How to make homemade ramen noodles: A step-by-step guide
If you like ramen noodles, then consider making your own. It's easy and tastes 100 times better than the instant ones.
Most of us who don't have access to fresh ramen noodles would just buy the instant noodles in the supermarket and enjoy them at home (regardless of the fact that most of these noodle packs have MSG as flavor enhancers). But we have solved this problem by dumping the flavorings and just using the dried block of noodles for a much better noodle experience. That is already much better and healthier. But what if we make our own ramen noodle soup completely from scratch? It's not as hard as you think. After this, you won't even think of eating ramen noodle soup that's not freshly made, because I am telling you, there is a whole world of difference between the two.
To make ramen noodles, normally you would need kansui, an alkaline solution that makes the noodles a bit chewier but doesn't alter the taste at all. You can get this solution only in Asian stores, but if you don't have access to one, then just make your own at home with baking soda, and store it for future use. Baking the baking soda at a low temperature for an hour alters the composition from sodium bicarbonate to sodium carbonate, according to an article written by Harold McGee in The New York Times. If you make your own, then bake more than what's needed in the recipe, and simply store the rest in a sealed container for future use.
In a small glass bowl, combine the baked baking soda and water, and mix until it is completely dissolved.
Into a large bowl, pour the flour, and then make a well in the center. Pour the baking soda and water mixture into the well.
With a spoon, mix the dough. It is a very dry and crumbly dough, but with a lot of mixing, it will eventually come together. Don't add more water.
After a lot of mixing, you will come up with a compact ball. Use you hands to knead it more to make it even more compact.
Transfer the dough to a work table, and flatten it with a rolling pin. Fold and flatten a few times. It is a tough dough, so put a lot of energy into it.
Wrap the dough in cling wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
Unwrap the dough, and pass the rolling pin over it again. Divide it into 4 equal parts, and flatten each with the rolling pin. Pass the dough through the pasta maker a few times to make it thin. Start from the thickest setting, down to your desired thickness.
Pass the dough through the spaghetti cutter.
Hang the noodles to avoid sticking, or place them on a tray, and sprinkle some flour. They are now ready for cooking.
Homemade ramen noodles recipe
Making your own ramen noodles is easy, but the dough you will deal with is quite hard. With a bit of energy, you will be rewarded with noodles that will ensure you never go back to buying instant ramen again, as there is a big difference in taste and consistency.
Prep time: 1 hour 45 minutes | Inactive time: 1 hour | Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kansui or baked baking soda (see step 2 below)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 cups flour
- If you are using baked baking soda, then follow this procedure. If you are using kansui, then skip to step 3. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- Into a small baking pan, place the baking soda. Bake for 1 hour. Let it cool. Note: You can bake more than what's needed for this recipe for future use. Just store the excess in a tightly sealed container to prevent it from absorbing moisture, in a place where it can keep for a long time. Do not touch, as it can irritate.
- In a small glass bowl, mix the baked baking soda and water. Mix well, until the baking soda is completely dissolved.
- Into a large bowl, pour the flour, and make a well in the center. Pour the water with the baking soda into the well, and with a spoon, mix well. You will have a crumbly dough that might seem like it needs water, but don't add water. It just needs patience and a lot of mixing to become a more compact dough.
- Once you see that the dough is becoming compact, use your hands to knead it more. It's a tough dough. Knead until you have a compact ball, and then transfer it to a work table.
- On the table, using a rolling pin, flatten the dough, and fold it a few times. It is quite a tough dough, so put a lot of energy into it. Wrap it in cling wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, pass the rolling pin over the dough again a few times, and then divide it into 4 equal pieces. Flatten each piece with the rolling pin.
- Using the pasta maker, flatten the dough by passing it through a few times until you have a long, thin dough. Start from the thickest setting, and then work downward to how thin you prefer your noodles to be. If you don't have a pasta maker, then flatten the dough as thin as you can, and then fold and slice it thinly to make the noodles.
- On the spaghetti setting, pass the dough to cut it into noodles. Hang the noodles on a rack or on a tray with a little flour sprinkled on them to prevent them from sticking together. They will harden after a few hours.
- When ready to cook, bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the noodles for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in with the soup of your choice.
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