Ramen Noodles From Scratch (the No-Knead Easy Way)

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Ramen noodles are easy to make but the dough is tough to knead and roll by hand. To make ramen the easy way, use a pasta machine and let it do all the hard work, essentially making this a no-knead Ramen noodles from scratch method.  

Chinese Egg Noodles From Scratch
Chinese Egg Noodles From Scratch

I love the feeling of euphoria and pride when I successfully make something from scratch. Kneading soft, malleable dough with my hands for a few minutes? That I can handle. I find the rhythmic motions relaxing. What I don’t love, is when a recipe is too much of a chore. Pounding an ultra-stiff dough with my fist for even 1 minute while not even making a dent? Too much work.

That’s when it’s time to use a pasta machine to help retain my love of noodle-making, my children’s love of noodle-making, and our sanity.

Cutting ramen dough into strands
Kids Making Homemade Ramen Noodles From Scratch

 

But this ramen dough was just way too tough to knead by hand let alone roll out by hand. So we used an alternate kneading technique that worked for us in the Chinese egg noodle recipe. We took a large rolling pin and hit the dough hard, turned the dough over, repeat. That helped a little.

What helped a lot was using our pasta machine. We have two of these Italian-made pasta machines from Marcato to make things easier for us. One in our Dubai home and one in my parents’ home for when we visit. I was unsure of it at first but now I can’t imagine making noodles without it (bonus: it comes in 9 different colors so you can color-coordinate your kitchen.)

You just feed the dough into the machine and crank the handle to flatten the dough until the desired thinness. And then you cut the flattened dough into thin strands. The machine does all the hard work and this becomes a no-knead Ramen noodles from scratch recipe.


What are Ramen Noodles?

Ramen is a type of Japanese noodle made from wheat flour. In Japan, ramen is eaten freshly made, not like the inexpensive packets of instant noodles (you know, the ones that are 10¢ a packet?) which are deep-fried and full of MSG.

Ramen originated from China: the term “ramen” may have been derived from the Chinese words for pulled noodles (“la mian”) because Chinese noodles were traditionally pulled by hand. Another theory is that “ramen was derived from Chinese “lo mien” which is boiled noodles tossed with sauce.


Can Ramen Noodles Be Made Successfully at Home?

Yes!

You most likely have all the ingredients in your pantry to make homemade ramen noodles from scratch. This is an eggless Japanese ramen noodle recipe and needs only 3 ingredients.

To make fresh ramen at home, all you need is:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Water
  • Alkaline agent: either lye water (aka “kansui” and can be purchased from an Asian grocery store) or baking soda.

To use baking soda to make ramen noodles, you must first bake it in the oven for one hour. Click here for my instructions on how to make *baked* baking soda and why alkaline agents are essential to making ramen noodles.

After you’ve mastered making ramen noodles from scratch, you can serve it with my Tonkotsu ramen with braised pork belly.


How to Make Homemade Ramen Noodles From Scratch

Continue reading below for detailed instructions (with step-by-step photos) on how to make ramen noodles from scratch or you can click here to jump to the print-friendly recipe.

Enjoy and have fun with this!

The basic steps are as follows:

  1. Add lye water or baked baking soda to warm water to make an alkaline solution.
  2. Add alkaline solution to the flour; mix and squish dough into a ball.
  3. Rest dough 30 minutes.
  4. “Knead” 2-3 minutes with rolling pin.
  5. Roll dough flat with pasta machine.
  6. Cut dough into long strips of noodles.
  7. Simmer noodles briefly in boiling water.

You will need the following (serves 4):

  • 240 grams all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons baked baking soda (or 1 teaspoon of lye water aka “kansui”)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon warm water (you might need more but this is a good start)
  • Pasta machine
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spoon or spatula or chopsticks
  • Measuring cup or kitchen scale. I prefer a kitchen scale (I have this OXO one) because it makes for more consistent measuring as a cup of flour can range anywhere from 100 grams to 300 grams depending on how lightly or tightly packed the flour is.)

