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10 Gluten-Free Ramen Noodle Alternatives

0 2 years ago

By Becky Krystal

1. Millet and brown rice ramen

If you’re a stickler for texture and insist on keeping recipes as true to form as possible — even when you have no choice but to make a substitution — then the millet and brown rice gluten-free ramen noodles from Lotus Foods make an excellent go-to choice. These are as close to the real deal as you can get, and they even look the same. You might be surprised when you open the package to find the same kind of rectangular bricks of dehydrated noodles you’re used to seeing with classic ramen.

They take only four minutes to cook, so just like traditional Japanese-style ramen, these gluten-free noodles will be ready to eat in no time. The Lotus brand product has exactly two ingredients: millet and brown rice. They offer a slightly nutty flavor. They’re also low in fat yet high in protein (4 grams per serving) and fiber (2 grams per serving). Lotus Foods gluten-free ramen noodles are easy to find at most grocery stores.

2. Tapioca noodles

Tapioca noodles come to us from Vietnam, where they are called hù tiéu dai. These noodles typically have three simple ingredients, including tapioca, water, and salt. If you find yourself wondering, what is tapioca, and what does it taste like, for the most part, it can be thought of as cassava root flour — milky and slightly starchy. Noodles made from this flour are naturally gluten-free and neither healthy nor bad for you because they’re neutral; tapioca noodles offer almost zero protein, fiber, or fat. As we mentioned, tapioca noodles also lack flavor, which should not stop you from using them in your ramen. The flavors of your spices carry much more value.

According to Kim Bao Kitchen, dai means chewy or tough. It is recommended that these noodles be soaked for close to a day before cooking so they become supple enough to work with. After soaking, they only need 30 seconds of cooking time. If you prefer not to soak them, it should still only take about 4 minutes to whip up a batch.

The only drawback with tapioca noodles is they may prove difficult to find. If you have a Vietnamese market in your town, you’ll be all set. Otherwise, check other Asian markets or search online.

3. Buckwheat soba noodles

With a name like buckwheat, you may think we’ve forgotten the whole point of a gluten-free diet. As it turns out, buckwheat is classified as a pseudocereal because, like quinoa and amaranth, it comes from a seed and does not grow on grass, per Healthline. In terms of nutrition, buckwheat is high in antioxidants and minerals.

The World’s 50 Best describes soba as a spiritual food within Zen Buddhist traditions. As far back as the middle ages, monks have been known to eat soba before meditating or fasting. Over time the practice became so popular that temples started producing and selling the noodles; only some earned the coveted status of goyo-soba-tsukasa, which gave them permission to offer their noodles to the royals in Kyoto.

While, in particular, there are things vegans need to know about soba noodles, it’s important to note that not all of them are gluten-free. Some makers like to include a small proportion of wheat for texture, so read the package ingredients closely before making a purchase. Another option is to buy dried buckwheat and make them from scratch at home.

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