Ramen Soup Recipe (gluten free)

by Sarah Recipes, Stocks and SoupsComments: 11

ramen soup in a bowl with chopsticks

I’ve written before about how I used to eat packaged ramen soup in college several times a week. They were easy to prepare, filling, and cheap at only about 10 cents per serving.

Little did I know that my ramen noodle soup habit likely contributed to the 20 pounds I gained my first year away from home!

Even though I no longer eat packaged ramen soup, I still enjoy a bowl of noodles every now and then. And, while they are prepared much the same, the ingredients are more carefully selected!

The Problem with Commercial Ramen Soup

The main issue with factory produced ramen noodle soup brands is that they are typically made by flash frying the cooked noodles. A few brands apparently air dry the noodle blocks, but the consumer must take the time to contact the manufacturer to determine which method was used during processing.

Even if the ramen noodles were not fried, the seasoning packet contains a large amount of MSG and even sugar. Research on rats has demonstrated that MSG consumption causes blindness and obesity, and studies on mice demonstrated that MSG intake caused brain lesions on the hypothalamus, the master controller of the endocrine system (1).

In addition, the peer-reviewed Journal of Nutrition published a study in 2014 warning that those who consume ramen noodles as little as two times per week are at skyrocketing odds of developing metabolic syndrome with its host of prominent symptoms: obesity (particularly excess abdominal fat), diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (2).

A total of 10,711 adults (54.5% women) ages 19-64 years of age were analyzed, with adjustment for sampling design complexity. The diet of the study participants was assessed by using a 63-item food-frequency questionnaire.

Head researcher Hyun Joon Shin MD, a clinical cardiology fellow at Baylor University and a nutrition epidemiology PhD from the Harvard School of Public Health and his team uncovered a disturbing association between eating instant noodles two or more times a week and development of cardiometabolic syndrome, which raises a person’s likelihood, particularly if that person is female, of developing heart disease and other metabolic health woes.

Another potential problem with consuming commercial ramen noodles is the chemical called bisphenol A (BPA), which is used for packaging some ramen noodles brands. Studies have shown that BPA is an estrogen mimicker and endocrine disruptor as it interferes with hormone messaging within the body. BPA free packaging is likely no safeguard as chemicals that replace BPA in food packaging like BPS have been shown to have the same and perhaps even worse hormone disrupting effects.

If you love ramen soup and wish to avoid the health problems associated with consuming it regularly, try this homemade version instead that can give you a hot bowl of tasty instant noodles fast without the MSG, sugar, or cardiovascular risks!

Ramen Soup (healthy, homemade and gluten free)


1 oz (28 grams) rice noodles or mung bean pasta

1.5 cups filtered water OR bonito broth

1 TBL unpasteurized miso paste

1 tsp wakame or kelp flakes

Raw, organic, traditionally brewed soy sauce


Put wakame or kelp flakes in a cup and fill with cold, filtered water.  Set aside.

Using water only: Place noodles in a bowl and pour 1.5 cups boiling water (or bonito broth) on top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain the water from the cup of soaking wakame or kelp flakes and stir the softened bits of seaweed into the bowl of noodles. Stir in the miso and season to taste with soy sauce. Fish sauce or coconut aminos may be substituted instead of soy sauce for those with a soy or wheat sensitivity or allergy.

Note: the miso is not stirred into the bowl of noodles immediately to ensure that the enzymes and probiotics from the unpasteurized miso paste are preserved.

Pare your bowl of ramen soup with a salad or a sandwich and lunch is ready in less than 10 minutes!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (11)

  • John G

    Personally I have been using raw Sea Tangle as pasta. It has a perfect al dente snap to it. I buy it online from Natural Zing.

    February 18th, 2016 11:14 am Reply
    • Lisa

      Yes, I’ve been wondering about kelp noodles. I used to buy the yam noodles but I was thinking the kelp noodles might be healthier. Thoughts?

      February 23rd, 2016 1:01 am Reply
      • Sarah

        Kelp noodles are awesome! Thanks for sharing that idea.

