Homemade Ramen Noodles

Homemade Ramen Noodles

If you’ve been following along for any length of time, you probably know I’ve 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 I’d turn out a decent batch of noodles.

Part of the problem is that there isn’t much information out there in English on making ramen noodes. Even in Japan, noodle making is a closely guarded secret and you don’t 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 they’re traditionally hand pulled, which means the dough has a higher water content than noodles you’d 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.

Ramen Noodles from scratch

Here’s 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. I’d 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 hadn’t 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 didn’t 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!

Kansui instantly turns the flour yellow

If you’re wondering what kansui is, it’s 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 you’re looking for a more scientific explanation behind how kansui works, here’s 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 manifest.

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.

Tonkotsu Ramen Noodle Soup

I know this isn’t a typical post since you don’t 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:

Homemade Ramen Noodles Recipe

makes enough noodles for 4 bowls
300 grams bread flour (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup warm water
1 teaspoon Koon Chun Potassium Carbonate & Sodium Bi-Carbonate (kansui)

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.

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.

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.

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 together.

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 minute.

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  • http://globetrotterdiaries.com GlobetrotterDiaries

    Wow this is great! Thanks for this– I just love ramen so will have to try your recipe soon.

    • http://www.noodlefever.com noodle fever

      Very impressive! David Chang includes a recipe for alkaline noodles in the Momofuku cookbook, but I’ve never dared tackle the project.

  • http://kitchendojo.com Gilbert

    Thanks for shedding some light on the mystery of noodle-making! I’ve wondered how it’s done for a while now, and this recipe is another reason for me to get a pasta machine!

  • http://www.dinnersanddreams.net Nmerzouki

    Marc, I had no idea you could make these at home. Hats off…

  • http://cookin-log.junkoco.com/ junkoco

    Hi Marc.

    Making noodle at home is fun! I am enjoy it. Only one thing I have been missing was “kansui.” I couldn’t find the places to buy it, so I have been using baking soda. Thank you for the information about it.!

  • Shivani

    wow thats an good thing to do on a holiday and family members helping in kitchen, will love to try this

  • Kay

    There was an article in the New York Times food section about alkaline noodles
    several weeks ago, including how to make them.

  • http://www.spicesherpa.com Spice Sherpa

    I am so happy I found your blog—thanks for reaching out to me on Foodbuzz. You are an exquisite chef and have a great writing style. I have a weak spot for raman. I’d love to make some with your recipe.

  • HealthyBursts

    Unbelievable. Firstly, an awesome photo. And then a great story. Thank you for your open and honest work. It is so appreciated.

  • Mónica

    Very interesting. Really a good job!! Congratulations.

  • Sally Vargas

    I love the detailed explanation you give for these noodles. This would be a good project to do with kids, especially if they think ramen only comes in a box! On a quest now for kansui

  • Norma823

    I am so glad you did this as I would never have tried this project. You are truly a master and I so enjoy your posts.

  • http://smalltownoven.wordpress.com/ Sharlene

    Wow. My boyfriend and I are working on mastering hand-pulled noodles for homemade ramen but it’s not going so hot. This seems like a much easier technique. We’ll definitely be trying this out!

  • Jessica Lee Binder

    When am I getting a bowl of this ramen?

  • http://twitter.com/togetherinfood Stephanie Morimoto

    I love ramen! Can’t say that I will make the noodles from scratch — I’d probably be likelier to hop a flight to NYC or Honolulu to eat ramen there instead — but I loved learning about the kansui and how the noodles are made. Thank you for the informative post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jezebelbloom Sabrina Model-Carlberg

    I am seriously addicted to ramen. I am known to disappear for longer than I should during lunch just so I can sit at the counter at my favorite noodle shops and savor a bowl of the good stuff. I am so delighted to learn about the secret of kansui. I knew it wasn’t an egg noodle, so now I feel fulfilled. Fantastic post, Marc. Thanks.

  • TC

    I want to get into more noodle making, so I really appreciate this post. Thank you.

