Vegan Noodles: Everything You Need to Know
If you are vegan, shopping for any food can become infinitely more complicated. It can also be an issue when you want to buy noodles. You need to be absolutely confident that there are no ingredients made from animal products and that the entire supply chain is free from animal cruelty. For noodles specifically, there are a few things you need to consider.
Common types of noodle
At their most basic, noodles are just long, thin strips of unleavened dough. The source of that dough, however, can vary. Wheat, buckwheat and rice noodles are all common and on their own present no dangers for a vegan as they are all plant-based. This can also be true for less-common noodles made with seaweed, acorn or mung bean. Egg noodles, on the other hand, clearly are not suitable for vegans as they combine their flour with egg. This is despite them being suitable for vegetarians, which can lead to confusion among those unfamiliar with veganism.
Where to buy noodles
You need to consider not just your type of noodle, but where you buy it. There are shops that specialize in vegan food where you can be confident that any product will be vegan-friendly. Online stores may be able to offer a wider range to offer specialist types of noodles, including vegan and gluten free. As anyone with specific dietary requirements will know, it may involve looking a little further and being more careful when checking ingredients lists as some suppliers can be misleading in their labelling.
An important consideration for vegans is ensuring that they can obtain adequate nutritional content from their diet. For non-vegans, meat and dairy will often be a primary source of protein. Vegans need to find alternatives, such as tofu, which is a common accompaniment to noodles. Noodles themselves can contain protein and also provide many other essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. This may include vitamin B, magnesium, selenium, potassium and iron, among others. You can also benefit from choosing less processed brown and whole-wheat versions.
Preparing noodle dishes
Of course, you may be able to buy noodles, but you still have to cook them, and that means adding more ingredients. If you are at home, you have full control of your meals and can ensure they are only combined with tofu, beans, vegetables and other vegan-friendly offerings. If you are eating out, it may take a little more effort to ensure you are only being served vegan dishes.
Common meals made with noodles include various soups and salads as well as fried dishes. Many include vegetables along with meat and seafood. With classic dishes such as Pad Thai, the exact recipe may change from chef to chef or establishment to establishment. That means you may need to ask your waiters for more information or even specifically request an alteration to the standard recipe.Many types of noodles are vegan by default because they are made from plant-based flour. The main exception is egg noodles. However, you should check your ingredients list carefully and buy from trustworthy sources. This is especially true when buying a noodle-based dish, which may contain a range of ingredients, not all of which will be vegan.