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Vegan Ramen with Rice Noodles, Tofu and Vegetables

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This vegan ramen is easy to make, full of flavor and deeply satisfying. Pan-fried tofu, fresh bok choy, rich mushrooms, carrots and spinach round off a sensational rich broth. Warm yourself up with this veganized and gluten-free version of a famous classic Japanese dish.

Vegetarian Ramen in a Black Bowl with Ingredient Props.

Easy Vegan Ramen should be a staple in every vegan or vegetarian kitchen. It’s healthy, comforting, and easy to make with whatever you have in your cupboards. It’s easy to prepare ahead and have a healthy, ready-to-go meal perfect for a busy work week. It’s worth adding to your vegan recipe rotation!

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to make a flavorful homemade alternative to restaurant ramen!
 
What makes this soup unique is the rich milky mushroom miso broth, thin gluten-free rice noodles, and the spicy tofu. And though the broth is completely plant-based you will not notice any lack in flavor! 

Another great thing is that this vegan miso ramen recipe is totally gluten-free! We will be using gluten-free ramen noodles, gluten-free dark miso paste and gluten-free soy sauce. 

Two Vegan Ramen Bowls Surrounded by Ingredients.

What Is Vegan Ramen Made Of?

Vegetarian ramen is primarily made out of a base of sautéed vegetables, tofu, miso and a broth made with dried shiitake and kombu (if using).

Kombu is an edible kelp that creates the umami in many types of Japanese dishes. You can find it in many Asian markets, or order it online. You’ll find it packaged as a flat dry sheet, and is different than nori (seaweed).

The broth is made with sautéed aromatics (ginger, onion, garlic, chili peppers) and dried shiitake mushrooms, in addition to kombu. Adding miso paste in the end is optional but highly recommended.

Once the broth is created, ramen noodles are cooked according to instructions and added into the soup base.

Finally, a variety of sautéed vegetables (bok choy, mushrooms, carrots and spinach) are arranged on top of the soup and garnished with green onions, sesame seeds and sesame oil.

Then you’re all set and ready to enjoy a bowl of delicious vegetarian ramen.

A bowl of vegan miso ramen with sesame seeds.

Vegan Ramen Broth

To make a delicious vegan ramen broth, you’ll first create a base by frying onions, and together with ginger, red chili pepper and garlic. After adding vegetable stock and almond milk you will add dried mushrooms, kombu, mirin and then miso.

Miso is key ingredient in most Japanese cooking and is made out of fermented soybeans. It has a distinctly salty flavor, and sometimes even a little sweet.

You may also be wondering what mirin is? Mirin is another common Japanese ingredient that contributes to the delightful umami flavor. It’s a rice wine that is subtly sweet, and has a hint of tang. You can substitute it with sweet marsala wine, dry sherry or rice vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of sugar.

To make a nice spicy vegetable ramen sriracha is added, and in my opinion, a fantastic addition. 

Vegan Ramen Broth in a Pot with a Ladle.

What Ramen Noodles Are Vegan? 

Typically, ramen noodles are made from wheat flour, water and salt, all vegan friendly ingredients. Jut make sure you are not using egg-based noodles.

However, it’s important to note that though the basic ingredients of ramen noodles are vegan friendly, those instant packages that you find in the store aren’t necessarily. The flavor packets (like beef, chicken and shrimp) do contain animal products.

The ramen noodles that are used in this recipe are rice noodles which means they are gluten-free.

You might already have most of the ingredients on hand or find them in your local grocery store. If not, Amazon would be a great help.

Ingredients

Although the choice of veggies, mushroom and noodles is totally up to you, here is what I used for this version of ramen.

For the broth

For the pan-seared tofu

  • tofu
  • tamari or soy sauce
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • sriracha
  • white and black sesame seeds

For ramen

  • rice noodles
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • bok choy
  • carrots
  • shiitake
  • baby spinach

Ingredients for Vegan Ramen Soup.

