Don’t be intimidated – homemade ramen noodles are actually really easy to make from scratch. Forget about the packaged, dried ramen you get at the supermarket, fresh homemade ramen is so much tastier, healthier and palm-oil free. Enjoy your fresh ramen any way you want in a delicious bowl of ramen soup packed with your favorite fresh veggies.
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Ever since my husband gifted me a pasta maker a few years ago I’ve loved experimenting with different shapes and types of fresh pasta. You can really get creative making vegan pasta without egg and adding vegetables for colour and flavour like this beet pasta and this spinach pici pasta.
However, my pasta experimentation has so far been limited to the Italian varieties. Mostly due to ignorance; I had no idea that you could make Asian-style noodles with a pasta maker and no fancy hand pulling involved.
The revelation came when I picked up a wonderful new cookbook called Bowl by Lukas Volger at a local bookstore. As the name implies, his cookbook focuses on wheat noodle, rice noodle, grain and dumpling dishes served in a bowl. He also includes two different methods for making fresh ramen noodles at home.
The second of his recipes calls for egg, so that’s immediately not an option for me. The first recipe calls for kansui. Kansui is an alkaline solution that the Japanese use to give ramen its springy texture – it’s basically what makes ramen ramen and not just plain ol’ spaghetti.
I was thinking that I could probably find it an Asian market when the bookseller gave me a really good tip. He told me about putting baking soda in the oven to change the chemical composition and then dissolving it in water as a replacement for kansui. With a bit of googling I discovered that he was totally right, it works!
So how to make homemade ramen noodles? It’s not much more complicated than regular spaghetti. The extra step is baking some baking soda for an hour. Easy enough. Mix a teaspoon or so of your baked baking soda with water and then combine it with flour.
The dough is drier and more difficult to knead than regular pasta – if you’ve got some kind of machine to do it then you’re sitting pretty, but you can also knead it by hand. Let the dough rest for a bit and then get rolling!
I found that it rolled out and cut much easier that regular pasta, so this step was pretty quick. Plop it in boiling water for just over a minute and that’s it! Fresh homemade ramen noodles from scratch! Try your homemade noodles in a delicious bowl of mushroom ramen soup with sweet potatoes and leafy greens.
- ½ cup teaspoons baking soda
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 cups bread flour OR 2 cups all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons wheat gluten
- Preheat the oven to 125°C (250°F). Spread the baking soda on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. You only need 1 ½ teaspoons each time you make ramen so store the remainder in an air-tight container for another day.
- Dissolve 1 ½ teaspoons of the baked baking soda in the warm water. Place the flour in a bowl and stir in the water-baking soda mix. When the dough begins to come together, turn it out onto the counter and knead for 10 minutes. It’s a dry, tough dough that’s difficult to knead but resist the urge to add more water or the noodles will become too soft. Wrap the dough ball in cling film and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Re-wrap 3 portions while you work with one. Flatten it as best you can with a rolling pin and begin passing it through the pasta machine on the widest setting. Just like making regular pasta, fold it into thirds and pass it through again until you get a smooth rectangle. If it’s sticking you can dust it with a little flour. Begin reducing the thickness until you get to about the third-last width, or whichever width you prefer for your noodles. Cut with the spaghetti attachment.
- If your pasta maker came with a drying rack, then use that to hang the noodles without them touching each other. Or you can MacGyver a drying rack with a broomstick or something. Alternatively, dust the noodles with a bit of flour and leave them in little piles on a pan.
- When you’ve finished rolling out all the noodles you can either leave them to dry to cook later; cook them immediately in salted boiling water for 60 – 90 seconds, rinse with fresh water to remove any excess flour and build your soup; or freeze them in individual portions for another day.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481 Total Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 476mg Carbohydrates: 99g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 0g Protein: 15g