This is the best vegan ramen recipe! It starts with a killer creamy broth made from pantry staples and adds on simple and economical toppings for a filling and delicious bowl of noodle soup.
This recipe is a simplified version of my popular vegan ramen with creamy sesame broth recipe.
I originally adapted it from a tantanmen ramen recipe I found on a Japanese YouTube channel called “Cooking with Dog”. No, that’s not a typo, it’s really called that.
Sometimes I have trouble getting ahold of the necessary ingredients so I wanted to make a simplified and quicker version using pantry staples.
How to make creamy vegan ramen broth?
The broth is the most important part of any vegan ramen! Once you’ve got an awesome broth, you can add on any toppings you like.
The original tantanmen recipe calls for white sesame paste to make the broth creamy.
Now, Japanese sesame paste can be hard to find if you don’t have a very well-stocked Asian supermarket near you.
Tahini is a close substitute that’s readily available, not exactly the same, but still makes a deliciously creamy broth.
Similarly, hot chili oil isn’t necessarily something that’s in everyone’s pantry so this recipes uses sriracha for spice.
So, to make this creamy sesame broth, simply combine tahini, soy sauce, sriracha and rice vinegar in a bowl.
Stir it up well to dissolve the tahini then add hot vegetable stock to complete the ramen broth.
Just like that you’ve got a simple and flavourful broth that blows those little seasoning packets out of the water!
What to add to vegan ramen?
It’s really up to you what toppings you’d like to add to your vegan ramen.
I sometimes have trouble getting ahold of bok choy so I substituted broccoli in this version of my recipe.
Also, instead of making a pork substitute from seasoned crumbled tofu, I took the lazy route of simply frying a few slices of smoked tofu.
You can use plain tofu if you can’t get the smoked kind, but the smoked is so good and adds tons of flavour without needing to be marinated or any other prep.
Some fried mushrooms add a bit more “meatiness” and umamai. I used just regular white button mushrooms but feel free to use shiitake if you prefer.
Finally I like to top off my ramen with a healthy sprinkling of green onion and some sesame seeds.
Optional ramen toppings
If you want to change it up from what I suggest in this recipe, feel free to use some of these ideas:
- steamed bok choy or spinach
- bamboo shoots
- nori or wakami
- bean sprouts
- frozen vegetables
- firm or silken tofu
- green onion
- sesame seeds
- pickled ginger
Are ramen noodles vegan friendly?
Usually the noodles themselves are vegan friendly but the flavour packet that they come with often is not.
If you’re looking for a list of vegan instant ramen brands, Livekindly has a good rundown of what’s available.
I have an ethical problem with throwing away a soup packet containing animal products so I like to stock up on these plain instant noodle packages whenever I go down to my local Asian supermarket.
Before I found those, I also used to make homemade ramen noodles from scratch in my pasta machine.
It’s a bit of work but they taste way better than any packaged instant noodles!
30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes
Since this vegan ramen is one of my all-time favourite recipes, I had to include it in my cookbook so that more people could discover it!
30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes includes wallet-friendly recipes using cheap supermarket stapes like beans, lentils, rice and pasta and doctors them up into mouth-watering veggie-centric meals.
With this book you’ll be able to skip expensive vegan substitutes and pricy health food stores all while enjoying nourishing meals that are as pleasing to your palate as they are to your bank account.
Get your copy of 30-Minute Frugal Vegan Recipes:
- Amazon USA and Amazon Canada
- Barnes and Noble
- Indie Bound
- The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping!)
- and wherever books are sold!
- 2¼ cups [535 ml] vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp oil for pan
- Half a 14-oz [400-g] block firm or extra-firm smoked or plain tofu cut into rectangles about ⅜” (1 cm) thick
- Pinch of salt
- 8 button mushrooms sliced
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 3 oz [85-g] broccoli florets
- 2 packages uncooked ramen noodles seasoning packet discarded
- 1 green onion sliced
- Optional: more sriracha to serve sesame seeds for garnish
- In a small saucepan, place the stock over low heat just to warm it up. Don’t bring to a simmer—you just want to heat it, not reduce it. Also bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.
- In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and fry until golden brown, then flip and fry on the other side until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Now, add the mushrooms in a single layer to the skillet and fry, undisturbed, until brown on the first side, about 2 minutes. Stir and fry on the other side until browned, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to the plate with the tofu.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the tahini, soy sauce, sriracha and vinegar. Mix well.
- By now, your water should be boiling. Add the broccoli and simmer for a couple of minutes, or until tender and bright green. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli to a plate and add the ramen noodles to the pot. Simmer until tender, according to the package instructions. Drain.
- Divide the tahini mixture between 2 large bowls. Ladle in the hot stock and stir to combine. Divide the noodles, tofu, mushrooms and broccoli between the bowls and sprinkle with some sliced green onion and sesame seeds, if using.
- Serve with the bottle of sriracha on the side for those who like it especially spicy.
I personally really enjoyed this recipe, but my kids were only slightly impressed. They ate it but didn't love it. I used baby bell mushrooms instead of button mushrooms. I thought this was a nice and easy mid week recipe.
Made this tonight with my husband's help since he was hungry and when he is I always tell him that dinner will get on the table faster if he helps me. He's a klutz in the kitchen but seems to enjoy my vegan meals more when he does help.
He's review is that he wished the tofu had some flavor to it; maybe marinated first before frying it up. I enjoyed the bland taste of tofu as a palate cleanser to enjoy the other flavors; especially the tahini with the sriracha. Will make again but would like some ideas on what kind of marinade to use for the tofu prior to toasting it. Thanks for a great recipe!
Very good. I would definitely make it again, but perhaps add some bok choy and season the tofu more. Thanks for a good recipe!