Have you ever had a bowl of delicious ramen noodles? If your answer is yes, you will agree with us that it is almost impossible to not want a repeat of that experience. But if you are starting on a vegetarian diet, there begs the question of whether certain flavors and brands align with your values.
Some ramen noodle flavors are vegetarian, but many aren’t. In the next few subheadings, we’ll be discussing which ones fall into those two categories.
To find out which flavors you can keep in your diet and which flavors you might have to let go of, keep reading. Buckle up, we promise it’ll be a fun ride.
Chicken-flavored ramen is not vegetarian. Ramen noodles by themselves are vegetarian because they are often made from just wheat flour and oil. The issue lies in what the ramen seasoning packets are made out of.
It would not be vegetarian if the seasoning was derived from meat, perhaps powdered cooked chicken, chicken stock or soup, chicken fat, and so on. And most chicken-flavored seasoning is gotten from chicken by-products.
Unless otherwise stated on the packaging, most chicken flavoring contains chicken by-products.
Some chicken-flavored noodles contain egg traces. These might be suitable for vegetarians but are not vegan. However, some ramen flavors do not contain any meat at all. These are suitable for vegetarians.
It likely isn’t. Chances are, the flavors are made from powdered chicken or chicken by-products. Sometimes, it is made from chicken broth. In both cases, the noodles are not vegetarian since they contain animal products.
A lot of people are skeptical about whether those tiny seasoning packets contain animal products, but they really do. Other flavors like beef and shrimp also contain animal products and are not suitable for vegetarians.
Yes! Some ramen flavors are vegetarian. Ramen brands like Nissin and Top Ramen have added certain flavors to their repertoire and those flavors are a hundred percent meat-free.
If you’re looking for vegan ramen flavors to try out, check out Nissin’s soy sauce flavor. It is completely meat-free. This way, you can enjoy tasty cup noodles and also keep your palate meat-free.
You can also enjoy other vegetarian ramen flavors like Cup Noodles veggie soy sauce, Cup Noodles stir-fry sweet chili flavor, Top Ramen soy sauce and chili flavors, and Top Ramen bowl soy sauce flavor, Soken Brand Ramen, Dr. McDougall’s Ramen Noodle Cups, etc.
These are all vegetarian ramen options. And depending on if you’re okay with palm oil and caramel coloring, some of these options can also be vegan.
Like multiple ramen brands, Maruchan does not have any vegetarian ramen flavors. All of Maruchan’s seasoning contains animal by-products in one way or another. All the flavors have meat-derived products, and the soup bases have at least one dairy product.
So, not only are the flavors not vegetarian, but they are also not vegan.
However, the noodles themselves are vegan. They are made from just flour and oil. So, if you’re a vegan who prefers to season ramen noodles by yourself, we say go for it!
Top Ramen is one of the few brands that offer some vegetarian noodle flavors. Top Ramen currently has six flavors. Of those six, two are vegetarian, and four aren’t.
The vegetarian Top Ramen flavors are the soy sauce (oriental) and chili flavors. The beef, chicken, and shrimp flavors clearly aren’t.
Read also: What to Put in Ramen Instead of Seasoning
The Maruchan creamy chicken ramen flavor is not vegetarian as one of its ingredients is chicken broth. None of the Maruchan chicken-related flavors are vegetarian. They all contain animal by-products.
As a rule of thumb, it is generally best to avoid ramen flavors with animals as part of their seasoning. For example, the chicken, beef, or shrimp flavors as they also contain dairy as part of their soup base.
Knorr chicken noodle soup contains 3% chicken and 2.5% chicken fat. Although it does not contain any artificial coloring or preservatives, it is not vegetarian.
If a product contains powdered chicken, chicken stock, or chicken fat, it is inappropriate for vegetarians.
Read also: Best Vegetables to Add to Ramen
As a quick recap, here’s how you can enjoy ramen noodles without having to compromise your values as a vegetarian.
You could go for ramen flavors that are 100% meat-free. There are some great options you could try out. We mentioned some of them earlier in the article. Many soy sauce and chili flavors are vegetarian, but Maruchan oriental flavor is not. To be sure, cross-check the ingredients listed on the packaging.
You could decide to use just the noodles and toss the seasoning packets if you’re into that. Seeing as the bulk of ramen noodles are vegan, this wouldn’t cause any issues.
You can replace the flavor packets with a simple veggie broth, curry powder, sesame oil, hot sauce, soy sauce, tamari, veggie stir-fry, or even some nutritional yeast. Any of these would go well for your noodles. It all depends on if this aligns with your values as a vegetarian.
If it has any chicken or meat by-products in its name, there is a high chance that it contains that product. As a vegetarian, it is safe to just avoid them unless it is expressly stated on the packaging that the flavor is artificial or vegan.
Many other vegetarian ramen noodles may be available in your region. Again, be sure to check the packet. If you notice that it is labeled vegan or vegetarian, then you will not need to read the list of ingredients.
So, you don’t need to completely cut Ramen out of your diet to be a vegetarian. There are many vegan options and even spice substitutes. All you need to do is thoroughly research to see which ones are available or are accessible to you and read packets carefully to know what the ingredients are.
We hope you keep us in mind when you’re enjoying your next cup or bowl of tasty vegetarian noodles!
- Can I Eat Ramen Noodles After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
- Best Spices to Add to Ramen
- Can You Microwave Ramen in a Styrofoam Cup?
I write about the intersection between evolutionary biology and food. I also talk about practical applications, sustainable agriculture, and general tasty things