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This easy vegan ramen recipe is made with ramen noodles and is loaded with flavor. It can easily be made ahead of time, and is filled with fried tofu, spinach, mushrooms, and ramen noodles.
Vegan ramen is so easy to make, it'll make you question ever ordering ramen take-out! I mean, kind of. Take out has its time and place, but I almost always prefer a home-cooked meal.
Truthfully, the word "ramen" makes me think of those 25 cent packs of ramen. You know, the kind you'd eat in college. Those were the days! Just kidding -- homemade vegan ramen is way more flavorful, delicious, healthy, easy, and filling.
Why this recipe works
- It can easily be made ahead of time, making weeknight dinners more manageable
- It's a tasty plant-based meal loaded with protein
- It features crispy fried tofu (the best!)
- Tofu - Make sure to use super firm tofu. That way, it'll crisp up nicely when you fry it.
- Soy sauce - Can sub tamari if you prefer.
- Miso - Miso is essentially fermented soybeans, and it gives this ramen even more flavor. Find it in the refrigerated section, usually near where the tofu is.
- Ramen noodles - Any kind will work. You can find ramen noodles in the Asian food aisle, or you can even use the noodles from those 25 cent packs!
- Shiitake mushrooms - Shiitake mushrooms work best in most Asian dishes, and personally they're my favorite mushrooms because they cook quickly. You should be able to find pre-sliced shiitake mushrooms, but if not, buy them whole and slice them thinly.
- Toasted sesame oil - Make sure to use toasted sesame oil; regular sesame oil doesn't have the same flavor
How to make fried tofu
There are two methods for making crispy tofu: frying or baking. I wrote an in-depth tutorial on how to fry tofu in this post, and another one on how to bake tofu here, so if you want all the details be sure to check them out. The short version is that you need to press the tofu, then coat it in cornstarch before frying it in olive or avocado oil.
Step 1: Sauté the vegetables: In a large skillet or dutch oven, sauté the green onions, mushrooms and garlic for 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients and simmer: Once the vegetables are cooked, add the miso, soy sauce (or tamari), syrup, sesame oil, and the vegetable broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Then, add the ramen noodles and spinach and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they're cooked.
Step 4: Fry the tofu: While the soup is simmering, fry the tofu. You can follow the tips in the section above.
- Use toasted sesame oil: Truth be told, not all sesame oil is made the same. There's sesame oil, and then there's toasted sesame oil, and toasted sesame oil is what you want for this recipe because it's much more flavorful, and a little bit goes a long way.
- Use super firm tofu: The firmer the tofu, the less liquid there is, and when frying tofu, you don't want much (if any) liquid.
Can I prep ramen ahead of time?
- Make the ramen first: If you want to make this recipe ahead of time, simply follow the recipe below to make the ramen, but omit the tofu. Then, once you're ready to eat the ramen, fry the tofu according to the recipe instructions.
- Add water if needed: when making the soup ahead of time, you might find that the ramen noodles absorb some of the broth. So, you may need to add a cup of two of water to the bowl of ramen.
Can this recipe be made gluten free?
I think so! You'd have to make sure to use tamari instead of soy sauce, and find gluten free ramen noodles, which I know for a fact you can order online. You might be able to find some at Whole Foods, but I'm not positive.
More tofu recipes
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Easy Vegan Ramen
- Fry the tofu ahead of time or while the ramen is simmering. You can follow these instructions on how to fry tofu.
- Sauté green onions, mushrooms and garlic with a bit of olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven for 2-3 minutes. Then, add the soy sauce, miso, syrup, sesame oil, and vegetable broth and bring soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Next, add spinach and ramen noodles and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are cooked. Last, add most of the tofu and stir.
- Serve ramen with the rest of the fried tofu, additional green onions and fresh cilantro.
UPDATE NOTE: This post was published in September 2019. It was updated with new text in May 2020.