This nourishing bowl of vegan ramen noodles is full of meaty mushrooms, crunchy veggies, crispy tofu, and a plant-based flavorful miso broth. This combination of fresh, simple ingredients makes the BEST bowl of ramen you can cook at home. Plus, it’s ready in 30 minutes!
If this is the first time you’ll make ramen, it may come as a surprise how simple it is to put this signature Japanese dish together. But before getting into the specifics of how to make vegan ramen, let’s go over the ramen noodle basics.
Ramen noodle soup originated in Japan, but it’s a beloved, widely popular comfort food enjoyed all over the globe.
The possible variations are endless, but at the core of every bowl of ramen is a brothy soup base and long-thin wheat (ramen) noodles with an assortment of toppings.
The brothy soup base for this vegan ramen is enhanced with miso (soybean paste), which adds density and a rich, vibrant flavor to the broth.
As for toppings, traditional ramen is usually served with meats like sliced pork (chashu), steamed fish cake (kamaboko), and crispy chicken (katsu).
But for this vegan version, you’ll beef up your bowl with “meaty” mushrooms, tasty tofu, and bok choi.
So now that you’ve been briefed on ramen – grab your ramen bowls, and let’s get started.
Ingredients you’ll need
For these easy vegan ramen bowls, here’s what I used:
- Noodles: Traditional ramen noodles are made with wheat and no eggs, so they’re generally vegan. Alternatively, you can use gluten-free ramen, soba, glass, shirataki, rice, or spiralized vegetables.
- Mushrooms: Dried or fresh shiitake, oyster, or chestnut mushrooms all work. If using dried shiitake mushrooms, check your local grocery store or Asian market’s selection, and rehydrate them before cooking.
- Firm or extra firm tofu: For extra protein.
- Garlic, green onion, and ginger: This aromatic and flavorful trio enriches the ramen broth.
- Bok choy: Aka Chinese cabbage, belongs to the brassicas family of vegetables. It tastes like a cross between green cabbage, celery, and sweet onion. You can substitute for spinach or regular cabbage.
- Vegetable broth
- Soup base: Each bowl of ramen begins with a rich soup base to deepen the umami flavors and thicken the broth. You’ll need miso paste (white miso paste or regular), rice vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar.
- Toppings: I used sliced fresh green onions, sesame seeds, cilantro, sriracha sauce, and chili paste (or chili oil).
How to make
- Prep & cook the mushrooms: After cleaning and drying your mushrooms, cut them into roughly 1/4″ slices. Then, heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil and minced garlic and cook until the garlic turns golden; then immediately add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, season with soy sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Crisp the tofu: Slice the green onions and cut the tofu into small ¼-inch cubes. Using the same pan, add the tofu, season with soya sauce, and cook for 5-8 minutes, occasionally turning the pieces with tongs to brown all sides evenly.
- Cook the onion and bok choi: Heat a large pot over medium-high heat with sesame oil. Add the white portion of the green onion (reserving the green tops for garnish), garlic, and freshly grated ginger. Cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), add the baby bok choy, and cook until it softens (2-3 minutes).
- Simmer the vegetable stock: Add 1/3 of the cooked mushrooms and the crispy pan-roasted tofu to the same pot. Then pour in the hot vegetable broth. Lower the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
- Cook the noodles: Meanwhile, cook your noodles according to the package instructions and drain well. Now it’s time to build vegan ramen bowls.
- Assemble your ramen bowls: In each bowl, add 1 teaspoon of miso paste, 1/2 teaspoon of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar. Mix to combine. Then, spoon vegan ramen broth over the top and stir each bowl well. The noodles go into the soup bowls next, followed by the remaining cooked mushrooms, green onions, coriander, nori, and sesame seeds.
- Crispy tofu: Be sure to use firm or extra-firm tofu. Press the excess moisture to help the tofu hold its shape and cook extra crisp.
- Spicy ramen: Turn the heat way up and make spicy vegan ramen. Before serving, stir in fiery sriracha sauce, chili paste, or chili oil.
- More veggies: In addition to the toppings we discussed above, sweet corn kernels and fermented bamboo shoots (menma) are traditional plant-based toppings that you’ll love on this soup. Common ramen veggies include spinach, bean sprouts, cabbage, carrot, butternut squash, and sweet potato.
- Ajitsuke Tamago (Ajitama): For vegetarian ramen, a hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or marinated egg is a standard add-in.
- Gluten-free: The recipe is predominately gluten-free. As for the miso, double-check the ingredients on the package. Instead of soy sauce, use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos to season your favorite gluten-free noodle.
How to store
Ramen stores and reheats as any other type of pasta. Keep the noodles in an airtight container with a small amount of liquid and store them in the fridge for 2 days. Store the topping ingredients separately.
Yes, ramen noodles contain wheat flour, oil, salt, and sometimes added starch, but all of these are vegetarian and vegan.
Vegan variations of ramen contain deep, savory vegetable broths enhanced with miso paste and umami flavors. Mushrooms, tofu, bok choy, vegetables, dried seaweed, and bamboo shoots are popular in vegan ramen bowls.
To add complexity to the broth and make creamy ramen, add ¼ cup of soy milk. You can also use 3 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste). Add it to the bowl and mix it with the other ingredients before adding the broth.
Why I love this easy vegan ramen recipe
- Quick and easy!
- Perfect warm, comforting meal for cold, rainy weather.
- Vegetarian, vegan, and can be made gluten-free.
- The flavor! The soup base is magical!
More Asian Inspired Recipes
- 15-Minute Vegetable Stir Fry Noodles
- Vegan Stir Fry Noodles With Crispy Tofu
- Garlic Sesame Noodles
- Nori Chips
- Vegan Bento Box
- Curry Bento Box
If you try this vegan ramen recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Vegan Ramen Noodles
- 6 cups vegetable broth - hot – no salt
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 3 green onions - chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger - grated
- 1 tbsp sesame oil - or olive oil
- 9 oz firm tofu - cut into small cubes
- 3 tbsp soy sauce - or tamari
- 2 cups bok choy - chopped – or baby spinach – note 2
- 4 tsps white miso paste - or brown miso paste
- 4 tsps soya sauce
- 2 tsps brown sugar
- 2 tsps rice vinegar
- 8 oz ramen noodles - note 3
- Slice the mushrooms (around ¼ inch thick). Heat a pan on medium-high heat, and add the sesame oil and minced garlic. As soon as the garlic becomes golden, add the mushrooms, season with the soy sauce, and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside.
- In the same pan, add the tofu cubes, season with soya sauce, and cook for 5-8 minutes, turning them around until roasted on all sides.
- Slice the green onions and cut the tofu into small ¼-inch cubes. Heat a pot over medium-high heat, add the sesame oil, and add the white part of the green onions (keep the sliced green tops for decoration), garlic, and freshly grated ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds, add the chopped bok choy, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- In the same pot, add 1/3 of the mushrooms and the roasted tofu, and then add the hot vegetable broth. Reduce the heat, and cook for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the noodles in hot water, according to the package instructions. Once ready, drain the noodles.
- Prepare the noodles bowls. In each bowl, add 1 teaspoon of miso paste, half a teaspoon of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and half a teaspoon of brown sugar, and mix well. Add the broth, and give each bowl a good stir. Then add the noodles. Top with the cooked mushrooms, green onions, fresh coriander, and sesame seeds. If you like spicy ramen, add some sriracha or chili paste before serving.
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