 


Step 1 — Make an alkaline water solution.

Add baked baking soda (or use “kansui” if you have that) to the warm water and mix well to make an alkaline solution.

Step 2 — Mix flour and alkaline solution in a large mixing bowl.

Place flour in a large bowl and pour in the alkaline solution.

The flour will immediately turn a yellowish color as the natural yellow pigments in flavonoid compounds that are otherwise colorless at neutral pH are liberated at a higher basic pH of 9-11, giving the noodles a characteristic golden hue (source: Lucky Peach).

Adding baked baking soda to flour
Adding alkaline water turns the mixture yellow

Use a spoon, spatula or chopsticks to mix in the water. The flour will become a crumbly texture and that is what you want for now.

Mixing flour and alkaline water
Mix with spoon or chopsticks until the water is incorporated into the flour

Use your hands to squish the flour crumbs together into a ball.

Mixing flour and alkaline water
Use your hands and squeeze flour “crumbs” into a ball

If the flour doesn’t completely form a ball after a bit of squeezing, then add more water, but only a tablespoon at a time, until you get one cohesive ball.

Mixing flour and alkaline water
If all the flour doesn’t come together into ball, add a little more water

This is what you are aiming for – a dry and crumbly looking dough with barely any crumbs left in the mixing bowl:

Mixing flour and alkaline water
See how all the flour has come together into a ball with no more “crumbs” in the bowl?

Step 3 — Rest dough for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a bowl covered with a damp towel so the dough does not dry out.

Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes at room temperaure (just enough time for the kids and I to watch one episode of our favorite Netflix show – currently Voltron because it is the coolest reboot EVER!).

You can also rest the dough in the fridge overnight if you don’t plan on rolling the dough out right away.

Resting Ramen Dough
Rest dough by covering with a damp cloth (instead of plastic wrap to decrease plastic waste)

Step 4 — “Knead” the dough for 2 to 3 minutes.

This is not a soft, smooth and easy dough to knead like the basic Chinese noodle dough or the Chinese egg noodle dough we previously made. The kids and I really struggled kneading by hand so I let them use a large rolling pin to beat the dough like they did in the Chinese egg noodle recipe.

They took turns beating the dough for about 3 minutes. To “knead” with a rolling pin, give the dough a couple of whacks, pat into a ball, whack it again and repeat.  I find that putting on their favorite music helps the time pass quickly. We’re currently rocking to “Shake it Off” from the silly kids movie Sing.

Having fun with ramen dough
Kids kneading dough by beating it with a rolling pin[/caption]

Step 5 Roll the dough flat with a pasta machine.

Set your pasta machine to the widest setting (Level 0 for Marcato brand and Level 6 for Imperia brand). Divide your dough in half and return the unused portion to it’s plastic wrap or towel covered bowl.

Flatten the other half of your dough as much as possible by hand (or whack with the rolling pin again) and start feeding it through the pasta machine.

Don’t be discouraged by the first pass of the dough through the pasta machine. It will look pretty raggedy and holey and uneven but will become smooth and even after a few more passes.

First pass of ramen dough through the pasta machine
First pass of ramen dough through the pasta machine[/caption]

Fold the raggedy dough into thirds and pass it through the machine again. Repeat 3 or 4 more times.

First pass of ramen dough through the pasta machine
Fold Dough into thirds
2nd pass of ramen dough through the pasta machine
Pass dough through pasta machine[/caption]

After a few passes through the machine, it will look and feel smooth and become more and more rectangular. The machine is essentially kneading the dough for you.

2nd pass of ramen dough through the pasta machine
After the 2nd pass though (level 0)

Only fold the dough into thirds when you are passing it through the widest setting of the machine.

Keep folding in thirds and passing it through the widest setting until you get one long rectangular piece that’s not broken into pieces (it took us 6-8 passes).

Second pass of ramen dough through the pasta machine
Fold Dough into thirds

Once the dough is flattened to a nice looking (not holey or broken into bits) rectangular shape, pass the dough through the machine two more times but in one piece without folding it into thirds. You are still using the widest setting of the machine.

