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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
For the tutorial on how to make baked baking soda, please click here.
Serve these noodles with my Tonkotsu ramen with braised pork belly.
Homemade Ramen Noodles From Scratch - https://gingerandscotch.com/homemade-ramen-noodles-from-scratch/