When you think of instant ramen, you probably think of two things: college dorms and unhealthy. While there’s no shame in your college day culinary adventures (or lack thereof), your palate–and wallet–have probably grown since then. Ramen noodles are making a comeback in a big way, being featured on cooking shows and even being made in healthier ways. You can enjoy instant vegan ramen noodles in new, exciting ways and without the salt bomb of the old-school noodle cups. There are even brands dedicated to bringing vegan instant ramen noodles to consumers, however, some brands do a better job than others.
We’ve gathered a list of our top five vegan instant vegan ramen brands along with some recipes and trivia to show off at your next dinner party. Read on to discover the brands doing vegan ramen right.
What Are Ramen Noodles?
Ramen noodles are typically used as part of a delicious soup originally hailing from Japan. Ramen noodles are traditionally made with wheat, vegetables, and a meat-based broth. Ramen became very popular in the late 1950s when instant ramen noodles were introduced. Today, ramen is a staple in most dorm rooms across the country, thanks to its shockingly low cost.
Many food companies have put their spin on instant ramen noodles, offering dozens of flavors, and some brands even offering vegetarian and vegan options. Some seemingly vegetarian or vegan instant ramen packets contain meat products, so be sure to read the fine print on the ingredient list.
Are Ramen Noodles Vegan?
Ramen noodles themselves are considered vegan as they contain just wheat flour, salt, and water. Unfortunately, most instant ramen noodle dishes contain meat or meat by-products in the spice or sauce packet.
Although most ramen noodle soup recipes call for ingredients like bone broth, chicken, or pork bones, you can make your own vegetarian or vegan dishes by substituting the broths and meat for vegetables and miso.
If you prefer an on-the-go meal or want to stock your pantry with a late-night snack, instant ramen is your new best friend. Vegan ramen noodles are gaining popularity, but some brands are better than others when it comes to being truly vegan. We compiled a list of the top five instant vegan ramen brands you can easily find at your local grocery store or with the click of a button.
Top 5 Vegan Instant Ramen Brands
Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods brand is an all-around ally for not only our bodies–offering strictly vegan and non-GMO fare–but also for the planet. Right Foods is dedicated to making the best quality foods using the most eco-friendly means possible. Every product they make is vegan, made from sustainable ingredients, oil-free, and low in sodium.
The Chicken-Flavored Vegan Ramen is one of the company’s best-selling products and is highly reviewed for its flavor and lower sodium levels.
Other flavors to try:
Hot & Sour
Koyo is another excellent vegan food company, and they also have an impressive variety of vegan instant ramen flavors. Koyo’s ramen is made from 100% plant-based ingredients and has lower sodium than traditional instant ramen noodles.
You can buy a variety pack featuring delicious flavors like Garlic Pepper, Asian Vegetable, and Tofu Miso.
You can also enjoy these flavors:
Public Goods vegan ramen noodles are made using a special technique that eliminates the need to fry the noodles, reducing the fat content. Even better, these noodles are made without harsh chemical additives and with whole ingredients you can pronounce.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free option that still has all the flavor, try Lotus Foods Millet and Brown Rice Ramen. Lotus Foods is another ethical brand with a mission to reduce its carbon footprint and produce its foods sustainably. This ramen is a bit more nutritious than traditional ramen because it’s made from brown and millet instead of wheat.
Lotus Foods makes an entire line of ramen noodles, broths, and rice, all of which are made from real, sustainable ingredients.
Try these other vegan ramen flavors:
Organic Jade Pearl
Organic Forbidden Rice
Buckwheat Shitake Rice Ramen with Mushroom Soup
Ocean’s Halo is another popular vegan food company offering healthy alternatives to favorite comfort foods. Even if you’re vegan, you may sometimes enjoy the taste of beef without the beef. Luckily, Ocean’s Halo has nailed the flavor for their Vegan Beef Big Noodle Bowl. This ramen bowl is made with organic seasonings and even comes in a sustainable plant fiber bowl.
Other flavors to try:
Vegan Chicken Big Noodle Bowl
Vegan Thai Coconut Big Noodle Bowl
Ocean’s Halo also has other Asian-inspired fares like pho noodles and sticky rice that are ethically made and exceptionally yummy.
Recipes Using Vegan Instant Ramen
If you want to impress our friends, dress up your instant vegan ramen noodles with one of these tasty recipes.
This ramen soup recipe looks so good that you may not want to share it with your dinner guests. You can use one of the instant ramen noodles listed above and add freshness with vegetables like baby bok choy. It’s a sure-fire winner for your next hosting gig.
Who doesn’t love a warm bowl of curry? Enjoy this super fresh recipe featuring vegan instant ramen, tofu, veggies, coconut milk, and Thai red curry paste! It’s the perfect balance of spice, understated sweetness, and freshness.
This recipe can be made vegan-friendly by swapping out the salmon for tofu and removing the optional egg. Enjoy a super easy, spicy mid-week meal featuring freshly cooked vegetables and miso flavoring. If you’re trying to watch your spending, it’s a great alternative to your favorite takeout spot.
Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out on any of the fun flavors you love. Enjoy more vegan-friendly recipes and tips like our Essential Spices Every Kitchen Should Have guide on the Public Goods blog.
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