My husband has a weakness – ramen. So I decided that I would try to make homemade ramen for him this weekend. I went through more blogs and recipe sites online, hunting for a recipe. In the end, they were all pretty much the same, with slight differences.
First, most of them talked about an alkaline substance that ramen noodles require. Some tell you that it can be found in some specialty stores or Asian markets. I don’t have one nearby, so I followed the directions I found all over the place online – cooking baking soda in the oven to come up with the necessary substance.
So I put several tablespoons of baking soda in a 325°F oven for about 35 minutes. You don’t want it to brown or color it all. The heat causes a chemical reaction that creates the necessary solution.
Then you mix 4 teaspoons of the cooked baking soda into 1/2 cup of warm water. Measure out 2 cups of flour into the bowl of your mixer.(I also added a tablespoon of wheat gluten. You could also use bread flour.) Add the water mixture and then turn on the mixer, with the dough hook attached. It will be really crumbly. Like you won’t even think its possible for it to come together. My mixer started to get upset, so I stopped it and tried to knead it by hand. Its HARD. But you’ll probably need to.
Some recipes went straight into the pasta machine, some kneaded, rested, kneaded, etc etc etc. I improvised and kneaded it as long as I could, then split my crinkly, crumbly mess into four sections and put it into small zip top sandwich bags and let it rest on the counter for an hour.
Amazingly enough, it had some moisture in the bag, and some of them seemed like they were a bit easier to get together.
Here’s what the dough looked like – and it wasn’t pretty.
Now, I ruined a whole chunk of this stuff trying to get it to smooth out with the pasta maker. Then I learned the secret. Listening?
Okay – you have to take it out of the plastic bag and try to flatten it out until it will go through the widest setting on your pasta machine. I can’t even imagine trying to wrangle this stuff with a rolling pin alone, so use the machine. I have one that attaches to my Kitchen-Aid.
I put it through the first setting a couple times, then moved on. That’s what you have to do – move on. Don’t worry if it has holes or tears or rough edges. Put it through each setting. Every once in a while I put it through, folded it over, and put it through the same one again . That’s all you can do. Here’s the second ball after I figured this out:
On the first try, that was my mistake – I kept putting it through the first setting and didn’t move on and it dried out too much. Trust me, by the time you get through the settings, it will have smoothed out, like this:
I put it through the spaghetti cutter then, and this is what I came up with:
When I finally finished, I ended up making a double batch. It looks okay, and we made ramen with it for dinner.
Where I learned another lesson.
Cook your ramen in a pot of boiling water, not your soup. I put a sprinkling of flour on my ramen nests to try and keep it from sticking. This made the soup thick. Not bad, but not what I was going for.
It will also smell a little strange. I assume its the cooked baking soda, but my husband assures me it was delicious.
If you give it a try, let me know.
Homemade Ramen Noodles
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoons wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 teaspoon kansuri/baking powder
- If you are prepping the baking soda, cook several tablespoons of baking soda on a sheet pan in a 325°F oven for 35-40 minutes. Pour into a container and keep indefinitely.
- Combine 4 tsp of kansuri with the warm water.
- Measure the flour into your mixer, with the dough hook attached.
- Add the water mixture and combine on low until it begins to combine.
- Knead for around 5 minutes and then wrap in plastic wrap or place in baggie and let rest at room temperature for one hour.
- Pull out your dough and flatten out. Divide into four sections. Flatten one section out again, and then run through the pasta machine, starting with the widest setting.
- Run through all the settings of the pasta machine, and then use a spaghetti or angel hair cutter to cut the noodles.
- Sprinkle with a little flour to keep from sticking together.
- Cook in boiling water for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes.
I totally spaced when posting and forgot the soup recipe! Duh! The soup base is my favorite part, actually, and its really easy. This recipe was geared for just the two of us, and my husband made sure there were no leftovers!
Homemade Ramen Noodle Soup
- 1/4 c chopped red bell pepper
- 4-6 baby bella mushrooms
- 4 scallions (just the whites)
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/4 cup carrot, minced
- 1 package fresh ramen noodles/2 nests of homemade ramen
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/8 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp mirin
- 1 quart of chicken stock
- 2 hard boiled eggs (for garnish)
- Prepare all veggies. Then add the oil to a stockpot and heat. Add the scallions, peppers, and mushrooms and saute for few minutes. Add in other vegetables and cook for 2 more minutes. (you may need to splash a little stock in)
- Add the quart of stock and the remaining ingredients. If you use homemade ramen, cook it separately for two and a half minutes in boiling water, then transfer to the soup.
- Serve with the hard boiled egg sliced on top.
- You can also add meat or tofu to this, but we opted for just the veggies.