Most Ramen brands are not vegan. This is because the packages often contain by-products from fish or dried animal ingredients. But what about Maruchan Ramen? This fan-favorite is loved the world over, and many vegans are curious as to whether it’s safe for a vegan diet.
We decided to take a closer look at Maruchan Ramen to see whether it is something vegans can add to their personal menus. Below, we discuss what Maruchan Ramen is, what flavors it consists of, and of course, whether it’s vegan-friendly.
What Is Maruchan Ramen?
The story of Maruchan began in 1953 when a young yet determined Japanese dreamer by the name of Kazuo Mori opened a small frozen fish distribution shop in Tokyo. With a lot of hard work, perseverance, and commitment, Mr. Mori’s small company quickly grew into the highly successful food company, Toyo Suisan.
Not content with frozen fish, Toyo Suisan soon branched out storing and distributing fish and into the instant noodle industry. And in 1977, Toyo Suisan launched Maruchan in the United States after becoming hugely popular in Japan.
Planting their roots in Irvine, California, Maruchan Ramen would soon sell their famous noodles across the United States to great success. Today, the company produces a wide variety of flavors. In fact, you can find Maruchan Ramen noodles in four different categories:
Under the Seafood category, Maruchan Ramen offers:
- Lime Chili Shrimp flavor
- Shrimp flavor
Under the Chicken category, Maruchan Ramen offers:
- Chicken flavor (Low sodium)
- Creamy Chicken flavor
- Picante Chicken flavor
- Roast Chicken flavor
- Chicken flavor
Under the Pork category, Maruchan Ramen offers:
Under the Beef category, Maruchan Ramen offers:
- Beef flavor (Low sodium)
- Roast beef flavor
- Beef flavor
As you can see, Chicken is Maruchan Ramen’s widest variety and most popular category. Of course, Maruchan Raman carries many other noodle products, such as Taste of Asia and Instant Lunch. Instant noodles in any form are a big hit, as they are inexpensive, tasty, and easy to make.
Thus, it’s easy to see why Maruchan Ramen is so popular and successful here in the United States and around the world.
What Is Maruchan Ramen Used For?
Maruchan Ramen noodles are a simple yet highly effective meal. As such, they are commonly used for lunch, dinner, or just any time you feel hungry. They make a wonderful snack to tide you over and are perfect for packing in lunches.
What’s more, Maruchan Ramen noodles allow for a lot of versatility, as many people like to doctor up their instant noodles. Some people like to add extra beef or fish, while others get even more creative and mix in mustard and other sauces to give the flavor more kick.
Even hotdog franks are no stranger to instant noodles. The sky’s the limit when it comes to how you prefer your Maruchan Ramen noodles.
Instant noodles have long served as affordable, budget-friendly foods, allowing those on a limited budget to afford something to eat. And because instant noodles are so inexpensive to produce, they are sold both individually or in bulk.
For the same price that it costs you to eat at a fast-food restaurant, you can buy a week’s supply of Maruchan Ramen noodles. In fact, a diet of instant noodles is the preferred method of many in saving money. Years ago, a McDonald’s employee famously purchased a brand-new car with cash by limiting his diet to nothing but Ramen noodles. Now that’s commitment!
So, Is Maruchan Ramen Vegan?
With so many unique flavors of Maruchan Ramen noodles, we were hopeful that the company offered some vegan-friendly choices. But as we investigated the ingredients of each one, we were disappointed to find that all flavors of Maruchan Ramen are not vegan-friendly.
The problem lies in the flavoring. Which, for many of you, serves as the main attraction. But all hope is not lost. Because all Maruchan Ramen noodles are vegan-friendly, you can use your own flavoring to spice up your cup.
Of course, you want to be sure that whatever you are substituting is safe for vegan diets. But if you have been a vegan for quite some time, it’s unlikely that you have anything in your cabinets that conflicts with the vegan lifestyle.
It’s worth noting that Maruchan Ramen noodles are no different from other instant noodle brands in that they are all vegan-friendly. As long as you stay away from the flavorings that the various instant noodle companies use, you can enjoy the noodles without interfering with your vegan diet.
On a related note, you can find many vegan-friendly seasonings online that are made specifically for instant noodles. Clearly, the outcry for pro-vegan instant noodles is loud enough that it’s prompted companies to produce their own seasonings for just such an occasion.
You can also find various vegan recipes online that show you how to make your own custom creations, thereby allowing you to enjoy instant noodles with the rest of the population — all while staying true to your vegan lifestyle.
Is Maruchan Ramen a Good Choice for Vegans?
Yes and no. The noodles themselves are absolutely 100% vegan. As such, you can eat as many noodles as your heart desires without affecting your vegan diet. The problem comes when you add the packed-in flavoring to the noodles before or after cooking.
As long as you pitch the seasoning packets and use your own pro-vegan seasonings, you’ll have nothing to worry about. All you need to do is use your own knowledge of vegan seasonings or perform a web search for something like “vegan flavoring for ramen noodles.” You will then be introduced to a wealth of resources to show you how to enjoy instant noodles the vegan way.
If you don’t want to make your own vegan-friendly noodles, be sure to check out our guide on Panda Express. We show you which menu items are vegan so that you can enjoy tasty Chinese food without the effort. Yes, it’s a different country, but the noodles are very similar.
Additionally, feel free to explore our comprehensive list of the latest restaurants, ingredients, and products to find a vegan-friendly option that suits your taste buds.