I remember as a vegan in college, I ate so much of the Oriental flavor of Top Ramen. Today, there is no “Oriental” flavor of Top Ramen. Things have changed! So I decided to check in with the current flavors of Top Ramen and Maruchan to see what’s vegan now.
The Chili Flavor and Soy Sauce Flavor of Top Ramen are vegan. No flavors of Maruchan Ramen are vegan. With both brands, the noodles themselves appear to be vegan. However, most of the flavor packets contain lactose and meat ingredients that vary by flavor.
See below for full tables of every Top Ramen and Maruchan flavor, along with the animal ingredients they contain!
Is Top Ramen Vegan?
The Chili Flavor and Soy Sauce Flavor of Top Ramen are vegan. But every other flavor of Top Ramen contains lactose, egg white, and meat ingredients—making them neither vegan nor vegetarian.
Here’s the full chart of Top Ramen flavors, whether they’re vegan, and why:
|Top Ramen Flavor||Non-Vegan Ingredients|
|Beef Flavor||Beef Fat, Egg White, Lactose|
|Chicken Flavor||Egg White, Lactose, Powdered Chicken, Rendered Chicken Fat|
|Hot & Spicy Beef Flavor||Beef Fat, Egg White, Lactose|
|Shrimp Flavor||Chicken Fat, Egg White, Lactose, Powdered Chicken, Shrimp Powder|
|Soy Sauce Flavor||[Vegan]|
Is Top Ramen Vegan Without the Seasoning?
Top Ramen noodles are likely vegan without the seasoning. But the ingredients lists don’t separate out the noodles and the soup base, so I can’t definitively confirm this.
I expect that the noodles themselves are vegan. This is based on the fact that Top Ramen does make two fully vegan flavors (Chili and Soy Sauce), and we’d expect the noodles to be the seem in those flavors as every other flavor.
Here’s an example ingredients list for Top Ramen:
Top Ramen Ingredients (Chicken Flavor): “Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Salt, Contains Less Than 2% Of Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Succinate, Dried Leek Flake, Egg White, Garlic Powder, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Onion Powder, Potassium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Powdered Chicken, Rendered Chicken Fat, Silicon Dioxide, Sodium Alginate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Soybean, Spice And Color, Succinic Acid, Sugar, Tbhq (Preservative), Wheat.” (source)
Does Top Ramen Contain Egg?
The following flavors of Top Ramen contain egg: Beef Flavor, Chicken Flavor, Hot & Spicy Beef Flavor, and Shrimp Flavor. However, the other two flavors—Chili Flavor and Soy Sauce Flavor—do not contain egg.
The specific egg ingredient in all cases is egg white. And it’s not very high in the ingredients list—it’s after the “contains 2% or less” bit.
Does Top Ramen Contain Dairy?
The following flavors of Top Ramen contain dairy: Beef Flavor, Chicken Flavor, Hot & Spicy Beef Flavor, and Shrimp Flavor. However, the other two flavors—Chili Flavor and Soy Sauce Flavor—do not contain dairy.
The specific milk ingredient in all cases is lactose. And it’s not very high in the ingredients list—it’s after the “contains 2% or less” bit.
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Is Maruchan Ramen Vegan?
The noodles in Maruchan Ramen are vegan, but every soup base flavor contains multiple animal-derived ingredients. In each case, it’s one dairy ingredient plus one or more meat ingredients. This means no Maruchan Ramen flavors are vegan or vegetarian.
