instant ramen noodles sitting in a black bowl, uncooked with a pair of chopsticks in representation of the question are ramen noodles vegan

Are Ramen Noodles Vegan? Here’s What You Need to Know!

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Are Ramen noodles vegan? That is the question! – And the answer is… YES! Ramen noodles themselves are vegan. BUT that doesn’t mean you can go and start randomly adding instant Ramen to your cart at the grocery store. While you can eat plain Ramen noodles freely on a vegan diet you’ll want to pump the breaks when it comes to instant Ramen packages. In this post, we look at some of the most popular Ramen noodle brands and identify which ones are vegan-friendly and which ones aren’t.

Ramen noodles are a favorite food for many people. And why not because who doesn’t like instant comfort food that’s budget-friendly and easy to make? They have a long shelf-life and rarely go bad before you can eat them – But are ramen noodles vegan? Can you have them as part of your vegan diet without compromising your health or eating standards?

Yes and no. Yes, because ramen noodles are all the way vegan, and no because some brands use animal products in their flavoring packages. This means you should be on high alert when purchasing your ramen noodles. 

Don’t fret! With the proper guidelines, it’s easy to spot and differentiate vegan ramen noodles from those containing animal products. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about vegan ramen noodles. 

Can vegans eat ramen noodles? 

Absolutely. Nothing should stop you from enjoying this delicacy except the flavoring options of animal products. But this only means that you should be very precise with the brand of ramen noodles you choose to purchase. To get vegan ramen, ensure you buy from top vegan brands like Nissin’s Soy Sauce and Chili flavors. Nonetheless, if you have any doubts, look at the package label. 

What are the ingredients in ramen noodles?

Ingredients are the perfect way to determine the answers to “is ramen vegan.” As a rule of thumb, all ramen noodles are made using wheat flour and oil, making them 100% vegan. However, most ramen noodles have additional ingredients that add to the flavor, like salt and potato starch fillers. Sadly, most seasoning packets you purchase with ramen noodles contain ingredients like dehydrated beef extract and powdered beef extract, meaning they are seldom vegan.

ramen noodles ingredients Are Ramen Noodles Vegan? Here's What You Need to Know! Pasta, Grains & Rice

Can vegans eat instant ramen noodles?

Yes, as long as they stick to the vegan brands. As mentioned, Ramen noodles are made using purely vegan ingredients. But the seasonal packets offered alongside instant ramen noodles are not necessarily vegan. Therefore, while you can have instant ramen noodles as a vegan, you must be keen when choosing your noodle brand.

What are the ingredients in instant ramen noodles? 

So, we’ve established that plain packaged Ramen noodles are in fact vegan. But, what about the ingredients found in those instant packages? Most instant Ramen noodles include starch, flour, water, and salt, showing that yes, it is vegan.

However, most instant noodles contain an additive ingredient known as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that has non-vegan properties. Then you have to take into consideration that instant ramen noodles also include powdered flavors, some made from animal products like shrimp, chicken, and beef. While we would love to list all the ingredients for you here we’d be here all week trying to collect them all. The important takeaway is that many instant Ramen brands are not vegan on the whole.

Are ramen noodles vegan without the seasoning?

Yes. Ramen noodles are made from purely vegan ingredients making them entirely vegan without the seasoning. Here comes another BUT… if your values are based on animal cruelty and you aren’t choosing to eat a vegan diet due to health reasons then you’re faced with a moral issue if you eat or purchase a packet of Ramen noodles and just omit the seasoning.

Only you can decide what you are comfortable with and if you’re okay with consuming instant Ramen that is not 100% vegan friendly.

What are the best vegan alternatives to instant ramen?

