I’ve done an entire series on making Ramen at home, which you might want to look at before you read this post.
You can start here.
Ramen noodles are typically made with only four ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water and kansui.
I’ve tried making whole wheat noodles and noodles that are a mix of buckwheat and wheat flours. Both turn out delicious and really, it’s up to you, to use what you like. I’ve read though, that the thicker the broth, the lighter your noodles should be. So I guess I’d do the buckwheat + wheat noodles for a chicken broth and stick while plain wheat flour for tonkotsu.
Since kansui, a mineral water widely available in Japan and the key ingredient that goes into making good alkaline noodles, isn’t available in most other parts of the world, an easy equivalent can be made at home by mixing pinch of baking soda and some potassium carbonate (if you have it handy) in regular drinking water.
(makes 4 portions)
500g wheat flour (use 350 g wheat flour + 150g buckwheat, if you like)
250g (250 ml) water
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Cornflour (for dusting)
Water (to cook)
- Stir the baking soda into the water and let it dissolve.
- Add this to your flour + salt mixture and knead for a few minutes until the dough starts coming together. Add a teaspoon or two of water more, if the dough feels too dry. The consistency of the dough should be fairly stuff at this point and should take no more than 10 minutes to come together.
- Cover the dough with cling film and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, the dough should be significantly softer.
- Flatten the dough out with the palm of your hand and then, using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle about half an inch thick.
- Set up your pasta machine to roll and roll it out at the largest size. Proceed a couple of more iterations, narrowing the width of the dough at each iteration as you go. If you think the sheet is getting too long and will end up with unreasonably long noodles, feel free to cut the rectangle into two and proceed to roll it out, all the way to the thinnest setting.
- Once the sheets have been rolled out, run them through the thinnest noodle sized cutter that you have. Alternately, you could hand cut them at this stage.
- Toss your noodles in cornflour as you go, so that they don’t stick to one another.
- Remember to shake the excess cornflour off before cooking.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and add some salt to it.
- Boil the noodles a handful at a time. The noodles should rise to the top in 20-30 seconds (that’s when you know they’re done).
- Pick the noodles out into a colander and run them under cold water for a few second so that you can separate them with your hands easily enough. Keep aside for a few minutes, until you’re ready to assemble your bowl of ramen.
- If your broth is already piping hot and all other components are ready too, feel free to drain the noodles and dunk them into the broth right away.
- Note that the noodles are probably what you’d want to prep closest to serving time.