Ramen may have originated in Japan, but today it is one of the world’ favorite comfort food. And why not? It is delicious, filling, very easy to make, and costs so little.
If you’re a fan of ramen living in the United States, you can not like (if not love) Maruchan ramen. One of the nation’s favorite instant ramen brands, Maruchan offers a variety of delicious flavors. But, is Maruchan ramen vegan? Let’s find out!
Are Maruchan Ramen Noodles Vegan?
Unfortunately, no. None of the Maruchan ramen flavors are vegan.
What Makes Maruchan Ramen Non-Vegan?
It’s the seasoning!
The noodles are classified vegan on their own (there is potentially a controversial ingredient in them too, which we’ll discuss later in the article), but that small sachet of flavorful seasoning comes in your Maruchan ramen noodle packet contains one or more animal-derived ingredients. Sadly, this goes for all the flavors.
Hard to believe? Let’s take a look at the ingredients of all Maruchan ramen flavors to help you confirm their non-vegan status.
Maruchan Ramen Ingredients
Surprisingly, the Maruchan Company doesn’t provide an ingredients list for its ramen noodles on the website. So, we have to go the long route and look for its ingredients elsewhere. But, don’t worry, we don’t have to do the drill for all Maruchan ramen flavors because most of them are clearly non-vegan; their name says it all.
Here’s a quick vegan rundown of all Maruchan ramen flavors for your convenience:
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Chicken Flavor – Clearly non-vegan.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Creamy Chicken Flavor – Non-vegan.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Roast Chicken Flavor – Not vegan.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Picante Chicken Flavor – Non-vegan.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Beef Flavor – Contains meat.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Roast Beef Flavor – Not suitable for vegans.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Pork Flavor – Non-vegan; has meat it in.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Shrimp Flavor – Not suitable for traditional vegans, but if you’re a pescetarian, you can have shrimp-flavored Maruchan ramen noodles.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Lime Chili Shrimp Flavor – Not suitable for a standard vegan diet, but okay for pescetarians.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Chili Flavor – This Maruchan ramen flavor may seem vegan, but sadly, it is not.
- Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Soy Sauce – This apparently vegan Maruchan ramen flavor also contains animal-derived ingredients and hence, is not vegan-friendly.
Maruchan Ramen Flavors That Maybe Mistaken as Vegan, But Are Not
Maruchan ramen Chili and Soy Sauce flavors are often mistaken as vegan-friendly since there is no mention of meat in their names like other flavors. However, a closer look at their ingredients tells that they are also non-vegan.
Maruchan Ramen Chili Flavor Ingredients
Here’s what these chili flavored ramen noodles are made of:
Can you spot the non-vegan ingredients?
Even though it’s not a meat flavor, the noodle seasoning contains beef fat and beef extract.
Maruchan Ramen Soy Sauce Flavor Ingredients
Maruchan Soy Sauce ramen ingredients include the following:
It has beef extract, which (obviously) is non-vegan. But, it also has natural flavor, which is a vague term and hence, debated in the vegan world. Refer to my article Is Starburst Vegan if you’re not aware of the debate surrounding natural flavors.
If you didn’t already know, the Soy Sauce flavor is the new name of everyone’s favorite Oriental-flavored Maruchan ramen.
Frequently Asked Questions
§ Are Maruchan ramen noodles vegan?
No. Sadly, Maruchan ramen noodles are not vegan.
§ Are Maruchan ramen noodles vegan without the seasoning?
Maruchan ramen noodle cake doesn’t contain any animal ingredient and hence, is generally classifies as vegan-friendly. However, some hardcore vegans may prefer to avoid it as well because of the (potential) use of palm oil
§ Does Maruchan ramen have dairy?
Some Maruchan ramen flavors contain milk-based ingredients. For example, Maruchan Chicken flavor has lactose whereas the Roast Beef flavor has a milk derivative, called Sodium Caseinate.
§ Is Maruchan chicken ramen vegetarian?
As per Maruchan chicken ramen ingredients list, the seasoning packet contains real chicken in powdered form. This means, the flavor is not even vegetarian-friendly.
Conclusion – Is Maruchan Ramen Vegan-Friendly?
There is no denying the fact that Maruchan ramen noodles taste great, but sadly, none of their flavors are suitable for a vegan diet. They all contain animal-derived ingredients.
While Maruchan doesn’t offer any ramen flavor for vegans, pescetarians can eat two seafood flavors.
If you’re looking for vegan ramen options, PETA has shortlisted some brands that offer 100% plant-based ramen options.
As mentioned earlier, Maruchan ramen noodles are generally considered vegan-friendly on their own. While the noodle cake doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredient, it’s important to note that it may have palm oil.
For those who may not know, palm oil isn’t considered an ethically-sourced ingredient in the vegan world due to the massive deforestation its production causes. Read my article Are M&M’s Vegan for a detailed discussion on why palm oil is a debated ingredient in the vegan community.
Did you find this article helpful? Are you interested to learn about the vegan status of other popular snacks too? Read my article Is Extra Gum Vegan to find if this popular chewing gum is made with vegan-friendly ingredients or not!