Here is the full table of Maruchan Ramen flavors, with the ingredients that make them non-vegan:
|Maruchan Ramen Flavor||Non-Vegan Ingredients|
|Chicken Flavor||Lactose, Powdered Cooked Chicken|
|Creamy Chicken Flavor||Sodium Caseinate, Chicken Broth|
|Roast Chicken Flavor||Lactose, Chicken Fat, Powdered Cooked Chicken|
|Picante Chicken Flavor||Lactose, Chicken Fat, Powdered Cooked Chicken|
|Beef Flavor||Lactose, Beef Fat|
|Roast Beef Flavor||Sodium Caseinate, Beef Fat|
|Shrimp Flavor||Lactose, Natural Lobster and Shrimp Flavors|
|Lime Chili Shrimp Flavor||Lactose, Natural Lobster and Shrimp Flavors|
|Chili Flavor||Lactose, Beef Fat, Beef Extract|
|Pork Flavor||Pork Flavor Powder (Dehydrated Pork Broth, Milk)|
|Soy Sauce Flavor||Lactose, Beef Extract|
|25% Less Sodium Chicken Flavor||Lactose, Powdered Cooked Chicken|
|25% Less Sodium Beef Flavor||Lactose, Beef Fat|
Are Maruchan Ramen Noodles Vegan Without the Seasoning?
Maruchan Ramen noodles are vegan without the seasoning. The animal ingredients are not in the noodles, but in the soup base.
However, as an ethical vegan, I still felt opposed to buying Maruchan and throwing away the seasoning packets. Even though I wouldn’t be eating the animal ingredients, I’d still be supporting a company and product that is exploiting animals.
If you want to see these ingredients in the context of the full label, here’s the ingredients list for the Chicken Flavor of Maruchan (with animal ingredients in red):
“Ramen Noodle Ingredients: Enriched Wheat Flour (wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (contains One Or More Of The Following: Canola, Cottonseed, Palm) Preserved By Tbhq, Contains Less Than 1% Of: Salt, Soy Sauce (water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Potassium Carbonate, Sodium (mono, Hexameta, And/or Tripoly) Phosphate, Sodium Carbonate, Turmeric. Soup Base Ingredients: Salt, Sugar, Monosodium Glutamate, Maltodextrin, Contains Less Than 1% Of: Spices (celery Seed), Hydrolyzed Corn, Wheat And Soy Protein, Turmeric, Lactose, Natural Flavors, Dehydrated Vegetables (chive, Garlic, Onion), Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate, Vegetable Oil (palm), Yeast Extract, Powdered Cooked Chicken.” (source)
As you can see, the animal ingredients are clearly in the soup base, not the noodles. And the same is the case for all other flavors. Here is the Soy Sauce Flavor:
“Ramen Noodle Ingredients: Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil (Contains One or More of the Following: Canola, Cottonseed, Palm) Preserved by TBHQ, Contains Less than 1% of: Salt, Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Potassium Carbonate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Monosodium Phosphate, Sodium Carbonate. Soup Base Ingredients: Salt, Contains Less than 1% of: Monosodium Glutamate, Dehydrated Soy Sauce (Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Sugar, Dehydrated Vegetables (Garlic, Onion, Chive), Caramel Color, Spices, Beef Extract, Maltodextrin, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Vegetable Oil (Palm), Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Natural Flavor, Yeast Extract, Lactose. “
Does Maruchan Ramen Contain Egg?
Maruchan Ramen does not contain egg. None of the flavors include egg in the noodles or the seasoning.
Does Maruchan Ramen Contain Dairy?
Every flavor of Maruchan Ramen contains dairy. In most cases, the dairy ingredient is “lactose.” In a few flavors, the dairy ingredient is sodium caseinate or milk instead.
Does Maruchan Ramen Contain Meat?
Every flavor of Maruchan Ramen contains meat-derived ingredients. These include Powdered Cooked Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Fat, Beef Fat, Beef Extract, Dehydrated Pork Broth, and Natural Lobster and Shrimp Flavor.
This means Maruchan Ramen is not only non-vegan—it’s non-vegetarian, as well.
Does Maruchan Ramen Have Real Chicken In It?
The chicken-related flavors of Maruchan Ramen contain ingredients derived from real chicken, such as Powdered Cooked Chicken, Chicken Broth, and Chicken Fat. However, they do not contain big chucks of in-tact, real chicken.
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