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Go forth and make ramen (noodles)!

I am just gonna leave this right here.
 
I have not done it myself, but I have been looking into it. Going to try this weekend if I have time. This was pulled from a Japanese site.
 
  • 200g high protein/gluten flour
  • 2g (1%) salt (optional but recommended)
  • 2g (1%) sodium carbonate aka washing soda aka soda ash (or you could bake baking soda) -- don't touch with bare hands, you can (will?) burn yourself.
  • 90ml water (we're going for 45% hydration here)
  • Extra flour if you deem necessary.
 
  1. Mix salt into water.
  2. Slowly mix sodium carbonate into water. Apparently if you just dump it in, it will be hard to dissolve it.
  3. Sift flour into large bowl (unless it is fresh!).
  4. Add water mix slowly (in increments) to the flour. Using chopsticks, stir the flour in a circle. You're looking to break the flour up with the water, into tiny pieces much like how you cut butter into flour for pie crust. Alternatively you could rub the flour between your hands, lightly, which is how the Japanese do it for all their noodles. The flour will turn yellow due to the sodium carbonate.
  5. Once the water has been mixed in and all the flour has a similar broken up tiny piece consistency, bring it all together in a lump and start kneading it. Push down and forward, roll it back. Repeat. Stop once it is fairly consistent but still rough.
  6. Wrap and let rest for an hour.
  7. Knead again until smooth and supple, but don't need too long because once it starts to break apart you've ruined it. (the akali from the sodium carbonate makes the dough tougher than normal).
  8. Wrap and let sit for 30-40 min.
  9. Next you have two options.

    A. Hand pull the noodles, which is beyond the scope of this. Much harder, though funner methinks.
    B. Throw in a zip lock bag and step on it to flatten it. Cut up into strips, and run through a pasta machine as you would regular pasta minus the folding back in on itself. (You can also roll it out with a rolling pin, though this is also harder than it looks).
    C. Technically there is a third option, which involves rolling out with a rolling pin, then zigzag fold, and slice. I suggest going with option B if you have a pasta machine.
 
That is all. Some people also throw in an egg yolk which would make it more supple, but the above ingredients are the basics. And indeed in China that is all they use for la mian (ramen).
 
If I am able to do it this weekend, then I'll come back with pictures. I leave the ramen soup up to you. If you get good at this and open a ramen shop and make millions, please remember me and make a Fil Special ;-)
 
You're welcome.
 
let me know how it works for you!
the site I translated from had a lot of good information for all things related to Japanese noodles. that said you might be able to skip one of the rest periods once you get a feel for it.

I think in China they knead until smooth then Rest once only.
 
cruzzfish said:
Would the flour be rice flour or wheat flour? I think I'm gonna try making it this weekend.
 
Most definitely wheat. I said it should be a high protein/gluten flour, but this person does recommend using the equivalent of what we could call AP flour. It does seem that "bread" flour can be a bit hard to work with for the first time. Here in Japan the equivalent of AP flour is about 10% protein/gluten, and what is sold as generic bread flour is around 12%.
 
Good luck!
 
filmost said:
 
Most definitely wheat. I said it should be a high protein/gluten flour, but this person does recommend using the equivalent of what we could call AP flour. It does seem that "bread" flour can be a bit hard to work with for the first time. Here in Japan the equivalent of AP flour is about 10% protein/gluten, and what is sold as generic bread flour is around 12%.
 
Good luck!
Ok, thanks. It's much easier for me to get then.
 
cruzzfish said:
Ok, thanks. It's much easier for me to get then.
 
Yah, I think just experimenting works. They actually sell a specific flour blend for ramen here, but I think its mostly geared noodle factories.
 
JoynersHotPeppers said:
filmost - I need to see you doing this stat!
 
I have done that only once, supervised haha. It's actually a bit more difficult than it looks b/c you have to get the right consistency. I'll definitely have to try on my own sometime. It definitely would not look that clean though b/c I don't have one of those planks oor the fancy noodle cutter he has.
 
You can basically use the same technique for the ramen. Places that make their own ramen here who don't hand pull the noodles will cut it just like that, albeit a bit thicker. The wooden plank helps keep the strands straight, although w/o it you just need to fold the noodles into a thinner rectangle (basically like how you would do fresh pasta).
 
And that is a very particular eating method, must be a local thing. Us heathens in the burbs mix the wasabi into the dip instead. ;-)
 
Nice find!
 

SmokenFire

Staff Member
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Motion seconded.  Would love to see you do these fillmost.  :)
 
I have my heat treated baking soda. ph strips show it to be about 11 or 12, which is just right. next step is to make some dough.
 
So my first go at making ramen was a big fail. Second attempt was much better, but still have lots of experimentation. Here's an album I started on imgur to document things. The photo of the actual noodles was from my second attempt, all other photos were from my first attempt.
 
http://imgur.com/a/7saWY
 
First attempt I used the recipe from the first post in this thread. To be honest, if I knew then what I know now, I probably could have been semi successful with the first batch of dough. If you use this recipe, then use a pasta machine to roll it out, its a lot easier.
 
Second attempt, I increased the water ratio from 45% to 60%. Made the dough a hell of a lot easier to work with, but I still was unable to "hand pull" them. I ended up rolling the dough out by hand and cutting it up. I still have some experimentation to do, but my assumption right now is that using some kind of alkaline solution (in my case baked baking soda) causes the dough to be stiffer. Seems if you want to hand pull the noodles, then you'd have to leave out the alkali. Not completely sure on this, just a guess based on two attempts. That said, even with 60% water content on my second attempt, the noodles that I tested cooked up well and had a very good texture. Rest of the noodles are going into cold storage for use later this week. BTW, this is based on 200g flour, after all the other ingredients are added is probably only enough for two regular servings or one large serving.
 
 
cxSg2gL.jpg
 
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