  • http://www.macheesmo.com Nick (Macheesmo)

    Umm… This is amazing. Good Ramen noodles are hard to beat.

  • Lori Morton

    Wow! Perseverence pays off big time! Great job on everything from research, tirals, and photos! Thanks for sharing.

  • Pinchofsaffron

    Very cool post. I was looking for an home made noodles recipe.
    Thank you!

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  • http://twitter.com/feedthebf Peggy Labor

    These noodles sound awesome! I can’t wait to try this one out!

  • MaxwellPerlman

    You are my savior. I have searched all over the internet for this information. After weeks of frustration and dissapointment you have delivered the secrets I sought. This is the only recipe for ramen, I’ve found, that uses the rumored “special water” instead of egg, and which confirmed my suspicion that ramen would have been origonally hand pulled. ARIGATOO GOZAIMAS!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I had the same problem as yourself and decided it was time someone
      fixed it:-)

  • http://saulkarl.blogspot.com Saul Karl

    Certain kinds of noodles are hand-made. You can find tons of videos on Youtube on how the chefs make them. It does take a lot of practice.

  • Ben S

    Thank you for this enlightening post! I will try this recipe as soon as I find some kansui. I have a question though. Do you wash your noodles under cold running water after boiling them?

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  • Vera

    I hope very much that you’ve seen the film “Tampopo.” In which we gain an all new respect for the humble Ramen…

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  • Mhouck

    I just tried this and it’s just not working out for me. I measured out 300g of bread flour, added in the warm water/kansui mixture and ran it in my mixer. I thought the mixer was going to break, the dough was so tough. I ran it for a little while, but the mixer could barely keep up with it. I pulled out the dough after a minute or two then tried to knead it by hand. It just kept falling apart into huge clumps, it seemed way too dry to ever hold together. After (unsuccessfully) trying to knead it for another 5-10 minutes, I tried to put it through the pasta roller, where I would try and force it through the rollers… it just came out the other side in little ragged clumps. i couldn’t even get those clumps to hold together enough to put it through again.

    what am i doing wrong here?

    • Wahlee

      I am planning on making this tonight, so I haven’t tried this recipe. However, I have been making different types of noodles/pasta for a while now and I find that you may just need one or two tablespoons of water to get the flour to hold together (note: it should still be on the dry side). Then once the flour holds together you can wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least 30 minutes until the moisture is absorbed throughout the dough. The pasta then can be rolled at that point. I then dry the sheets a little before I run it through the cutter.

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        Just some forewarning, this dough will not hold together by itself. If you add enough water to make it hold together, it won’t cut properly. I do like your idea of letting the rolled dough dry a little before cutting it and will try this out next time with a little more water in the dough to make it easier to work with.

        • Wahlee

          Yes… I have had the problem with a dough that is too wet that doesn’t cut properly when making pasta before. I don’t add the water to get it to hold together when mixing. Just a small tsp or tbs when I am trying to gather the dough together. Once I gather the dough together, it still looks crumbly. At that point, I wrap it in plastic and let it sit for at least 30 mins. or until the crumbs can be worked into the dough without the addition of water.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Sorry for such a late response, but I just saw your comment. The dough should not come together easily. It will look almost like a pie dough and come together into little pearls that you’ll have to press together by hand. You use a rolling pin to flatten it out a little before running it through your pasta machine so it doesn’t put as much strain on it. It will be very ragged and may even come out in little clumps, but you just have to keep pressing the bits together and passing it through the machine and it will eventually come out in sheets. If it’s still not working out, try wrapping it in plastic and pressing it together as best you can and leaving it in the fridge overnight. I’m going to try and make a video to show all the steps as I know this isn’t quite like making regular pasta.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Holloway/100001536700991 Edward Holloway

    Thank you for the Ramen recipes, you saved me! I have a small restaurant in Bariloche, Patagonia, Argentina named Butterfly (www.thebutterflygroup.com.ar) and i just got back from Japan with the plan of making Ramen. I am working on the recipe and will send mine on to you once it is fiished. My problem is that I cannot get Kansui. I want to make it but I would like to know if the sodiums are dissolved in water, and if so what proportions. I was hoping it might be on the packaging of the Koon chun product. Could you let me know if so. Thanks man! Keep up the great work, the blog is amazing.

