Can Ramen Be Vegan? This Bowl of Comfort Is Now Enjoying A Nourishing Plant-Based Renaissance

by Tejashee Kashyap
Can Ramen Be Vegan? This Bowl of Comfort Is Now Enjoying A Nourishing Plant-Based Renaissance

The global rise of veganism has fueled a demand for plant-based versions of popular dishes. Traditionally made with meat-based broths and toppings, ramen has evolved to accommodate various dietary preferences and restrictions, including the rise of veganism. And here enters the vegan ramen!

Most Ramen Noodles Are Actually Vegan But The Broth Makes The Difference

image credits: Canva

Ramen’s chewy wheat flour noodles are typically egg-free, making them suitable for vegans. Authentic ramen noodles are typically made with wheat flour, which contains gluten.  However, many ramen varieties that are vegan cater to gluten-free diets by using alternatives such as rice, sweet potato, or buckwheat noodles. These gluten-free options ensure that everyone can enjoy a bowl of vegan ramen without compromising on taste and texture.

But if you ask how ramen gets its yellow colour? Here’s the answer. Traditionally, in speciality ramen bars or homemade ramen in Japan, the egg gives the dough an even richer yellow hue, adds more suppleness, serves as a binder, and facilitates handling. However, these noodles are specifically identified as being egg noodles, you won’t find them in shelf-stable ramen or at a ramen bar.

At the heart of any ramen is the broth. Traditional ramen broths typically consist of pork, chicken, or fish, simmered for hours to create a rich and flavourful base. In vegan ramen, the challenge lies in developing a similarly robust broth without using animal products. The key is to simmer the ingredients slowly, allowing the flavours to meld together.

Several plant-based alternatives create a delightful vegan broth. You may use a basic vegetable broth made from onions, carrots, celery, and various spices. Miso is a fermented soybean paste, that adds depth and umami to the broth.  Others that can form the foundation of these noodles are seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, and nut and seed milk.

Also Read: Did You Know This Japanese Train Uses Leftover Ramen As Fuel?

The Vegan Ramen Experience

image credits: Canva

Even recently, the global restaurant chain, Kuuraku located in Gurugram also introduced vegan ramen in their menu. Typically,  the ramen noodles come with a special vegetable creamy broth and plant-based milk like soy milk, spice oil, and various vegetables on top.

Preparing a tantalising bowl of vegan ramen requires some effort and time, just like its meat-based counterpart. As the steaming bowl of ramen is placed before you, a symphony of aromas teases your senses as well. Well, vegan ramen can be equally rich, satisfying, and enticing as its meat-based counterparts.

So, the next time you find yourself seeking a bowl of comfort, consider diving into a steaming bowl of vegan ramen, and you won’t be disappointed!

Cover image credits: Canva