Is Nongshim Ramen Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 14, 2023

Determining whether or not Nongshim Ramen is vegan can be a perplexing endeavor.

This complexity is often due to manufacturers being less than transparent about the origins and nature of their ingredients.

But don’t worry, this article is here to unveil the truth and support you in maintaining your ethical, vegan lifestyle.

Is Nongshim Ramen Vegan?

Regrettably, Nongshim Ramen is not vegan.

The specific ingredient that makes it non-vegan is the flavor enhancer 631, which is derived from meat extracts.

Is Nongshim Ramen Cruelty-Free?

Unfortunately, Nongshim Ramen is not cruelty-free. Numerous ingredients in this product are GMO, including soy sauce, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, sugar, soybean oil, corn flour, cornstarch, and possibly more.

GMOs are genetically modified organisms that must be tested on animals to ensure their safety for human consumption.

What Is Nongshim Ramen Made Of?

Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of what exactly comprises Nongshim Ramen.

  • Wheat flour
  • Starches (potato, wheat)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Mineral salts
  • Emulsifier (322, soy)
  • Soy sauce
  • Green tea extract
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (soy, corn)
  • Maltodextrin
  • Yeast extract
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Sweetener (420)
  • Flavor enhancers (627, 621, 631)
  • Soybean
  • Corn flour
  • Glucose
  • Vegetables
  • Dried vegetables
  • Wheat gluten
  • Cocoa
  • Corn starch
  • Vegetable oil (soy)

Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is a staple ingredient made from ground wheat grains. It serves as the primary component for the noodles in the soup. It is plant-based and therefore vegan.

Starches (Potato, Wheat)

Starches are carbohydrates extracted from plants. In Nongshim Ramen, potato and wheat starches are used to thicken the soup and improve the texture of the noodles. Both are vegan-friendly.

Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil in Nongshim Ramen is plant-derived and is used for frying the noodles. It is vegan.


Salt is a mineral and is used for seasoning. It is vegan.

Mineral Salts (501, 500, 452, 339)

Mineral salts are inorganic substances used as leavening agents or preservatives. They are vegan as they are not derived from animals.

Emulsifier (322, Soy)

Emulsifiers like soy lecithin can be tricky. While generally plant-based, they can sometimes be sourced from animals, making them potentially non-vegan.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans and wheat. It adds a salty, umami flavor to the ramen. It is vegan, but it is not cruelty-free unless the brand belongs to the Non-GMO Project or it’s organic.

Green Tea Extract

This is derived from green tea leaves and is used for flavoring. It is vegan.

Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (Soy, Corn)

This protein is plant-based but the hydrolyzation process can sometimes involve animal products, making it a gray area in terms of veganism.


This is a carbohydrate produced from starch. It is used as a thickener or filler and is vegan.

Yeast Extract

Yeast extract is used for flavoring and is vegan.


Spices in Nongshim Ramen are plant-derived and used for flavoring. They are vegan.


Sugar is used for sweetness. While generally considered vegan, some sugar is processed using bone char, although it’s not specified in this case.


Fructose is a simple sugar derived from fruits. It is vegan.

Sweetener (420)

This is a synthetic sweetener and is considered vegan.

Flavor Enhancers (627, 621, 631)

These are chemical compounds used to enhance flavor. Flavor ENhancer 631 is derived from animals, making it non-vegan.


Soybeans are legumes and are vegan. They are almost exclusively GMO.

Corn Flour

Corn flour is made from milled corn and is vegan. It’s GMO.


Glucose is a simple sugar and is vegan.


These are plant-based and vegan.

Dried Vegetables

These are simply dehydrated vegetables and are vegan.

Wheat Gluten

This is the protein found in wheat and is vegan.


Cocoa is derived from the cacao bean and is vegan.

Corn Starch

This is used as a thickener and is vegan. It’s often GMO.

Vegetable Oil (Soy)

This is another form of GMO, a vegetable oil used in the product and is vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Nongshim Ramen

If you’re disheartened by the non-vegan status of Nongshim Ramen, don’t fret. There are numerous vegan alternatives available.

  • Instant noodles: Brands like Dr. McDougall’s and Lotus Foods offer vegan ramen options, though they may use GMO ingredients.
  • DIY noodle soup: Use rice noodles, vegetable broth, and fresh vegetables for a homemade touch.
  • Pre-packaged soups: Brands like Amy’s Kitchen and Imagine Foods offer vegan-friendly soups.


Navigating the maze of food labels can be daunting, especially when you’re committed to a vegan lifestyle.

Unfortunately, Nongshim Ramen falls short of being vegan or cruelty-free due to certain ambiguous or potentially animal-derived or GMO ingredients.

But the good news is that there are plenty of vegan alternative brands out there to satisfy your ramen cravings. Keep championing for a more compassionate world!