  • Anonymous

    Another commenter pointed out that there’s a recipe for Alkalai
    noodles on the New York Times website by Harold McGee. I’m not sure
    about his use of semolina flour for the dough, but he uses soda ash
    (which can be made from baking soda) instead of kansui. You might be
    able to do a hybrid between the two recipes.

    • Edward Holloway

      Hi, just to let you know I bought both sodas in powder form in the chemist. I mixed them 60% / 40% and I dissolve 1 tsp into the warm water and then add it to the flour. The noodles come out great but if I try to dry them they turn grey. I am making them fresh everyday but also have an emergency stock in the freezer, which also works out well.

  • http://www.tasteofbeirut.com tasteofbeirut

    My son would live on Ramen noodles and it used to depress me so, since the package is mostly sodium. Well, with these I would love for him to consume them on a daily basis! I am going to try your recipe, as soon as humanly possible! It is similar to a recipe for noodles that is traditional in Lebanese and Syrian cooking and eaten with a lentil porridge. Very interesting Mark.

    • Anonymous

      Wow that is really interesting. Do the Lebanese noodles use an alkali
      with the flour? Do you have a recipe for it?

  • Jacob Estes

    How terrible would it be to just use straight baking soda? I expect some adjustments would have to be made, but if it’s mostly about changing the ph, that should work, right?

    Do you have any recommendations for store-bought noodles for those of us without a pasta making dealy?

    • Anonymous

      I’ve tried it with baking soda and it’s just not strong enough. You
      don’t get the yellow color and it doesn’t give you the right texture.
      As for store bought noodles I think I’ve bought every kind of premade
      noodle in Chinatown here in NYC and none of them have been
      satisfactory for me. I found that the best store-bought ramen noodles
      were the ones in the refrigerated packs of “instant” ramen, but
      they’re expensive (about $7 a pack for 2 servings), and it’s kind of
      wasteful throwing the soup base out. If you don’t have a pasta maker,
      you could in theory just roll the dough out with a rolling pin, flour
      it well, fold it over a few times and hand cut them with a very sharp

    • ithink92

      Bake the baking soda in a layer on a foil covered pan at 250-300 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and it’s almost as good. This process makes it pure sodium bicarbonate and a much stronger alkali.

  • http://twitter.com/umikim Lydia Kim

    nice~ i’ve always wondered how to make ramen noodles from scratch… thank you for doing all the research/work!

  • John

    What kind of pasta maker are you using? It would be nice to know the exact product, so us people in Europe can get an understanding of how the device looks and how to find something similar.

    • Anonymous

      Its an attachment for a Kitchenaid stand mixer, but I’ve seen hand cranked
      Italian pasta makers with a similar design. Basically you want one that will
      cut noodles about 2-3mm in thickness.

  • Emorie33

    You are my hero! Thank you for posting this. I just went to Alhambra out here in LA to track down the potassium bi carbonate solution, but wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to use it. The recipe I had from Momofuku just said alkaline salts, so I was just going to do a little trial and error. Then I came across your recipe, thank you. The whole ramen recipe looks fanatastic, I’ve tried many different variations and can’t wait to try this one.

  • Spike

    These noodles do require a bit of faith and perseverance to pull off, but boy are they worth it! I coupled them with tonkotsu broth had one of the best bowls of noodle soup on record!
    I acquired the Koon Chun kansui from Asia Supermarket.com.

