Today we’re going to answering the question: are Maruchan ramen noodles gluten-free? But first, we must take a look at what ramen noodles are and whether they’re gluten-free.
What Is Ramen?
Ramen is an extremely popular dish and one that you’ve probably seen popping up more and more recently. In the simplest form, ramen is a Japanese noodle soup. Along with the traditional broth and noodles, you can find a range of other ingredients in ramen such as a variety of meats and vegetables – and sometimes, even an egg! It’s very filling and I find it a comforting dish.
Read more about: Do Egg Noodles Have Gluten?
There’s a range of broths that may be used in ramen. These include:
- Miso – opaque and very savory
- Shio – clear, light, pale, and salty
- Shoyu – sweet, salty, and made with soy sauce
- Tonkotsu – less common and made by boiling pork bones
Pork, fish, chicken, and vegetables are the most common fillings. The dish is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world.
Does Ramen Have Gluten?
Unfortunately, ramen is full of gluten. The main ingredient in the noodles themselves is wheat flour. Wheat is definitely not safe for those following a gluten-free lifestyle. Also, soy sauce is sometimes an ingredient in ramen. Soy sauce often contains wheat too and therefore is not gluten-free.
Maruchan Ramen Noodles – Are They Suitable?
One of the most popular instant noodles in the US are Maruchan Ramen Noodles. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a quick noodle fix – Maruchan products are not gluten-free. All of their products are made using wheat flour, so, therefore, contain gluten.
At the time of writing this article, they do not offer any gluten-free options. But, there is hope for the future, as there is a lot of demand – especially with the ever-growing gluten-free community. You can read Maruchan’s response to whether their products are suitable for us, here.
Never fear, there are plenty of gluten-free alternatives to ramen. We’re now going to be taking a look at some of the best on offer and a variety of substitutes. Rice noodles are the closest tasting alternative we have to traditional ramen. The options listed below are all rice-based:
Thai Kitchen are an extremely popular instant noodle brand that offer a huge selection of gluten-free products – one of which is noodle soup. They offer two different types of rice noodles – garlic and vegetable, and lemongrass and chili. At around $1 per pack, they’re super inexpensive and quick to make.
They are clearly marked gluten-free (and egg-free). The main ingredients are rice and tapioca starch – both perfectly safe to eat following a gluten-free diet. They are also steamed, rather than fried; which makes them a really healthy alternative. You can find them on Amazon.
Ocean’s Halo is a very popular brand among the gluten-free community. Their noodles are again, made using rice. Their gluten-free noodles are vegan, organic, non-GMO, and are around $3 per pack. As they’re organic, you can usually expect to pay a little more – but it’s often worth it!
The main ingredients are organic rice and organic tapioca. They aren’t certified gluten-free, but they do claim to be – and the ingredients contain no gluten.
If you’re looking for variety, Lotus Foods are the brand for you. They’re definitely more expensive than the other rice noodle options we’ve taken a look at – but there’s so many flavors! They include:
- Millet and Brown Rice Ramen with Red Miso Soup
- Jade Pearl Rice Ramen with Wakame Miso Soup
- Forbidden Rice Ramen with White Miso Soup
- Buckwheat Shiitake Rice Ramen with Mushroom Soup
- Purple Potato & Brown Rice Ramen with Vegetable Broth
- Wakame & Brown Rice Ramen with Vegetable Soup
This brand is certified gluten-free, which means their products go through vigorous testing and meet strict guidelines set by the FDA to ensure they’re safe for us to consume. It’s low fat, vegan, and costs around $2.50 a pack.
You can buy the ramen noodles on their own, or with the broth – it’s a win/win! It’s worth taking a look at their online store as their gluten-free options are vast (and delicious!).
Miracle Noodle has a massive variety of gluten-free foods – including noodles. They have so many, that it’s almost impossible to list all of their products! They do variety sample packs, which is great if you’re looking to discover your favorite type of noodle.
All of their products are plant-based and are non-GMO, vegan, and grain-free (gluten is a grain). This means their noodles are suitable for a range of lifestyles. The only ingredients they use for their noodles are water, Konjac flour, and pickling lime. Konjac flour is Japanese and a great wheat flour alternative for us.
Fresh Ramen Noodles – Whole Foods
Whole Foods Market offers a wide range of not just rice noodles, but a whole host of others too. (They also stock Lotus Foods, which I thought was worth mentioning!)
They have a selection of other brands of rice noodles suitable for our lifestyle, and also offer alternatives such as buckwheat noodles (buckwheat is gluten-free, despite it’s name), egg noodles, Shirataki noodles, and udon noodles. Remember to always check the label when browsing – even if it looks gluten-free. Wheat can be added to just about anything – it’s sneaky!
Ready For Ramen!
I hope this article has helped you to realize that whilst Maruchan Ramen Noodles aren’t gluten-free – there are so many alternatives out there for us. Whatever you’re buying, always remember to check the labels (I’m sure you do) and opt for certified gluten-free products when possible.
Do you know any other alternatives that I’ve missed out of this list? Or a brand that you think is worthy of a mention? Please leave them in the comments below – I would love to read some of your suggestions.