Ramen is having a moment. It’s always had a moment, who am I kidding? But this ramen moment is not the one it had when you were in school. This moment’s ramen is all grown up and loaded up with veggies. I’m sharing one of my favorite easy meals with you – my vegetarian ramen recipe.
Are Ramen Noodles Vegetarian?
Ramen noodles are typically vegetarian. Traditionally ramen uses curly wheat-based noodles that have been fried, dried, and packaged. This process yields a very quick-cooking noodle. Consumers cook the noodles in simmering water or broth, and use as desired.
I like to use brown rice millet ramen noodles. They hold up nicely in the broth, they’re 100% gluten-free, and have no other additives. You can use your favorite noodles or switch things up by using buckwheat soba, rice sticks/noodles, or even grain-free shirataki noodles.
Let’s also, let’s chat about the difference between ramen and pho. They two noodle soups are very similar, but different in a few key ways. You might be wondering if they are the same thing with a different name.
Typically pho uses a special meat- or poultry-based broth that has been simmered for hours with aromatics such as spices, garlic, and onion. Pho also includes rice noodles rather than wheat, like ramen. Though ramen is typically made with wheat noodles, my vegetarian ramen recipe uses gluten-free noodles made from brown rice and millet. (You can feel free to use whichever type of noodle you like best, such as those mentioned above.)
Is Ramen Vegetarian?
Ramen can be made for omnivores and vegetarians alike. While strictly speaking, it’s the broth and toppings that determine if ramen is vegetarian or not. I prefer to use vegetable broth mixed with a little mushroom broth. Another great plant-based option miso broth.
One thing to note – packaged ramen soup contains seasoning packets that are typically NOT vegetarian. If you want, feel free to use the noodles and toss the flavoring packets in lieu of homemade or store–bought veggie broth.
How To Make Vegetarian Ramen
My vegetarian ramen recipe starts with noodles. Sometimes we’ll load the bottom up with mung bean sprouts first. If you have that option available to you, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, start with the noodles.
After the noodles go in, it’s time to load up the bowl with your favorite veggies. I love adding bok choy, shredded carrots, sliced shiitake mushrooms, and purple cabbage to mine. The heat of the hot broth helps soften the veggies a bit. If you prefer the veggies to be more tender than crisp, saute or steam the veggies before adding them to the bowl.
Add a little drizzle of sesame oil and tamari over the veggies and green onions. Next ladle piping hot, just-simmered vegetable broth to the bowl next.
Then it’s topping time! Add your favorite toppings – as many or as few as you prefer. I go with a basic trio of cilantro, thinly sliced radishes, and red pepper flakes. Other ideas: avocado, tofu cubes, more bean sprouts or microgreens, thinly sliced hot chili, or even a drizzle of sriracha.
Check out these other plant-based noodle recipes:Print
Ramen, the staple food of college students, moves to the head of the class thanks to plant-based overhaul. Load up your ramen with your favorite veggies and top with hot vegetable broth.
- 2 pieces brown rice and millet ramen
- 16 ounces low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 baby bok choy, halved
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Thinly sliced radish, for garnish, optional
- Cilantro, for garnish, optional
- Cook ramen according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- In a pot, bring the vegetable broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
- While broth is heating, divide the cooked ramen noodles between two wide, deep soup bowls. Layer vegetables in bowls.
- Ladle the hot broth over the veggies and noodles. Drizzle with sesame oil and tamari, and garnish with red pepper flakes, radish slices, and cilantro, if using. Serve immediately.
- This ramen is also very good made with miso or mushroom broth.
- For a grain-free version, feel free to substitute spiralized vegetables such as zucchini or sweet potato in place of noodles.
Keywords: vegan ramen recipe