Question: Are ramen noodles vegetarian?
Answer: Wondering if you can eat cheap ramen noodles on a vegetarian diet? Well, I’ve got good news for you – yes, you can! But it’s not that simple. So keep reading.
Ramen noodles are made from wheat flour and oil, usually with a few extra ingredients for flavor, such as salt, or additional fillers such as potato starch. So, then what's the problem? It's the seasoning packets that are nearly always decidedly not vegetarian, as they usually contain such appetizing ingredients as "powdered cooked chicken" or "dehydrated beef extract". The one exception to this rule is Top Ramen brand Oriental flavor, which contains no animal ingredients at all, including in the flavoring packet. So by all means, stock up on this vegetarian ramen brand! Look for the blue Top Ramen packages at your grocery store. Careful! Make sure you don't accidentally purchase Maruchan Oriental flavor, which is also in a blue package, but is NOT vegetarian. When in doubt, read the label!
Health food stores may carry vegetarian ramen noodle brands, though they aren't cheap, and if you eat ramen because its cheap, well, there’s no reason to purchase ramen if it's not budget-friendly! If it's convenience you’re after, then look for Soken brand vegetarian ramen (with such awesome flavors as "Spicy Dragon", "Bengal Curry" and Wasabi) or Dr. Mc Dougall's ramen noodle soup cups.
Some vegetarians and vegans choose to still purchase the ramen noodles and then just throw away the spice flavor packets. Whether or not this fits your definition of vegetarian is entirely up to you.
Vegetarian Ramen Noodle brands:
- Top Ramen Oriental Flavor (the blue one)
- Top Ramen Chili Flavor (the green and black one)
- Soken Brand Ramen
Dr. McDougall’s Ramen Noodle Cups
Vegetarian Ramen Noodle Recipes:
- Quick Soy Sauce Flavored Ramen
- Chinese Ramen Noodle Salad
- Vegetarian Ramen Noodle Curry
- More Vegetarian and Vegan Ramen Noodle Recipes
Here’s a few extra tips if you’re looking to save money on a vegetarian diet or eat cheap with ramen noodles:
- If there’s an Asian grocery store in your area, check to see if they carry vegetarian ramen, as chances are their prices will be a bargain compared to your regular grocer.
- Most grocery wholesalers stock ramen in bulk packages. The stuff lasts forever, so buy some vegetarian ramen in bulk and save some money!