Step 6 Continue rolling the dough through the pasta maker until desired thinness.

Now adjust the machine setting to the next size setting and pass the dough through 2 times but remember: DO NOT FOLD in thirds anymore. Pass the dough through as a single sheet.  Dust with a little bit of tapioca or corn starch before each pass to prevent any possible stick-age.

Third pass of ramen dough through the pasta machine
Keep passing dough through the machine

With the Marcato pasta machine, we started with the widest setting of 0, then went to level 1, then level 2, then level 3 and stopped at level 4 which according to the user manual is 1.9mm (1/16 inch). We did try level 5 but the noodles came out too thin for our liking.

At this point, the dough will not be completely smooth like the our homemade udon dough but once it passes through the cutters, it will be still become beautiful noodles!

Step 7 Cut dough into long strips of noodles with the pasta machine.

Finally we are ready to cut the dough into strands! Our Marcato pasta machine came with two size options – a thick fettucine size or a thin spaghettini size. We used the spaghettini cutter to make these ramen noodles.

Our flattened dough was a bit long so the children cut it in half using a dough scraper/cutter or you can also use a knife.

Lightly dust the dough with tapioca or corn starch and then pass it through the cutters:

Cutting ramen dough into strands
Voila! Noodles!

This is our favorite part – watching that piece of dough slowly emerge out of the machine as many individual strands of noodles! It’s a WOW moment for us every time.

Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

Cutting ramen dough into strands
Kids Making Homemade Ramen Noodles From Scratch

Step 8 — Simmer noodles in boiling water.

To cook these noodles, bring a large pot of water to boil. Then add the noodles and cook for 1 minute. These noodles are thin so don’t need much time to cook at all or they’ll become very gummy/sticky. You want to undercook them slightly as they’ll also soften up slightly in your soup broth. Drain and rinse under cold water.

There you go – fresh homemade ramen noodles from scratch the no-knead easy way!

Homemade fresh ramen noodles from scratch (Alkaline Noodles)

When you make your first batch of noodles, you will feel as proud and as euphoric as we did. Don’t worry if your first batch isn’t perfect. Remember: Noodles aren’t meant to be perfect, they’re meant to be shared.

After you’ve mastered making ramen noodles from scratch, you can serve it with my Tonkotsu ramen with braised pork belly.

Be sure to tag us on Instagram (@gingerandscotch) and Twitter (@gingerandscotch) and show us your noodle-making in action.

Happy Noodling!
-Sandy

Homemade fresh ramen noodles from scratch (Alkaline Noodles)

Homemade Ramen Noodles From Scratch

Course: Noodles
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 218kcal
Author: Ginger and Scotch
Ramen is a type of Japanese noodle made from wheat flour. In Japan, it is eaten freshly made, not like the inexpensive packets of instant noodles which are deep-fried and full of MSG. Ramen originated from China – the term “ramen” means “boiled noodles” and is the Japanese kanji pronunciation of the Chinese characters for “lo mein”.
To make fresh ramen at home, all you need is all-purpose flour, water and either lye water (purchased from an Asian grocery store) or substitute with baking soda. And a pasta machine helps!
Print Recipe

