Ramen is a delight. It's the perfect bowl of somethin' somethin' to warm up your bones on chillier days. It has the potential to combine nearly everything you crave -- noodles? veggies? an egg? sure! -- all in one bowl. It's salty, noodle-filled and pretty simple to whip up at home.
Ramen is often meaty. Many restaurant servings and packaged varieties contain traces (or whole chunks) of animal protein, whether it's pork, chicken or seafood. Sometimes, soups that appear vegetarian are not: With a closer look, you'll find that Maruchan's "Oriental Flavor," for example, contains beef extract. It's important to check the ingredient list (and, when out at a restaurant, inquire about the soup stock) if a meat-free dish matters to you.
Luckily, vegetarians and those looking to limit the amount of pork belly in their own bellies don't have to miss out. These recipes below will satisfy ramen cravings while maintaining their animal-free dignity. (One even calls for zoodles -- hoorah!)