Chopsticks picking up rice noodles from a steaming hot bowl.

Are Rice Noodles Vegan?

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Rice noodles are a staple in East Asian cuisine, but they are enjoyed worldwide as they fit into many different diets and can be served with so many different ingredients.

For many, rice noodles seem to be the perfect option for a vegan diet, but are rice noodles vegan? Most rice noodle brands are vegan as they do not contain any animal by-products and therefore can be included in a vegan diet. However, it is always best to check the ingredients list to make sure the brand you are purchasing is vegan.

To help you know whether or not rice noodles are fine to enjoy on a vegan diet, read on to find out all you need to know!

What Are Rice Noodles?

Dry rice noodles with fresh vegetables on a table close-up horizontal

Rice noodles, as the name suggests, are noodles made from rice.

More specifically, rice noodles are made from rice flour and a few other ingredients.

These are popularly used in East Asian cuisine to make noodle dishes and noodle salads as they are light and very mild in flavor.

Rice noodles are made with rice flour, water, and a binding agent to keep them all together. Rice noodles are typically thinner than other egg-noodle options, and contain fewer calories as well.

However, you can find rice noodles in a range of sizes, from wide and thick to thin angel-hair noodles, so there is a variety to choose from to suit the meal you are cooking!

Are Rice Noodles Vegetarian Or Vegan?

Most rice noodles can be considered both vegetarian and vegan, as they should only be made with rice flour, some water, and a binding agent (such as tapioca starch), which are all vegan-friendly ingredients.

Even though most rice noodles are vegan, you do need to take precautions and check the ingredients list on a package of rice noodles just to make sure that there are no added ingredients or fillers that might not be vegan.

The ingredients in rice noodles are very basic — they should not contain more than a few ingredients, so it is usually accepted that rice noodles are vegan.

Common Rice Noodle Ingredients

The main thing to look at when considering whether rice noodles are vegan or not is the ingredients used.

Rice noodles contain very few ingredients, and their small ingredients list (plus how easy they are to make) are some of the reasons why they are so popular.

Here are the basic ingredients needed to make rice noodles!

Rice Flour

Rice flour is the main ingredient used to make rice noodles, and rice flour is obviously made from rice. The abundance of rice in China led to rice noodles being created, and once the rice has been ground down, it forms rice flour!


Water is the other main ingredient used to make rice noodles. When rice flour is combined with water, it forms a thick dough, which can be rolled and formed into rice noodles.


Starch is not always added to rice noodles, but it can help to prevent the noodles from turning sticky, and it can help to bond the noodles better.

Starch is a simple sugar compound that is plant-based, and it is often used to dry or thicken different food items.

For rice noodles, rice starch is commonly used, but corn starch can be used as well. Tapioca is another common type of starch used for rice noodles — it is extracted from the root of the cassava plant, so it is another vegan ingredient.

It is not only used to thicken the dough for rice noodles, but it adds a good flavor to the noodles as well.


Lastly, most rice noodle recipes call for a small amount of salt. Salt helps to strengthen the dough, making the noodles firmer and stronger — it also helps to give the rice noodles a little more flavor.

How To Know If Rice Noodles Are Vegan

It is always safer to check whether the rice noodles you are buying are really vegan, instead of just relying on the concept that most rice noodles should be vegan.

First, you should check for any vegan labels on the packaging. Many vegan-friendly products will state that the product is vegan on the packaging itself, or have a small symbol that indicates that the product is suitable for a vegan diet.

If there is no label or indication on the packaging that the rice noodles are vegan, then the next best option is to check the ingredients list.

The ingredients list for rice noodles should be basic (just rice flour, water, starch and salt, and maybe one or two extra ingredients), but just check that there are no ingredients that might mean the rice noodles are not vegan.

Are Rice Noodles Gluten-Free?

Almost all types of noodles, egg noodles, pasta, etc, are not gluten-free. This cuts out a whole lot of delicious dishes for those who have celiac, are gluten-intolerant, or cannot include gluten in their diet for other medical reasons. 

The good news is that rice noodles are considered gluten-free, as they are not made with a gluten-containing grain. This means that so many different diets can enjoy rice noodles, whether they are gluten-intolerant and/or vegan.

Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains that are commonly used to make noodles and pasta. Being made with gluten-free rice flour, rice noodles should be fine.

However, it is always safer to double-check the ingredients list to see if there are any fillers or added ingredients that might contain gluten.

Can I Use Rice Noodles In Place Of Other Noodles?

Many other noodles, such as flat egg noodles and ramen noodles, are not considered vegan as they often contain eggs.

The problem is that there are so many different meals (ex. chow mein, soups, and stir-fries) that contain these noodles, excluding these dishes from a vegan diet.

However, almost all of these dishes that contain egg-based noodles can be made using rice noodles instead, so with the right ingredients, these dishes can be made vegan!

Rice noodles can replace just about all the other types of noodles used — you would just want to find similar-sized rice noodles to use in place of that type of egg-based noodle.

Which Dishes Are Made With Rice Noodles?

While rice noodles can replace egg noodles in many dishes, rice noodles are actually the star of some popular meals, so by taking out any animal products, these meals can be made vegan-friendly.

Pho is a soup dish that contains long, flat rice noodles and can be made with vegetables in a vegetable broth. When ordering pho, just make sure to let the restaurant know you are vegan, as it often contains animal products.

Another popular dish made is pad thai — this is a stir-fried noodle dish with a sweet, tangy flavor. You would have to leave out the fish sauce and other animal products, but pad thai made with bean sprouts and fried tofu is delicious!

Those are just two of our favorite dishes that use rice noodles. You can add rice noodles to any noodle dish or soup and have it taste great!

Where Can I Buy Rice Noodles?

Rice noodles are really easy to come by, and you should not have any trouble finding some.

The best place to look would be at an Asian specialty store, but most grocery stores should have at least one or two brands of rice noodles to choose from.

Another option is to order the rice noodles online — with this, you can read reviews and have a look at the ingredients for whether the noodles are really vegan or not.

Are Rice Noodles Healthy?

Rice noodles are considered healthy — they contain fewer calories than regular noodles, and they do not contain any filler ingredients.

However, like with all food, rice noodles should be consumed in moderation, as too much could be a bad thing.

We love to combine rice noodles with some fresh steamed vegetables, a sauce, and some plant-based protein to make a delicious and healthy vegan meal!

Are Rice Noodles Vegan?

Most rice noodles are vegan — they should only be made with rice flour and water, then maybe some starch and salt.

However, it is always safer to double-check the ingredients on the packaging to be sure that there are no added ingredients that could contain animal products.

Rice noodles, as they are vegan, make a great substitute for egg noodles (which are not vegan) in just about any stir-fry or soup recipe.

The great thing about rice noodles is that they are gluten-free, too, so they suit many different diets!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve learned all about rice noodles and whether they’re vegan, here are some additional questions that we thought you might have.

Do rice noodles contain dairy?

Rice noodles should not contain any dairy, and they should also be free from most of the common allergens, such as dairy, eggs, fish, nuts, soy, and wheat.

Are ramen noodles vegan?

Ramen noodles are commonly made from oil and wheat flour — on their own, ramen noodles are vegan, but there are some brands that include flavors or eggs in the recipe that are not vegan, so it is safer to check this first.

Is soy sauce vegan?

Soy sauce should be vegan, as it is made from soybeans, salt, and water (sometimes wheat), but some brands do use flavor enhancers that are not actually vegan.

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