What kind of ingredients do you imagine when you hear ramen? Flour and egg for noodles, fish, dried seaweed, chicken, and pork for soup, and boiled egg, bamboo shoot, ginger, and chashu(grilled pork) for toppings? The ingredients are different depending on ramen restaurants, but most of them use meat and chicken or pork bones to make soup.
Ramen made from 100% vegetables!
“I want to eat ramen but I cannot eat it because of the ingredients (>_<)!” If you are vegetarian or vegan, please don’t worry! There are some ramen restaurants that serve ramen made from 100 % vegetables in Tokyo. Recent years, a macrobiotic diet is getting popular especially among women who want to keep being healthy in Japan, and restaurants serve healthy dishes with vegetables. Ramen restaurants in Tokyo are not an exception. They want to increase the number of women customers, and some ramen restaurants started serving ramen which is vegetarian.
Let me tell you about three ramen restaurants in Tokyo, where you can eat delicious vegetable ramen.
The head restaurant is in Kanagawa prefecture, but they have several ramen restaurants in Tokyo as well. I went Shinjuku brunch and tried Seasonal Vegan Ramen.
Vegan ramen costs JPY 1,350. 100% vegetable-based broth, fresh seasonal vegetables, wheat noodles blended with lotus root. (no egg) The soup was soy sauce flavor, but it’s not salty and I could tell sweetness of vegetables slightly. Although it doesn’t have strong flavor in soup, it matches the thin-straight noodles very well. The seasonal vegetables I had in my ramen were; radish, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, baby leaf, carrot, seeds of Japanese herb, dried tomato, and fried garlic chips.
I wouldn’t notice the ramen was made of 100 vegetables if nobody told me.
Address: B2F LUMINE 1, 1-1-5 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
LUMINE is the department store directly connected to Shinjuku station.
Business hours: From 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
(20 seats and all of them are service counter style)
The head restaurant is in Chiyoda-ku, opened in 2011. There are two branch stores at Tokyo station and Kyobashi, and I went to the one at Tokyo station. There is an area called Tokyo ramen street in Tokyo station.(You need to exit JR gate and go to the First avenue Tokyo station.)
There’re 8 ramen restaurants in the street, and one of them is Soranoiro.
Vege-soba (Vegan ramen) costs JPY 900. Toppings are fried lotus root, marinated cabbage, steamed sweet potato, carrot, tomato and barley with basil paste. The noodles are different from the normal ramen noodles. Thick, flat and the color is orange (paprika is kneaded in the noodles). The soup was unique and tasty, and I felt like I had thick creamy carrot soup. The red colored paste on the edge of the bowl was citrus chili pepper paste. You can put it in your soup and try a different flavor. I could smell the aroma of citrus and spiciness of chili after I put the paste.
Address: Ramen Street, the First avenue Tokyo station. 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Business hours: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
(29 seats, most of seats are counter style)
T’sたんたん (T’s Tantan)
The head restaurant is in Jiyugaoka, which is famous for desserts and is regarded as sophisticated area in Tokyo. I went to T’s Tantan at Tokyo station. (Unlike Soranoiro, this ramen restaurant is inside JR gate, so you can go there when you change trains at Tokyo station!)
*What is tantanmen? It is called as dandan noodles or dandanmian in English. It originates from China, and traditional dandan noodles are usually served without soup. On the other hand, Japanese style tantanmen is served with thick and rich soup with peanut or sesame seeds flavors, spicy minced beef or pork and some vegetables.
White sesame seed tantanmen costs JPY 850. At first, I didn’t expect normal tantanmen taste before I ate it at the restaurant, because I had thought it’s difficult to make delicious tantanmen without using meat. …I was totally wrong. The tantanmen was delicious!! They use soybeans instead of minced meat, but I felt like that I was eating meat! The soup was a little bit lighter than normal tantanmen’s soup, but still it’s rich and creamy. The noodles are very thin and straight, and the combination of these noodles and the soup was so good.
Address: Keiyo Street, Tokyo station, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
(70 seats, some seats are counter style)
I cannot choose the best ramen in these three, since they are all delicious! All menus in T’s tantan are for vegans, and they also have soy sauce flavor ramen or vegetable gyoza. If you were a vegan, T’s tantan is the best among three ramen restaurants. If you were not, the other two restaurants would be good choices as well since they also have normal ramen menus.