Discover how to make fresh, handmade ramen noodles from scratch at home! You may have seen those videos of professionals making hand-pulled noodles and thought it must be so difficult to make at home yourself. But it’s really not. Let’s leave the hand-pulling stuff to the pros and learn how to make delicious ramen noodles in a much more simple way.
What is Ramen Noodles?
Ramen noodles are a Japanese adaptation of Chinese wheat noodles. They are traditionally hand-pulled to create chewy, soft, and silky noodles. Most ramen noodles are made from 4 basic ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt, and kansui.
What is Kansui?
Kansui is alkaline mineral water that is rich in sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. It is the special ingredient that distinguishes ramen noodles and gives it their yellowy hue as well as a firm texture. Although this ingredient is hard to find, it can be substituted so we can make delicious ramen noodles at home.
Why Handmade at Home?
Making the noodles at home from scratch is much better than the instant ramen that you can buy in cups. Those are packed full of harmful preservatives that are not good for your body. It’s best to eat those very rarely and instead opt for healthier and fresher handmade ramen noodles.
What Do I Need?
Bread flour– We need to use flour that contains a high percentage of protein. In Japan, you can buy different types of flour to suit Udon noodles, Soba noodles, and Ramen noodles. Outside of Japan, the best option is Bread flour which contains around 15% of protein.
Water– The ratio of water to flour affects the texture of the ramen noodles greatly. Commonly it is classified into three, the Low-hydrated dough contains 30% or less water, the Medium-hydrated dough contains 31-35% water and High hydrated dough contains over 35% water. Hand-made ramen noodles recipe usually use the highly hydrated dough.
Bicarbonate Soda– Kansui is usually what is used to make ramen noodles but it is hard to come by. Instead, to make things simple, we can use bicarbonate soda instead to replicate the colour and texture of ramen noodles.
How To Make It At Home?
- Combine water, bicarb soda and salt. Let bicarb and salt dissolve completely into the water.
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add the bicarb water a little bit at a time (I added it in 8 times so about 1 tsp at a time). Kneading is unnecessary, instead, just keep stirring with chopsticks or with your hand to let the flour absorb the water.
- Keep stirring each time water is added. When all the water is added, it should have a crumbly texture.
- Place the crumble into a ziplock bag and rest for about 10 minutes.
- Shape the dough to a rectangular shape at the bottom half of the ziplock bag removing as much air as you can and refrigerate overnight.
- Take the dough out the next day, and roll it as thin as you can using a rolling pin.
- Fold into three and cut about 0.08 inch (2mm) from the edge.
- (Option) If you like the shrunk texture, massage the cut noodles with your hand.
Tips To Make
- Keep the water ratio high so that it is easier to make without a noodle-making machine.
- Use a ziplock bag to easily form the dough into a rectangular shape.
- Let the dough rest in the fridge overnight to allow it to form protein and make the noodles chewy but soft.
- Use cornstarch when rolling out the noodle dough.
How To Serve
Ramen noodles are usually served in one of four main types of Ramen broths: Tonkotsu (pork), Shoyu (soy sauce), Shio (salt), and miso. It is then topped with Chashu pork, Ramen eggs, naruto (fish cake), and chopped scallions typically. Extra flavour can be added by sprinkling sesame seeds or pouring a little rayu (Japanese chilli oil). Or used for Stir-fried noodles Yakisoba.
What To Serve Your Homemade Ramen Noodles With?
Ramen tastes delicious on its own but serving it with some sides can make it extra delicious. The most typical thing to serve with ramen is Gyoza. You may have seen at ramen restaurants in your area or if you have ever visited Japan, that gyoza is usually listed as a side dish to ramen. This is because they pair so well together. Another good side dish is a simple bowl of white rice, onigiri rice balls and Yaki onigiri. I think in general more solid and substantial simple side dishes go well with the light soupy noodles and can elevate and bring out the flavours in the ramen.
Ramen Related Recipes
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Homemade Ramen Noodles
- a ziplock bag
- a rolling pin
- a sharp knife
- a large pot
- 100 g Bread flour *1
- 40 ml water
- 1 g bicarb soda
- 1 g salt
- Combine water, bicarb soda and salt in a small mixing bowl. Let the bicarb soda and salt dissolve completely.
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add 1 tsp of the bicarb soda water and stir with a pair of chopsticks or your hand. *2
- Repeat the process 2 till all bicarb water is added and stirred into the flour. *3
- When all water is added, the flour and water should create a crumble.
- Place them into a ziplock bag and rest for 10 minutes to let the flour fully absorb the water.
- Leaving the zip open, fold the bag in half and place the dough at the bottom of the bag.
- Press the dough to shape an even thickness of rectangular flat dough. Remove air as much as you can.
- Rest if in a fridge overnight. *4
- After rested overnight, take it out of the fridge. Cut the ziplock bag open with scissors.
- Dust a kitchen bench with a generous amount of corn starch, fold the dough in half and press with the bottom part of your palm or a rolling pin to flatten it.
- Dust more over the dough and roll out the dough as thin as you can. *5
- Fold the dough into three, and cut it from the edge 0.08 inch (2mm) thick.
- If you like a shrinked texture, give a massage the cut noodles with your hands.
- Boil water in a large pot, add freshly made noodles and cook for about 3 minutes. *6
- Serve with ramen broth and your prefered toppings.