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Make Your alkaline water solution.
    Add baked baking soda (or use "kansui" if you have that) to the warm water and mix well to make an alkaline solution.
  • Mix flour and alkaline solution in a large mixing bowl.  
    Place flour in a large bowl and pour in the alkaline solution. The flour will immediately turn a yellowish. 
    Use a spoon, spatula or chopsticks to mix in the water until it is all incorporated into the flour. 
    Then use your hands to squeeze the flour "crumbs" together into a ball. If the flour doesn’t completely form a ball after a bit of squeezing, then add more water, but only a tablespoon at a time, until you get one cohesive ball.
  • Rest dough for 30 minutes at room temperature.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a bowl covered with a damp towel so the dough does not dry out.
  • “Knead” the dough for 2-3 minutes.  
    Knead by hand or “knead” with a large-diameter rolling pin. 
    To “knead” with a rolling pin, give the dough a couple of whacks, pat into a ball, whack it again and repeat.
  • Roll dough flat with the pasta machine at the widest setting.  
    Set your pasta machine to the widest setting (level 0 for Marcato brand and Level 6 for Imperia brand). 
    Divide your dough in half and return the unused portion to it’s plastic wrap or towel covered bowl. Flatten the other half of your dough as much as possible by hand (or whack with the rolling pin again) and start feeding it through the pasta machine.
    It will look raggedy and rough. Fold the raggedy dough into thirds and pass it through the machine again. Repeat 5 or 6 more times. 
    Once the dough is flattened to a nice looking (not holey or broken into bits) rectangular shape, pass the dough through the machine two more times but in one piece without folding it into thirds.
  • Continue rolling the dough through the pasta machine until desired thickness.
    Adjust the pasta machine to the next smaller size setting and pass the dough through the rollers 2 more times but remember DO NOT FOLD in thirds anymore. Pass it through as a single sheet.
    Dust dough with a little tapioca starch or corn starch to prevent any possible stick-age.
    With our Marcato pasta machine, we started with the widest setting of 0, then went to level 1, then level 2 and stopped at level 4 which according ot the user manual is 1.9mm (1/16 inch) thickness. We did try level 5 but the noodles came out too thin for our liking.
    At this point, the dough may not be completely smooth like our homemade udon dough but once it passes through the cutters, it will still become beautiful noodles!
  • Cut dough into long strips of noodles with the pasta machine.Our Marcato pasta machine came with only two size options – a thick fettucine size or a thin spaghettini size. We used the spaghettini cutter to make these ramen noodles.
    If your flattened dough is too long, cut it in half. Lightly dust the dough with tapioca or corn starch and then pass it through the cutters.
  • Simmer noodles in boiling water. To cook these noodles, bring a large pot of water to boil. Then add the noodles and cook for 1 minute. These noodles are thin so don’t need much time to cook at all or they’ll become very gummy/sticky. ou want to undercook them slightly as they’ll also soften up slightly in your soup broth.
    Drain and rinse under cold water.

NOTES

For the tutorial on how to make baked baking soda, please click here.
Serve these noodles with my Tonkotsu ramen with braised pork belly.
Recommended Products:
     •   Marcato pasta machine
     •   Imperia pasta machine
     •   OXO digital scale
     •   OXO dough cutter and scraper

NUTRITION

Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 6g | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2.8mg

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Recipe Rating




102 Comments

    1. They are better cooked first then frozen. Then when you need it, you put the frozen noodles directly in a pot of boiling water and simmer for 1 minute then drain.

      I have tried drying them like pasta (uncooked) and then cooking them later. But (1) there was a funny aftertaste that I did not like and (2) it took 8-10 minutes to cook just like pasta. I prefer the cook then freeze method. But try both and see which suits you better.

  1. Thanks for taking us so well through this. It was a pleasure and enjoyable time with my kids to do noodles for Ramen! I browsed through comments about noodles and how to store them. I will try the freezing method. Thanks for answering our questions as well. It was cool to see the posts are recent!

  2. My 14 year old son made this recipe and also made spicy korean broth from scratch. Fantastic recipe. He was scared a bit after the 1st couple passes on #1 but then finally after 7 passes it looked right. We were all happy with the results.

  3. Hi! I wanna make these to distribute with ramen kits for friends. Do the noodles hold well dried, or should i par cook them?

    1. I would par-cook them first and then dry the like one would dry Italian pasta (on a drying rack or on clothes hangers) or whichever drying method works for you.

  4. Hi Sandy! I was reading this recipe and was looking into the pasta maker machine. What attachment for pasta do you have or can I just use the atlas 150 classic and be okay for this recipe?

    1. I use the pasta attachment that came with my Marcato Atlas 150. It came with 2 pasta sizes: fettuccine and tagliolini. I use the taglionini size for ramen and egg noodles and the fettuccine size for udon noodles.

