French Onion and Seitan Ramen

a bowl of vegan ramen with chopsticks

A bowl of rich broth, kissed with warm spices, loaded with buttery+caramelized onions and topped with ramen noodles and seared seitan … perfect cold weather food! This recipe is modified and veganized from Bon Appétit’s French Onion Beef Noodle Soup recipe, and the seitan recipe method is adapted from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s basic seitan recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. It requires a bit of time investment, but worth the work. It makes a lot, and you can freeze the leftover broth and seitan for later.

ingredients for vegan ramen

Start by gathering your ingredients, prepping them and placing them in bowls so they are all ready to go.

a bowl of vegan ramen

There are three parts to this delicious ramen:
  1. Seitan (Can and should be made the day before if you want to simply or save time. You can store it in the broth you simmered and refrigerate until ready to use. Store-bought seitan works too.)
  2. Caramelized onions (I used a mix of white, red and some shallots—what I already had here—to yield a huge bowl of paper-thin (sliced on a mandoline slicer) onion slices) plus a lot of vegan butter and salt to sprinkle in throughout caramelizing them.
  3. Broth, seasoned with scallions, ginger, garlic and warm spices.

two hands holding a bowl of vegan ramen, with a piece of seared seitan

Combine the caramelized onions and broth. Ladle into bowls with ramen noodles. Top with seared seitan. Shove into your face.

two hands holding a bowl of vegan ramen


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two hands holding a bowl of vegan ramen with chopsticks

French Onion and Seitan Ramen

  • Author:
    erin wysocarski

  • Prep Time:
    30 minutes

  • Cook Time:
    2 hours

  • Total Time:
    2 hours 30 minutes

  • Yield:
    68 servings 1x


A super warm and comforting soup, kissed with fragrant spices and loaded with caramelized onions.

for the seitan (can be made the day before)

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 TB dried shiitake mushroom (place 1 large or two small dried shiitakes in grinder and grind into fine powder)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup cold broth
  • 1 TB toasted sesame oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 TB soy sauce

for the caramelized onions

  • 610 TB vegan butter, plus more as needed
  • 5 lb onions (810 big onions) sliced on a mandoline slicer
  • salt

for the broth

  • 2 TB vegetable oil or refined coconut oil
  • 6 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1/3 cup smashed and chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 TB grated ginger
  • 6 star anise pods
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 12 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TB rice vinegar

to finish

  • dried ramen noodle packets, 1 per serving
  • reserved green onions
  • sesame seeds


to prepare the seitan

  1. In a large prep bowl, combine the vital wheat gluten with the shiitake, onion and garlic powders.
  2. Whisk the cold broth and toasted sesame oil together in a measuring cup. Add to the prep bowl and combine with a spatula until the dough comes together.
  3. Place the dough onto a work surface and knead for a few minutes. Shape as best you can into a log shape, about 4 inches long.
  4. Place the 6 cups of broth and soy sauce into a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cut the seitan log in half and in half again to make 4 pieces. Drop the pieces into the broth. Partially cover the pot. Make sure the broth stays at a simmer, but not a boil—otherwise, your seitan will get spongy.
  6. Simmer for about an hour, turning the pieces every 15 minutes or so.
  7. Turn off the heat and let everything cool on the stovetop. This allows a firmer texture to develop.
  8. Once completely cooled, transfer the seitan to a cutting board and slice into thin pieces.
  9. Reserve the broth to store the seitan in if not using right away.

to prepare the caramelized onions

  1. In a large or extra large Dutch oven, melt the vegan butter over medium heat. Once it starts to sizzle, add the onions. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your Dutch oven. Don’t add in so many you can’t stir them. Just let them soften and collapse a little, adding a few pinches of salt and more vegan butter if needed, then add more onions until you can comfortably stir them.
  2. Let them develop some color (don’t touch or stir too much) over medium-low heat. Once you see some golden color, stir just enough to turn, to promote even cooking. Then you’ll need to babysit them, turning every now and then, for about an hour to caramelize and get a little jammy.

to prepare the broth

  1. In a large Dutch oven, melt the vegetable or coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the white scallion parts, garlic and ginger and stir, taking care not to let the garlic burn. Add more oil or reduce the heat as needed.
  2. Add the star anise, cinnamon, cloves and coriander and stir for about a minute.
  3. Add in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits with a spatula. Allow the wine to completely evaporate. Add in the vegetable broth and soy sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the broth to get rid of the cinnamon sticks, anise pods, cloves and coriander seeds. Return the broth back to the pot.
  5. Add the caramelized onions to the pot and allow to simmer for 30-45 minutes. Add in the soy sauce and rice vinegar if needed.

to finish

  1. Add some oil or vegan butter to a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Sear the seitan pieces until golden on both sides, then set aside.
  2. Prepare dried ramen noodles according to package instructions. Divide into bowls.
  3. Place browned seitan over noodles, and ladle broth into bowls. Top with the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.


The broth freezes well and any leftover seitan can be tossed into sandwiches or stir-frys.

chopsticks and vegan ramen

a person eating vegan with chopsticks

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Alcohol has slowly, over the past few years, made me sick. But I love the taste and smell, and the little ritual of drinking a beer with Jeff. He brought home some non-alcohol beer from Athletic Brewing Company and I LOVE IT.

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