        February 23rd, 2016 7:42 am Reply
  • Sui

    Traditionally, ramen, which is a Japanese word and refers to one of many types of a noodle-in-soup dishes consumed in Japan, comes with array of toppings including vegetables and sea weed. Your picture does not only not resemble the ramen at all, but also seems very devoid of anything healthy and nutritionally worthy to consume. It seems not quite in sync with the theme and spirit of your website. I would strongly recommend changing the picture so that it is less misguiding and more intellectually and gastrointestinal appetizing.

    February 18th, 2016 11:13 am Reply
  • Jeff

    Just stumbled across this blog and it looks pretty interesting. I am a little concerned though with the material on MSG in this post.

    There’s surely a lot of science involved in determining how foods combine and cook, and what effects they have on your health. On top of that, most people have a very poor understanding of the scientific method, and are not very picky about references — they will just read something and believe it if it seems reasonable, or is stated authoritatively. As such, it’s quite easy to fool most people with unsubstantiated claims and poor quality science, and happens with a tragic frequency across the internet.

    Honestly it’s quite difficult to properly research whether any particular food is “good” or “bad” for you. MSG, however, is quite an easy one to research, and it’s quite clear that modern science indicates that it is not bad for you. My research on the topic was quite simple. I just googled “is MSG unhealthy?”, and all of the results concluded that it is not, and explained in detail why. I won’t even link any of them here, you can find them yourself in a moment.

    I appreciate for sure that you took the time to find a supporting study and cite it — this is farther than most blogs will go when making claims about health. But even just ten seconds of research would have shown that, regardless of the studies on rats, MSG doesn’t have any negative health benefits for humans. You also don’t reference a scientific stud directly, but rather a 14 year old article that then references a scientifically inaccurate study from 1957, almost 60 years old.

    While I’m here, why not talk about the BPA claims. While it is true that BPA is considered harmful when consumed, the evidence you present for the presence of BPA in ramen packaging is nonexistent. Where did you find this information? And is it just ramen, or all plastic packaging, such as, say, the packing of the rice noodles you suggest for this recipe, that contain BPA? And where’s the citation on your claim about BPA being an estrogen mimic, and on BPA-free packaging still containing harmful chemicals? These would be very easy citations to grab, you can find this info all over the internet.

    It may well be the case that I’m just a weirdo for calling you out on this stuff, but putting in the extra effort to really thoroughly research the scientific implications of posts is super important. I subscribed to this blog initially after reading a couple good posts, but then after seeing a few lacking citations and/or making incorrect scientific claims, I’m starting to doubt whether I can trust you : (

    February 16th, 2016 6:45 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      You need to do additional research … it seems you are confusing natural glutamate in food which is NOT the same as synthetically derived MSG added to processed foods to make them palatable. And, synthetic MSG is most definitely bad for you! I would direct you to the book “Excitotoxins” by neurologist Dr. Russell Blaylock who outlines research where MSG kills neurons in the brain which apparently never fully recover.

      February 17th, 2016 7:46 am Reply
  • Sapana

    i am a big fan of Ramen, on top of it yummy mung bean noodles… will surely try this. thanks for sharing the recipe.

    February 15th, 2016 3:00 pm Reply
  • Matt K

    I make something really similar, and you’re right – it’s a great quick meal. Try starting with a simple bonito broth and keep the rest the same. Great flavour, and it only adds a couple minutes!

    February 12th, 2016 10:22 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Great idea! Bonita broth would make an excellent base for this soup too. I think I will add that as an option in the post.

      February 14th, 2016 12:23 pm Reply
  • Laurie

    I just made this because my tummy has been off. When I feel better I am going to add green onions and maybe a little finely shredded carrot. It was delicious. Thank you!

    February 11th, 2016 12:19 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      A good soup to make on those nights when oops you are out of bone broth. Glad you liked it!

      February 11th, 2016 12:28 pm Reply

Leave a Comment