If you love ramen soup, this recipe for gluten free instant noodle cups will prove that gluten free ramen noodles are quick, easy and delicious!
These D.I.Y. gluten free instant noodle cups have been responsible for classing up my husband’s work lunches. His regular office lunch is planned leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.
And he never complains because he is kind, smart, and hungry. But when I have the ingredients on hand, it’s so easy to make him a gluten free ramen noodles cup.
Once you layer in the easy-to-prepare fresh ingredients in these noodle cups, just store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. They’re perfect for at home or at the office.
At lunchtime, let the cup come to room temperature if you’ve stored it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, the cold ingredients will cool off the hot water too quickly. Fill the cup with hot water, cover and let steep for 2 minutes. Then serve hot. ♨️
These noodle cups have the perfect balance of robust flavors. They’re endlessly customizable, since you can use a variety of raw vegetables, like baby spinach and shredded carrots, and crisp-tender vegetables.
Steeping the vegetables in boiling water in the cups will soften everything a bit. But it’s easy to blanch any vegetables that you’d rather not eat raw.
Simply bring a few quarts of water to a boil. Place the vegetables one at a time in the boiling water for about 30 seconds before draining them and setting them aside.
Green vegetables like sugar snap peas are properly blanched when they’re bright green. Mushrooms should be blanched just until they soften. Each should take about 30 seconds.
You can use the same boiling water that you used to soften the nests of gluten free ramen noodles. If you’re preparing the noodles more than a few minutes before you plan to assemble the cups, toss the softened noodles in a tiny bit of olive oil so they don’t stick to one another too much.
Scroll down to the ingredients and substitutions section below for notes on brands of ramen noodles that are gluten free. Many are not, but many more than ever before are safely gluten free so find your favorite brand and stock up!
Homemade vegetable bouillon
The gluten free ramen noodles may look like the star of the noodle cup show, and of course they’re important. But the real innovation of this recipe for gluten free ramen noodles soup is the homemade gluten free vegetable bouillon powder. It turns plain hot water into a satisfying meal.
A blend of soup-friendly spices in just the right balance turns plain hot water into a satisfying meal, cheaply. The base of the bouillon powder, though, is nutritional yeast flakes.
Nutritional yeast is made up of inactive yeast flakes, and it’s something I used to think of as for hard-core vegans alone. But now it’s everywhere, and it’s become an essential part of many savory dinner recipes—like homemade gluten free rice a roni.
Store the vegetable bouillon in a glass container with a tight-fitting lid, and use it to make hot water into vegetable stock when you want a warm cup of something. Add the dry mixture to any savory chicken dish and amp up the flavor in an instant.
How to make baked tofu
I make baked tofu all the time for dinner, and serve it in all sorts of ways that everyone in my family loves. Of course, you can eat any tofu raw right out of the package, and I love it like that, but I think most people prefer it cooked.
I always begin with extra firm tofu, and my favorite brand is Trader Joe’s. Their extra firm tofu is packed in water, as all tofu is, but it’s super dense so it’s very easy to squeeze most of the water out of it with nothing more than a paper towel.
If your extra firm tofu is more porous, you might want to press out the moisture. You can use either a tofu press or place it in a few layers of towels (paper or cotton tea towels) on a plate and pressed with something heavy like a book or canned goods. Either method is really time-consuming and annoying, but effective.
After removing the moisture, simply slice the tofu into chunks, toss them with a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil, add kosher salt to taste, toss again, and spread into an even layer on a nonstick or lined baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes.
Be careful not to bake the tofu for so long that it becomes crunchy through to the middle. You only want a crust on the outside of the tofu. If you’re very, very patient, you can flip the pieces of tofu halfway through baking, so it crisps evenly on both sides. I am not very, very patient.
Ingredients and substitutions
Nutritional Yeast: I typically use Bragg brand “Nutritional Yeast Seasoning,” and I find it online, in my local health food store and in Whole Foods. Bob’s Red Mill also makes a gluten free “Nutritional Food Yeast,” that is just as good.
Nutritional yeast is an inactive form of yeast, and has a mild nutty and cheesy flavor. I’m not planning to sprinkle it on all my food (some love it on popcorn!), but I do love it in this bouillon powder.
Wasabi Powder: I use Eden brand wasabi powder, as it’s reliably gluten free. I find it online and in my local health food store.
Ramen or Rice Noodles: King Soba brand and Lotus Foods brands brown rice ramen are gluten free ramen noodle brands that are sold in nests. I find them in most grocery stores today.
I have also used Happy Pho brand brown rice noodles, also purchased on amazon.com, which also come in separate “nests,” which is perfect for portioning in these instant noodle cups. Annie Chun also makes gluten free Maifun rice noodles.
Miso Paste: Some types of miso paste are made from barley, which is of course off limits on a gluten free diet. Others are made from soybeans. There are a few reliably gluten free brands of miso paste.
I have used both Eden brand gen mai miso (which I really like, but it can be a bit hard to find) and Organicville gluten free miso pastes, which I found at Whole Foods. In the video, you’ll see me using a squeeze package of miso paste made by Smart Miso, which I really like for ease of use.
If you can’t find miso paste, try adding some gluten free fish sauce for the pronounced “umami” flavor that miso delivers so well.
Tamari/soy sauce: I usually use Kikkoman brand gluten free soy sauce or San-J brand Tamari gluten free soy sauce. Bragg brand Liquid Aminos is also a great choice, but lacks some of the depth of flavor of the others.
Scallions: When I buy fresh scallions, I wash and chop them (or cut them into a large dice with kitchen shears), and spread them in a single layer on a lined rimmed baking sheet. Then, I place the baking sheet in the freezer. Once the scallions are frozen, I transfer them to a zip-top bag and store them in the freezer.
Frozen chopped scallions defrost very quickly when removed from the freezer, and I can use as many or as few as I like. And once they’re frozen, they don’t smell at all, so no worries about a smelly freezer.
I also buy freeze-dried scallions that are stored at room temperature, and use them sparingly since they’re expensive.