Budget-Friendly Vegetarian Ramen With Curry

Ramen noodles in bowl with chopsticks

Marie Keyes / Getty Images

Prep: 2 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 9 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
395 Calories
15g Fat
54g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 395
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1643mg 71%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 122mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Nothing screams college dorm or lunch-in-a-rush like a bowl of ramen noodles, but it's possible to make them something else entirely by spicing up a basic and budget-friendly package of the beloved noodles. Instant ramen noodles get a bit of a bad rap, but the issue doesn't lie in the noodles themselves as they are simply that, just noodles. They might not necessarily be a great meal on their own, but then again, neither is plain pasta or white bread, The issues most people have with ramen lie with the flavored packets that come with the noodles, as they're loaded with sodium and flavors that are, sometimes, overwhelming. But what if you could transform the noodles into a warming and comforting dish with just a pinch of cumin and a dash of pepper flakes? It's as simple as that. No need to rely on the preservative-heavy flavor packet, as simple seasonings can make this a filling and tasty meal. You need 9 minutes total and just five ingredients.

Ramen noodles have been around for many decades. They're a Japanese dish that emulates Chinese wheat noodles, with historians pointing to the introduction of ramen to Japanese territory by Chinese immigrants in the late 19th century. Usually consisting of noodles in a rich broth, ramen noodles have taken on a variety of toppings over the years. What we know today as the convenient dry ramen noodles with flavor packets was introduced in Japan in 1958, with the first instant noodles dating from the post-WW II era when food scarcity, especially rice scarcity, took over the country and wheat-based meals became prominent.

Our Japanese-inspired vegetarian ramen meal is also vegan and can be the base for other more substantial meals. Add some pressed and chopped tofu or tempeh and the vegetables of your choice for a protein-packed meal. Use steamed broccoli and snap peas to top the prepared ramen with a drizzle of chili oil. Or add any protein of your liking such as grilled chicken, salmon, or even fried spam to keep it tasty and low cost. Use green onions, brown shallots, or scallion to garnish the recipe. Caramelized onions can also be a great addition, but trust us when we say that you'll never look back at ramen flavor packets after you've tried this dish. The aromatic cumin and perfect amount of spice make this ramen a fantastic and easy lunch or dinner. This is a vegan dish as long as the noodles you use are egg-free—not all brands are, so check your labels for this reason or if you need to keep the dish egg-free for dietary or allergy reasons.


  • 1 package ramen noodles

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 dash red pepper flakes

Steps to Make It

  1. Cook the ramen in the water for a minute or two according to the package instructions.

  2. Add the curry and cumin, and allow to heat for another 3 to 5 minutes or until noodles are done.

  3. Add a dash of red pepper flakes and enjoy.