Garnishes

  • scallions
  • hot chili pepper
  • white and black sesame seeds
  • sesame oil

Garnishes for Vegan Ramen.

Other Vegan Ramen Toppings

One of the best things about ramen is that you can use all sorts of toppings. Try any of these plant-based options in your vegetable ramen broth: 

  • Carrots
  • Braised spinach or winter greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Bok choy
  • Leeks
  • Cauliflower
  • Napa cabbage
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Daikon radish
  • Corn
  • Seaweed (nori)
  • Pickled vegetable
  • Kimchi
  • Finely shredded cabbage
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Soft boiled eggs (not vegan)

How to Make Vegan Ramen

Prepare the tofu

Wrap the tofu block in a few layers of paper towels. Put it on a large plate and put something heavy on top (a cast iron skillet is perfect). You can add a few jars and cans in a skillet to make it heavier. Alternatively, use a tofu press. Let it sit under the weights for at least 25 minutes, until you are done with the broth. That would ensure that you remove as much liquid from the tofu as possible.

Make the broth

First, break the dried shiitake mushrooms using a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, pack them in a ziplock bag and use a kitchen hammer to break them. That would ensure that they are tender faster.

Breaking Dried Shiitake Mushrooms with a Mortar and Pestle.

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat a small amount of vegetable oil and sautée diced onion, finely chopped ginger, red chili pepper and garlic for a couple of minutes.

Collage of sauteed onions, garlic, ginger and chili pepper in the Dutch oven and adding broth to them.

Add the vegetable stock, water, dried shiitake and a sheet of kombu (if using) and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about 20 min over medium heat. Remove the kombu sheet with kitchen tongs. Add unsweetened almond milk, mirin and tamari or soy sauce. Combine the miso paste with about 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water in a bowl until smooth (use a whisk or a miso muddler). Remove from the heat. Transfer the broth to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the broth back into the pot and keep warm (don’t boil it again).

Removing Kombu with Kitchen Tongs and Adding Almond Milk to the Ramen Broth.

Fry the tofu

Set a saucepan on medium heat. Dice the tofu and fry it from all sides until golden-brown, about 7 minutes. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and the hot sauce. Adjust the amount of hot sauce according to your taste. Pour the mixture into the saucepan with tofu and let cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pan-Seared Tofu Before and After Adding Marinade.

Prepare the veggies and noodles

Cut bok choy in half lengthwise. Julienne carrots (you can also slice them). Chop mushrooms. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat and add a lug of vegetable oil. Put the bok choy halves on the pan cut side down and fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly charred, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside and add carrots and mushrooms to the pan. Stir-fry them for 3-4 minutes until softened and golden brown. Set aside and add baby spinach to the pan. Cook it for just a minute until it releases the liquid.

Prepare rice noodles according to the instruction on the package. Rinse them under tap water and drain well.

Assemble the ramen

Distribute rice noodles, tofu, bok choy, carrots, mushrooms and baby spinach among four bowls and pour the broth over. Sprinkle with scallions, hot peppers (optional), sesame seeds and sesame oil. Enjoy!

A Bowl of Vegan Ramen with Dried Shiitake and Chili on the Background.

See the vegan ramen web story for quick process description.