Some of the best alternatives to instant ramen that are equally vegan include Udon noodles. They are excellent alternatives to ramen noodles since they are made using the same ingredients – salt, flour, and water, minus the egg. Soba noodles are perfect gluten-free substitutes for instant ramen noodles. Other noodle alternatives include DR. McDougall’s Right Foods, Nissin Top Ramen, Thai Kitchen, and Koyo noodle brands.

vegan ramen noodles ingredients Are Ramen Noodles Vegan? Here's What You Need to Know! Pasta, Grains & Rice

Is Ramen Vegan?: Breakdown By Brand

Different brands have instant vegan ramen noodles with various flavors to try. We have gathered a list of the 12 most popular brands that you’re likely to run into below and carve out the truth, letting you know which ones are safe to eat and which ones to avoid. Some of the best in the market include:

Is Maruchan Ramen Vegan?

Nope. Not one (that we could find) is vegan. They all contain some sort of animal product. The soy sauce flavor has beef extract and even the oriental flavor has beef fat. So stay away from Maruchan brand instant Ramen it is NOT vegan at all.

Is Top Ramen vegan?

Yes, some are – but not all. The soy sauce and chili-flavored Top Ramen instant noodles are both vegan. The rest of their products are not. So again, you’ll have to ask your moral compass if you want to buy from this brand.

Is oriental ramen vegan?

Yes, it is. The Oriental ramen vegan is plant-based, making it perfect for your vegan diet. However, be wary of brands that include animal products and byproducts in their flavoring packets that also produce Oriental ramen noodles because these options are non-vegan. An excellent example is the Maruchan Oriental flavored ramen noodle that includes chicken byproducts as part of its ingredients.

vegan ramen bowl Are Ramen Noodles Vegan? Here's What You Need to Know! Pasta, Grains & Rice

Is Samyang Ramen vegan?

The Samyang brand offers a variety of instant ramen noodles, some of which are vegan while others are not. For instance, the Samyang Kimchi ramen noodles are vegan, but the Samyang hot chicken noodles are chicken flavored, meaning they are not vegan. 

We do want to note that in our research we came across a Q&A on amazon that stated they use lecithin derived from eggs in their noodles. We are not sure how accurate this info is and the only way to get a full answer would be to email the company directly.

Is nongshim Shin Ramen vegan?

Yes. As a matter of fact, the brand provides two, clearly labeled vegan ramen noodle options: the Kimchi flavor ramen and the spicy veggie ramen option.

Is Nissin Ramen vegan?

Nissin offers two vegan options of instant Ramen noodles chili and Soy sauce. Both flavor options are entirely vegan. But since the package for this brand is similar to its competitor Maruchan in appearance, ensure you pick Nissin from the shelves. 

Is Tapatio ramen vegan?

No, Tapatio ramen noodles are not vegan, they contain egg ingredients. We believe the egg comes from the Lecithin, so it’s not obvious. But even on the packaging in the allergy section, it identifies egg as an ingredient.

vegan ramen noodle Are Ramen Noodles Vegan? Here's What You Need to Know! Pasta, Grains & Rice

Are cup noodles vegan?

No – Maybe? Cup of Noodles has one clearly labeled vegetarian option, their sweet chili stir fry. While it is labeled as vegetarian it is not labeled as vegan. They do use soy lecithin and label that clearly, it is processed in a facility with fish and shellfish so that may be why they don’t label it vegan.

Are buldak noodles vegan?

No. The product is not vegan since it has egg in the sauce packet and chicken flavor.  

Are fire noodles vegan?

No, fire noodles are not vegan. One of the predominant ingredients in fire noodles is chicken flavoring. You can try

Are soy sauce ramen noodles vegan?

No – not all soy sauce flavored Ramen noodles are going to be vegan. Make sure you read the labels look for lecithin that is not clearly labeled as “soy lecithin” before you decide if you want to buy them.

vegan ramen noodle seasoning Are Ramen Noodles Vegan? Here's What You Need to Know! Pasta, Grains & Rice

While Most Ramen Noodles Are Vegan It’s The Seasoning Packets You Need To Watch Out For

As mentioned, ramen noodles themselves are 100% vegan. All the ingredients used to make the noodles are plant-based. However, the seasoning packets sold together with noodles host spices made from a variety of plant-based or animal-based products. 

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