  5. Unfortunately I don’t have a pasta machine is it ok to use roller pin to flatten it out then use a knife to cut?

    1. I find this dough quite hard to knead and roll by hand so I don’t even try it as it takes the joy out of making noodles for me. If you’d like to roll noodles by hand, I would suggest that you use a recipe that produces softer dough like the Udon dough recipe or the basic Chinese noodles recipe that is just flour and water.

  6. Hey thanks for this recipe. I make a lot of noodles and I am also pretty lazy. I have found that you can use a blender (like one with blades) to knead the dough for you. Obviously a stand mixer with a dough hook is better but this works pretty well. you just got to fish out the dough every now and then to make sure it’s getting properly kneaded. Let the dough ball spin around till it gets hot and soft, then you can feed it into the pasta maker starting at 0 marcato brand. No need to fold or do any of that stuff. Just progress to desired thinness. You might about 5 mins on this step, but it saves you having to feed the dough in over and over on the 0 setting. Thanks for sharing your recipe. It’s simple and can be made without any weird ingredients which I really appreciate!

  7. Can these noodles be dried then stored? I don’t get to stores that carry the noodles very often and have been looking for a recipe to make my own ffor a while now.

    1. I have two methods of storing these noodles:

      Method 1: cooking the noodles first and then drying using a pasta drying rack.
      Method 2: cooking the noodles first and then freezing them.

      I much prefer method #2 as it is more convenient. I take the frozen noodles out of the freezer and then place in boil water for about a minute and they are ready to be used.

      The dried noodles need to be boiled for much longer and there is a weird after-taste that is not present in the frozen noodles.

      Why not try both methods and see which one our prefer? Let me know how it goes!

  8. Thanks for guiding me through each step with all of the rolling photos! We made the baked baking soda and then followed this recipe exactly as written and it was incredible.

  9. Thank you very much for the recipe for these noodles and the baked baking soda. Last week, I made your recipe, albeit a little distracted by a chatty guest, and a my 9 year old daughter, having put in 1/2 the amount of baked baking soda and double the water. Despite this, my guests enjoyed the hand made noodles. Tonight, a week later, at home by myself, I followed the recipe correctly, and the noodles were perfect. I served them with chajang sauce, i.e., fermented brown bean sauce with pork, potatoes, onions, Korean style. My girls and wife loved them. The texture of the noodles were just chewy and very delicious. I used tan Imperia machine (yes, the handle flew off a couple of times, and the base shook a little when rolling the dense dough). I set it to 4 thickness and made the wide noodles. Can’t wait to try your egg noodle recipe!

  10. Thank you so much for posting the recipe. They turned out perfectly. I baked the baking soda the day before so I could get started making the noodles for dinner time the next day. They have the perfect chew and bite. Your directions were so easy to follow and so accurate ( I used a digital scale as suggested). I made the dough in my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the dough hook just until it came together into a ball. Put it away to rest then used a rubber mallet to beat it flat, roll it up, and do it again a couple of times. Then I used my Imperial pasta machine to knead it (widest setting) several times. On the Imperial I worked the dough to the 4th setting (has 6 so not the last 2) and it was the perfect thickness for the spaghetti cutters. I made a double batch and weighed 4 oz portions of uncooked noodles into plastic bags for keeping for leftovers the next day. And dusting with cornstarch made for no sticking. Again, I really appreciate your clear directions.

  11. I just made them exactly as described. My family loves them. Absolutely amazing what you can do with so little. Thanks for posting this.

  12. Thanks for the recipie, I make “men” today with just a little bit less water and with baking soda. It was delicious but nextt time I think i will mix same salt with thz flour
    Anyways it’s very easy , I just change one thing, I mixed some gluten free flower and wheat flour. It was q good try and i will cook for my kids this week end; They ara half Japanese.
    Sorry for my poor english, I am French

  13. Can you please make and link to a seasoning mix or sauce for these noodles? I have no idea what they put in those packets in the 10 cent noodles other than MSG. It would be really nice to have some kind of starting point, and then try different things from there. Thanks for the great recipe! 🙂

    1. Oi Leah, in fact ramen is not about a mix or sauce. You will have to get into making some basic elements: broth (dashi + chicken), tare = flavoring concentrate (soy, salt, miso), flavored oil e.g. mayu etc.