Top Tips

  • Make a batch of vegan ramen broth at the beginning of a busy work week and store in a container in the fridge. That way you’ll have ready-to-go broth that just needs to be heated and poured over noodles and your choice of veggies.
  • Having pre-cut veggies ready to fry will make putting this soup together a breeze.
  • Frying the onions slower and longer will create more depth to the broth. 
  • Dry tofu with a paper towel and put it under weights to remove excess liquid (see instructions below). That way it will fry up nice and crispy.
  • Make a double batch of pan-seared tofu and use it for buddha bowls or vegan rice bowls.
  • Serve the vegan ramen with fresh spring rolls as an appetizer.
  • Make sure to check my favorite Asian-inspired vegan soups from my blog like this easy miso soup or vegan pho.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of rice noodles, feel free to substitute with the typical yellow egg noodles made with white flour.
  • If gluten isn’t a problem for you, you can use any miso paste or soy sauce.
  • If you don’t have any mirin on hand, try dry sherry or a sweet marsala wine. Dry white wine or rice vinegar will also do, though you’ll need to counteract the sourness with about a 1 teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon you use.
  • Add more or less sriracha, chopped chili pepper or your favorite hot sauce as a garnish depending on how spicy you’d like it or skip it altogether.
  • Use neutral oils like canola oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil for the veggies and for the broth base.
  • Instead of dried shiitake mushrooms you can use mu-err mushrooms, oyster mushrooms or porcini.
  • If you can’t find kombu, you can add a sheet of nori to the broth. However, it will desintegrate and make the the broth darker.
  • Substitute any nut milk, oat milk or soy milk to almond milk.
  • Miso paste is optional but highly recommended.
  • Check other vegan ramen topping ideas above.
 
Print
4 from 4 votes

Vegan Ramen with Pan-Seared Tofu and Vegetables

This easy vegan ramen is made with pan-fried spicy tofu, rice noodles, sautéed veggies completed with a sensational shiitake miso broth.
Course Soup
Cuisine Asian, Japanese
Keyword easy vegan ramen, healthy ramen, noodle ramen, ramen soup, spicy vegetable ramen, vegan miso ramen, vegan ramen, vegan ramen broth, vegetable ramen broth, vegetarian ramen
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 493kcal
$7

Ingredients

For the broth

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion or shallot, diced
  • 3 slices fresh ginger chopped
  • 1 small hot pepper chopped
  • 4 cups or 1 liter vegetable stock
  • 4 cups or 1 liter water
  • 2 oz or 60 grams dried shiitake mushrooms or mu-err
  • 1 sheet kombu
  • 2 cups or 500 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons mirin see substitutes below
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce for a non-gluten free version
  • 3 tablespoons dark miso paste (gluten-free if desired), optional

For the tofu

  • 7 oz or 200 grams tofu
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce for a non-gluten free version
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha or any other hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white and black sesame seeds

For ramen

  • 3 1/2 oz or 100 grams rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 bok choy cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 medium-sized carrots julienned
  • 7 oz or 200 grams fresh shiitake or white button/crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • a handful baby spinach

Add garnishes

  • scallions finely chopped, to garnish
  • hot pepper finely chopped, or sriracha, optional
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil optional
  • white and black sesame seeds to garnish

Instructions

Prepare the tofu

  • Wrap the tofu block in a few layers of paper towels. Put it on a large plate and put something heavy on top (a cast iron skillet is perfect). You can add a few jars and cans in a skillet to make it heavier. Alternatively, use a tofu press. Let it sit under the weights for at least 25 minutes, until you are done with the broth. That would ensure that you remove as much liquid from the tofu as possible.

Make the broth

  • First, break the dried shiitake mushrooms using a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, pack them in a ziplock bag and use a kitchen hammer to break them. That would ensure that they are tender faster.
  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat a small amount of vegetable oil and sautée diced onion, finely chopped ginger, red chili pepper and garlic for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the vegetable stock, water, dried shiitake and a sheet of kombu (if using) and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about 20 min over medium heat. Remove the kombu sheet with kitchen tongs. Add unsweetened almond milk, mirin and tamari or soy sauce. Combine the miso paste with about 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water in a bowl until smooth (use a whisk or a miso muddler). Remove from the heat. Transfer the broth to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the broth back into the pot and keep warm (don't boil it again).

Fry the tofu

  • Set a saucepan on medium heat. Dice the tofu and fry it from all sides until golden-brown, about 7 minutes. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and the hot sauce. Adjust the amount of hot sauce according to your taste. Pour the mixture into the saucepan with tofu and let cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat.

