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How to make homemade ramen noodles from scratch. These firm yellow
Chinese style noodles are made with flour, kansui and water.
If youve been following along for any length of time, you probably know
Ive been working on concocting the perfect bowl of ramen for quite some
time. With the soup improving with each batch I made, I was starting to
feel like the store-bought noodles were the weak link holding the entire
bowl of ramen back. It was time to tackle the noodles, but given the
decade of trial-and-error it took to get the soup right, I figured I was in for
another dozen years of experimentation before Id turn out a decent
batch of noodles.

Part of the problem is that there isnt much information out there in
English on making ramen noodes. Even in Japan, noodle making is a
closely guarded secret and you dont see ramen shops parading around
their recipes on the web. From the information I was able to glean, I knew
that the noodles are made with wheat flour, and get their yellow color
and distinctly firm texture from the addition of kansui. I also knew that
theyre traditionally hand pulled, which means the dough has a higher
water content than noodles youd roll and cut.

Since noodles get their texture from the proteins in the wheat forming
elastic chains of gluten, I decided to use bread flour, which typically
contains 12-14% protein (higher than all-purpose flour). I also knew that
learning how to hand pull noodles as fine as ramen was a skill that would
take far longer to master than I, or many of my readers would have
patience for, so I decided to make a dryer dough that could be rolled and
cut using a pasta maker.
Heres an account of my learnings batch by batch:

Batch #1: I made this with 2 cups bread flour, 2/3 C water and 1/2
teaspoon of liquid kansui. Everything went into a mixer with a dough
hook until the dough came together. Then I formed it into two squares,
wrapped and refrigerated one, and rolled out the other. I rolled it out to
setting #5 of on the pasta maker and cut it using the spaghetti
attachement, then boiled the noodles for 1 1/2 minutes. This batch had a
couple of problems. The dough was a bit tacky, so even after being dusted
with flour, the noodles stuck together in pairs of two and had to be hand
separated. Id also rolled it out too thin and by the time the noodles were
in the ramen, they were soggy. The dough also lacked the lustrous yellow
color I was looking for.

Batch #2: After resting in the fridge overnight, I took the other half of the
first batch and rolled it out, this time only to setting #3. It was still
sticking together, but the noodles had a nice firm texture when cooked.

Batch #3: For this batch, I used 2 cups of bread flour, reduced the water
to 1/2 cup and increased the kansui to 1 teaspoon. As soon as I added the
water/kansui mixture I knew this batch was going to be better, as the
flour immediately turned a bright golden yellow. I let the mixer run for 10
minutes this time and the mixer bowl was full of golden yellow nuggets. I
was worried I hadnt added enough water, but with a little hand kneading
it came togehter into a ball, and let this rest overnight in the fridge. The
next day, I cut the dough in half, rolled it out to setting #3 and cut it with
the spaghetti attachment as before. This time the noodles didnt stick
together, and I reduced the boiling time to just over a minute. The
noodles were extremely firm (almost too firm), but by the time I had the
soup and all the toppings on the ramen, they were the perfect texture and
stayed that way until the last drop of soup was gone. Success!

If youre wondering what kansui is, its the ingredient that makes all the
magic happen. The story goes that the unique noodles produced around
lake Kan in Inner-Mongolia were attributed to the water from the lake.
Modern science has since revealed that the lake is highly alkaline, which
is what gives the noodles their unique texture and color. You can now buy
factory produced kansui (lake kan water) either in powdered or liquid
form. I used a brand called Koon Chun which labels their product
as Potassium Carbonate Sodium Bi-Carbonate.

If youre looking for a more scientific explanation behind how kansui

works, heres what Dr. Kantha Shelke, Scientist at Corvus Blue LLC, a
Chicago-based food and nutrition research firm has to say:

Science Behind the Noodle

Kansui is a mixture of sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate which

form an alkaline solution (pH ~9) when mixed with water. Wheat flour
contains a number of compounds called flavones and trans-ferulic acid
which are bound to starch and therefore colorless or white. The addition
of an alkaline solution to wheat flour changes the pH of the mixture which
in turn detaches these flavones (specifically apigenin glycosides) and
trans-ferulic acid from starch and allows their natural yellow color to

Another reason for the addition of kansui is to toughen the protein in

wheat flour so that the resulting noodles are firmer, more elastic and
springy texture and less sticky when cooked. The addition of Kansui
allows the use of lower protein (and therefore less expensive) wheat flour
to make noodles with the quality one would expect of noodles made with
superior quality flour with higher protein levels.
I know this isnt a typical post since you dont end up with a finished dish,
but I really wanted to write a comprehensive post on making ramen
noodles from scratch. Here are some recipes for ramen and ramyeon that
you can use these noodles for:

Tonkotsu Ramen

Kimchi Ramyeon (Korean style ramen)

Miso Ramen

makes enough noodles for 4 bowls

Homemade Ramen NoodlesHow to make homemade ramen noodles from

scratch. These firm yellow Chinese style noodles are made with flour,
kansui and water.Marc Matsumoto



Cooking Time0 minutes
Preperation Time0 minutes
Total Time0 minutes


300 grams
Bread flour (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup
Water warm
1 teaspoon
Kansui (Potassium Carbonate & Sodium Bi-Carbonate)


1. Put the flour in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix the
water and kansui together, then add the mixture to the flour. The
flour should immediately start turning yellow. If it doesn't, it's
possible your kansui is less concentrated than the one I used, in
which case, you will need to experiment to figure out the right
amount to add.
Give the mixture a quick stir with a fork or chopsticks to combine
everything then attach the bowl to your mixer and run on medium
high speed for 10 minutes. It's a dry dough so it will look like a bunch
of gravel at this point. Use your hands to divide it in two and press
together into two balls.
3. Flatten each ball out on a flat surface, and run it through the largest
setting of your pasta roller a few times, folding it in half each time.
The dough will be ragged the first few runs though but will smooth
out. When it starts rolling out smoother, fold it up into a square and
wrap with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge overnight.

4. When you're ready to cook it, prepare a large pot of boiling salted
water. Each ball will make enough for 2 bowls of ramen, so figure out
how much you need. Flour the dough generously and roll it out to the
3 setting on your pasta roller. Cut the dough in half so you have two
sheets of dough a little over 1 foot long and flour generously again.
5. Use the spagetti attachment to cut the pasta into long thin noodles,
dusting them with flour as they are cut to keep them from sticking
6. Boil the noodles until they are slightly firmer than the final
consistency you want, since they will continue cooking after you
remove them from the water. I usually let them boil for about one
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post or republish this recipe or its images without permission. If you want to
share this recipe just share the link rather than the whole recipe.