      However you can try to put them in a tasty soup/broth as well if you just want to put into something no hassle.

    2. Trader Joes’ has a Miso broth in a box that would be wonderful for this, or Aldi currently has several Asian broths in stock (sorry for the pun) or take a low sodium chicken broth and add garlic, grated ginger, and some soy sauce to it. Saute’ the grated garlic and ginger first in a bit of sesame oil, maybe some grated lime zest, then add the broth and soy sauce. Add the parboiled noodles and some green onions. You can find Miso paste at some local stores in the Asian sections, that would be a good addition.

  14. Hey sandy great read, my son has found a great hobby in making the ramen and has tried to freeze the noodles but when he went to thaw and cook they stuck together. Would it be better to freeze the dough and just roll and cut just before cooking? He wants to take his hobby off to college and has limited cooking so he froze his batches of bone broth and tari but cant seem to get the noodle part right. Fyi he just loves his pasta machine and your pictures were right on with the ragged first passes he was worried he did it wrong. Thanks

    1. So great to hear that your son is loving ramen making!

      When you make the ramen noodles and freeze them, you have to use it directly from the freezer – in other words, do not thaw or the noodles will turn mushy. So take the ramen out of the freezer, pour boiling water on top of it and let soak for a few seconds, then drain and use directly in your ramen broth.

  15. I made this two days in a row and am about to make some more its an easy recipe to follow and it is frankly just really tasty can’t recommend enough

  16. Hi Sandy,

    I love your egg noodle recipe and I am successful in drying them. They store real nice for future use and they keep up their texture.

    I have done your ramen recipe about 10 times and have done a lot of surfing. Each time I think the noodles are too soft. Is it because it’s eggless? I use kansui instead? I followed “Serious Eats” recipe and added vital wheat, bread flour instead of AP. There is a 24 aging process in fridge. There’s some improvement but not the springy texture in Japan. I step on the dough like I do for udon too.

    I guess I am too used to the rubbery texture of instant noodle. I am tempted to use tapioca flour in the dry mix. It has worked well in udon. What do you think?

    1. Hi Sandy, i’m also doing this for the first time and the noodles I made yesterday were not super 🙂
      I also indeed found the article by Sho Spaeth… I think it will be a a matter of trying some different ratios since some things like tap water being different across countries/world parts :p

      However I also found this post that goes a bit more into the chemistry of ramen noodles which you can maybe then use to amplify certain characteristics in the noodle like spring: http://www.ramenchemistry.com/blog/tag/Ramen+101

      Good luck, I’ll be needing it too

  17. Can the dough be made, kneaded and cut using a KitchenAid stand mixer? If so, what length should the ramen noodles be cut? Can you freeze them? TY

  18. I can’t wait to try this, thank you for your detailed price. One question please – Can I make ahead and freeze some portions? Would you boil and rinse them first?
    Best, Judy

  19. I have one huge complaint about this recipe. The amount of water given is obviously totally wrong. I used 480g of flour and 250ml of water which is roughly official US cup and dough turned out to be total soggy, dripping mess! I had to add another 480g of flour to make it look like on the picture.

    When I went back to check this recipe I found ” 240 grams All-purpose flour (or 8 oz, about 2 cups) ” which leads me to think that you assume 1 cup = 4 fluid ounces = roughly 120ml which is wrong per any official definition of cup I could find. If you used unofficial, non-standard units that I can’t find in conversion tables please state so clearly or provide metric conversion.

    Now I like this recipe itself and I am very grateful to you posting it. But please next time be clear about amounts of stuff and used measurements. That’s quite crucial thing with recipes.

    Thanks you