continuing. What is ramen, exactly? We’re not referring about the freshly made ramen served at restaurants, just to be clear. We are referring to instant ramen, which is packaged in a little packet or a Styrofoam bowl.
After World War II, a Japanese man by the name of Momofuku Ando created the first instant ramen. In 1958, starvation was pervasive in Japan, which was still healing from the war. Ando had a breakthrough when he noticed a throng gathered around a ramen shop. Why not make the noodles in bulk and dry them?
Ando had grand ambitions; he believed that quick ramen that was inexpensive would end world hunger. It has undoubtedly altered the way we eat! A dinner that is ready to eat may be made by taking a block of noodles and placing them in a saucepan of boiling water. Ramen is available in numerous varieties now, and the most often used flavorings are beef, chicken, and shrimp. It might be challenging to locate vegan ramen.
Although some are manufactured with rice or other gluten-free grains, most instant ramen noodles are made using wheat flour and vegetable oil. Some of them include salt as a flavoring agent or potato starch as a binder. Whatever the case, you’re discussing a food that is essentially vegan.
RAMEN NOODLE INGREDIENTS
The noodles and the flavor packet are the two main ingredients in the majority of instant ramen packs and cups. We need to discuss all of their ingredients in order to determine whether or not they are vegan. This is what your ramen package should include.
WHAT’S IN THE NOODLES?
The majority of ramen noodles are vegan, as we just discussed, so let’s start with that. Yet, just because they are vegan does not mean that they have no health issues. Remember that not all noodle varieties contain the same components. Having stated that, the following are the primary components of Mike’s Mighty Excellent ramen:
- Natural wheat flour As wheat flour is entirely vegan, you may enjoy without going against your diet.
- Water. Ramen noodles are first created with water, much like other noodles or bread, and that water is subsequently taken out during the drying process.
- Salt. Salt is frequently used into dough for two purposes. First of all, it enhances taste. Second, it facilitates the gluten in the dough’s ability to bond. In addition, if the salt is alkaline, it will enhance the natural yellow color of the noodles. Only organic salt—and no more than what is required for the recipe—is used at Mike’s Mighty Good.
WHAT’S IN THE FLAVORING?
The small flavor packet that comes with it makes up the other half of your bowl of ramen. This is normally a dry powder, however depending on the taste, some ramen packets can contain a liquid packet. A complete list of ingredients is unattainable due to the enormous variety of tastes that may be used. When in doubt, check the ingredients on the ramen of your choosing. In light of such, the following are some generic ingredients:
Meat or broth powder. They can come in any kind, but the most common choices are beef, chicken, pig, and shrimp. This is almost always produced from animals and is definitely not vegan. Even miso, which most people believe to be vegan, typically has a base made of pig.
MSG, TBHQ, and/or salt. All of them serve as preservatives while also enhancing the savory, salty flavor. Since all three are vegan, MSG and TBHQ are more concerning to health. Mike’s Mighty Good utilizes 40% less salt than competing products and doesn’t use MSG or TBHQ.
dried herbs & spices. They may be pretty much any spice you can think of, including garlic, onion, and others. They are entirely vegan because they are made from plants.
veggie jerky. They may be almost anything, just like spices and herbs, depending on the flavour. Fortunately, they are vegan, so you don’t have to worry about that!
Extract of yeast. Without needing you to add additional salt, yeast extract enhances the flavor with salt. You may do this to keep your food tasting good while consuming less salt overall.
Sugar. Even hot, salty, and savory foods may need a touch of sweetness. Although it does increase the number of calories in your food, sugar works. All of the sugar used by Mike’s Mighty Excellent Ramen is organic.
So, Is ramen vegan?
Ramen noodles are often 100 percent vegan. Nevertheless, this is not the case with broth. They frequently contain substances that may raise questions, such animal products. Thankfully, there are also many of products that are suitable for vegans. Making your own broth also ensures that it is entirely plant-based.
All-natural flavor packets from Mike’s Mighty Good are made with just the best ingredients. Moreover, they have 40% less salt than the standard ramen at a petrol station.
If the noodles were flash-fried, that might also be a problem. Although palm oil is made from plants, it is not a sustainable crop, and many people avoid it because of its negative environmental effects. If you’re worried about palm oil, go with Mike’s Mighty Good or another sustainable option. You may eat our noodles guilt-free since they are steamed rather than fried.
Four vegan ramen cups are truly made by Mike’s Mighty Good and are ready to eat out of the box. Our vegan taste options are:
Vegan Ramen Cup with Soy Sauce. This ramen contains kombu extract, a seaweed derivative with a strong umami flavor, giving it a taste that is reminiscent of classic shoyu broth. The salty taste that the soy imparts creates a wonderful balance.
Lemongrass Ramen with Coconut Milk for Vegetarians. A modest version of the sweet and sour flavor combination that is so common in Asian cooking is produced by combining coconut milk and lemongrass. Garlic and shallots provide some bite.
Vegetable Ramen Cup for vegetarians. It doesn’t get much easier than this. A standard vegetable ramen cup with a flavorful broth made of vegetables including cabbage, seaweed, and green onions.
Miso Ramen Cup for vegetarians. This is the answer if you adore miso but are a devoted vegan. It has the same same flavor as miso soup from a restaurant, except the foundation is made without pork.
Ramen Broth isn’t vegetarian
Often, chicken or pig broth is used to make ramen broth.
To enhance the flavor of the soup, a Japanese soup stock composed of a variety of vegetables, konbu (kelp), or niboshi (dried sardines) is added to the broth.
There is a possibility that the broth is vegetarian if it is produced entirely from kelp or other vegetables.
Ramen toppings are not vegetarian
Narutomaki, chashu, and ramen eggs These ramen garnishes are included in practically all ramen bowls.
They are constructed using fish, eggs, and meat. Ramen is not vegetarian as a result.
But, there are a few vegetarian choices.
Vegetarian toppings include nori, spinach, ginger, beansprouts, maize, and menma.
The ingredients for raw ramen noodles include wheat flour, water, and kansui (alkaline solution).
As a result, the noodles are vegetarian.
Some individuals combine these things with eggs.
Yet, it is not very typical.
After carefully evaluating all of the options, it is clear that true vegetarian ramen can be difficult to find. Though some vegetarian varieties are available, most popular brands contain animal products and can therefore not be considered vegan or vegetarian. The best way to ensure one is eating a vegetarian meal when consuming ramen is to either make the dish at home or purchase a product specifically labeled as vegan or vegetarian-friendly. With the abundant variety of recipes and substitutions out there, everyone can have a bowl of delicious, nourishing ramen in their own kitchen – no animals necessary!
To conclude, there is a great deal of debate around the vegetarian status of ramen. As a result, a variety of circumstances can determine whether or not ramen is vegetarian. In some cases, the soup can be made with animal products and in others it can be cooked meatless. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual cook to decide what ingredients and flavors go into each bowl. If you have any questions about this debate or need help finding tasty vegetarian recipes for your favorite ramen dishes, contact us and we’d be happy to help. For now though, we’ll leave you with this thought: as long as everyone involved makes conscious decisions about their food choices and knows exactly what they’re consuming when they get down to eating, then that’s all that matters! Thanks for joining us on this journey – happy cooking!