Prepare the veggies and noodles

  • Cut bok choy in half lengthwise. Julienne carrots (you can also slice them). Chop mushrooms. Heat a frying pan to medium high heat and add a lug of vegetable oil. Put the bok choy halves on the pan cut side down and fry for 2-3 minutes until slightly charred, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Set aside and add carrots and mushrooms to the pan. Stir-fry them for 3-4 minutes until softened and golden brown. Set aside and add baby spinach to the pan. Cook it for just a minute until it releases the liquid. Prepare rice noodles according to the instruction on the package. Rinse them under tap water and drain well.

Assemble the ramen

  • Distribute rice noodles, tofu, bok choy, carrots, mushrooms and baby spinach among four bowls and pour the broth over. Sprinkle with scallions, hot peppers or sriracha (optional), sesame seeds and sesame oil. Enjoy!

Notes

Top Tips

  • Make a batch of vegan ramen broth at the beginning of a busy work week and store in a container in the fridge. That way you’ll have ready-to-go broth that just needs to be heated and poured over noodles and your choice of veggies.
  • Having pre-cut veggies ready to fry will make putting this soup together a breeze.
  • Frying the onions slower and longer will create more depth to the broth. 
  • Dry tofu with a paper towel and put it under weights to remove excess liquid (see instructions below). That way it will fry up nice and crispy.
  • Make a double batch of pan-seared tofu and use it for buddha bowls or vegan rice bowls.
  • Serve the vegan ramen with fresh spring rolls as an appetizer.
  • Make sure to check my favorite Asian-inspired vegan soups from my blog like this easy miso soup or vegan pho.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of rice noodles, feel free to substitute with the typical yellow egg noodles made with white flour.
  • If gluten isn’t a problem for you, you can use any miso paste or soy sauce.
  • If you don’t have any mirin on hand, try dry sherry or a sweet marsala wine. Dry white wine or rice vinegar will also do, though you'll need to counteract the sourness with about a 1 teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon you use.
  • Add more or less sriracha, chopped chili pepper or your favorite hot sauce as a garnish depending on how spicy you’d like it or skip it altogether.
  • Use neutral oils like canola oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil for the veggies and for the broth base.
  • Instead of dried shiitake mushrooms you can use mu-err mushrooms, oyster mushrooms or porcini.
  • If you can't find kombu, you can add a sheet of nori to the broth. However, it will desintegrate and make the the broth darker.
  • Substitute any nut milk, oat milk or soy milk to almond milk.
  • Miso paste is optional but highly recommended.
  • Check other vegan ramen topping ideas above.

Equipment

chef's knife
cutting board
food processor
colander
tofu press
measuring spoons
mixing bowls
miso muddler
kitchen tongs
frying pan
mortar and pestle
Dutch oven
ladle
kitchen hammer
ziplock bags

Nutrition

Calories: 493kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 2016mg | Potassium: 1762mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 24493IU | Vitamin C: 221mg | Calcium: 726mg | Iron: 8mg
Tried this recipe?Follow @happykitchen.rocks on Instagram and show me the recipes you are making from my blog using the hashtag #happykitchenrocks!
Easy Vegan Ramen Pinterest Image.

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JK

Sunday 18th of December 2016

Sounds good, but since you are advertising this as a gluten-free meal you really should specify that the miso paste and Worcestershire sauce need to be gluten-free. Both of these condiments often contain gluten so it could be confusing for anyone not used to cooking gluten-free.

Also, is there a substitute for the Worcestershire sauce for people (like me) who live in countries where it is impossible to buy a gluten-free brand?

Elena Szeliga

Sunday 18th of December 2016

Thank you for pointing that out. I've made changes to the recipe. As for the Worcestershire sauce substitutes, try using fish sauce or a mix of soy sauce and ground anchovies. You can also make it yourself or order on Amazon. Hope it helps.

Yasmeen

Saturday 6th of August 2016

This recipe was super fun and easy to make, I made a few changes to my personal liking & was super happy with the results!!! Thanks for this recipe, it won't be the last time I use it!!

Elena Szeliga

Saturday 6th of August 2016

Thank you so much for your comment, Yasmeen! I'm so glad you like my ramen recipe! How did you customize it? I'm curious to know :)

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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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