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A vegetarian diet is quite an exciting one but can seem daunting for a beginner as it seems the choice of food is limited but that is not the case. If you are on a strict vegetarian diet then you want to be a bit cautious of some ingredients.
Noodles are quite a popular fast food option for many hence why vegetarians wonder if they can be included in their diet.
Noodles are made from unleavened dough however there are a couple of things you should know before eating noodles if you are on a strict vegetarian diet.
Ramen noodles happen to be one of the fastest dishes to make, and it’s quite popular, although it’s known as a Japanese dish, the root can be traced to China, and it is enjoyed in every country. Ramen noodles might be fast and delicious, but it lacks crucial vitamins and minerals hence it needs to be consumed in moderation.
Quick answer: Yes, vegetarians can eat traditional ramen but not that not all ramen noodles are safe for vegan and vegetarian diets. Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour and oil with some extra ingredients such as salt for flavor and potato starch which makes them safe but what vegetarians have to worry about is the seasoning that comes with it.
There are different types of ramen and there are also regional varieties. Ramen noodles let you get creative and by all means, you should not hesitate to stock up on the brand of your choice.
However, if you are a vegetarian, stick with us to find out if you really should be eating ramen noodles.
How Are Ramen Noodles Made?
The instant and traditional ramen noodles are made with wheat flour, water, salt, and kansui which is alkaline water to add elasticity to the noodles. The alkaline agent is also what gives it its spring chewy texture and yellow hue. You can find instant ramen noodles in countries like New York.
The ingredients mentioned are kneaded to be made into a dough, then rolled out and cut into thin slices.
There have been claims in the past that ramen noodles are made from plastic but this is just a misconception that knows that it is not made from plastic or wax but rather from wheat flour. The seasoning packet does contain some flavorings however you can choose to use it or not.
The flavors of the ramen noodles can differ according to the type you are getting. Most ingredients found in the seasoning include garlic, soy paste, red Chile pepper, and some flavor enhancer. You can however choose to add your spice like cinnamon, soy sauce, ginger, chicken stock, and dashi.
Can Vegetarians Eat Ramen Noodles?
Vegetarians can enjoy ramen noodles just like everyone since most packaged ramen noodles are 100% vegetarian. However, you have to avoid ramen noodles that have eggs listed as an ingredient but this is common in fresh pasta.
From the ingredients used, you can see that ramen noodles do not contain any animal products hence it is completely safe for vegetarians to eat. But you might want to watch out for the seasoning.
While we do agree that vegetarians can eat ramen noodles, the seasoning packet that accompanies it is up for debate. If you are on a strict vegetarian diet then you have to be cautious when choosing the type of ramen noodles you want to enjoy, some brands include animal products like powdered beef, chicken, or shrimp in their seasoning packet.
Know that the main ingredients for making ramen noodles are 100% vegan and vegetarian. Some packet seasoning can have only ingredients like herbs, onion powder, cooking oil, potato starch, kansui, salt, dried soy sauce, and spices; these are all safe for vegetarians, it’s the only meat you have to watch out for.
Best Vegetarian Ramen Noodles to Try
You don’t have to give up on ramen noodles because you are worried about them containing animal products. Luckily there are many vegan and vegetarian instant ramen noodles and we have the top and most popular options to try listed below.
You can have it enjoyed at home or ordered for when dining out.
- Koyo Ramen
- Top Ramen Soy Sauce Flavor (original)
- Lotus Foods Rice Ramen and Rice Ramen Soup Cups
- Sahmyook Spicy Ramen
- Nongshim Soon Veggie Noodle Soup
- Soken Brand Ramen
- Dr. McDougall’s Ramen Noodle Cups
- Annie Chun’s Spicy Miso Ramen and Shoyu Ramen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Soy Sauce flavor ramen vegetarian?
Chili and soy sauce ramen can be enjoyed by vegetarians but the rest of the flavor of the top ramen noodles contains lactose, meat ingredients, and egg which makes them non-vegetarian but the soy sauce flavor ramen is completely vegetarian.
Are ramen flavor packets vegetarian?
The noodle itself is vegetarian but the packet might not be. The ramen noodle flavor packet is the only thing you have to worry about. Simply watch out for the ingredients or stick to ramen noodles that are known to be 100% vegan and vegetarian.
How do I make my ramen seasoning?
If you are concerned your ramen seasoning is not healthy then you can always make your seasoning. The popular homemade ramen seasoning can be made with 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, 1 tablespoon of onion powder, 1 1/2 tablespoons of onion flakes, and 1 tablespoon of dried parsley, and 1 tablespoon of dried green onions. If you want it spicier, add ginger.
Frankly, the list of ramen noodles that are not to be consumed by vegetarians is quite a small one.
Most ramen noodles do not contain animal products so you should not hesitate to stock up on them and since the seasoning packet is what you have to worry about, you can replace them with something healthy.
So, if you are not sure the ingredient is completely vegetarian then we recommend scratching it out. You can replace the seasoning with your recipe or work with some natural spice, herbs, and suitable broth for vegetarians.