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  • serissime

    I am really excited about making your tonkotsu broth… but I do not have a pasta tool. If this is really successful, I will hunt down the kitchenaid attachment, but is there a decent brand or type of ramen noodles I would be able to find at an Asian grocery? I have some fresh cooked/packed udon noodles which I know are not the right noodles, but are they going down the right alley? I would think a fresh cooked/packed noodle would be superior to the flash fried type. Also, keep in mind I have never had a “real” bowl of ramen, so I’m not going to be super hard to please here :) On the other hand, is this a noodle that could be hand “cut”? I don’t have a way to dry them, but I assume hand cut noodles can be cooked right away like yours.

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately I’ve yet to find a store bought noodle here in the US
      that comes close to Japanese ramen noodles. The refrigerated fresh
      “instant” ramen packs have descent noodles, but they come with soup,
      so if you’re making your own soup it’s kind of redundant. If you have
      a sharp knife you could hand cut your noodles, but the challenge is
      going to be in rolling the dough thin enough without a pasta roller as
      the dough is very firm. If you go to Chinatown, they do have thin
      (about the thickness of spagetti) yellow noodles, but the ones I’ve
      found seem to lack the chewiness that ramen is supposed to have.

      Udon noodles are quite different from ramen noodles as they do not
      have kansui added (which give the noodles a different texture and
      color). Udon is also much thicker than ramen noodles. That said, at
      the end of the day, if you’re looking for a bowl of noodle soup, udon
      noodles should do just fine.

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  • Wahlee

    BOOKMARK! I have been searching the web for the last week for a ramen noodle recipe and this is the first one I’m excited about trying. I stayed in Japan for 3 months when I was in college and I haven’t had a decent bowl of ramen since! During my search for the perfect recipe I have come across ones that include egg or where the noodle is fried… Do you have any experience with ramen noodles that are prepared this way and whether either of those would contribute anything to the chewy texture that good ramen has?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      The frying process creates “instant” cook noodles that you can just
      add boiling water to, but it will ruin the texture (the noodles will
      come out spongy like in cup-noodles). As for the adding egg, it’s the
      Italian way of making pasta. Ramen noodles do not traditionally use
      egg, they get their firm texture from the wheat gluten’s reaction with
      the kansui.

      • Wahlee

        So I tried out the recipe and I like the texture better then any of the other recipes I’ve tried. The noodles had the texture I was looking for… but it loses some of the springiness before I can finish the bowl. Do you think adding a tiny bit more kansui may help?

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          I’ve actually been experimenting and adding a 1/2 tsp more kansui does
          increase the springiness. Anymore than that though and the noodles
          take on a gummy texture that’s not pleasant. Also while the extra
          kansui is okay for noodle soups, it makes the noodles too sticky to
          use for dry applications (such as stir-fried noodles). One thing you
          could try is to boil them for less time. I’ve actually been boiling
          them for about 30 seconds (in a large pot at a rolling boil) when I
          put them into noodle soups. They’re a little too chewy out of the pot,
          but by the time you get them in a bowl and souped up, they’re just
          right and stay pretty firm all the way through.

          • Wahlee

            I eventually did start to boil the noodles for 30 seconds, however, the noodles still would lose the chewiness before finishing the whole bowl. I will try the addition of 1/2 tsp kansui to the recipe this weekend. I also may add a tsp of salt also to the dough next time too. I love your website and the fact that you respond so quickly! =)

  • dennis

    damn thanks for the tricks!it really worked.Am sooooo glad it really worked out just as instructed. I left half of the dough for tomorrow and see the difference. I let my staff taste the noodles and they were extremely amazed how I did it.

  • edith

    Hey thanks for the authentic ramen recipe! Most recipes I found would put eggs in the recipe which already is a no-no.. especially if you watch Tampopo..

    After reading this recipe I found a Japanese ramen recipe the other day, and tried to decipher it with my limited Japanese. It said that for liquid Kansui you would normally use 2% of the weight of the flour. Which means your third batch is actually the right ratio! The other thing to try is to mix half and half high protein flour (bread flour) and plain flour..

    I’ve tried making noodles with the only lye water brand I could find here in Melbourne, but it only contains potassium carbonate, with ‘poison’ written in big letters on the bottle. I tried it anyway using only 1/4 tsp in fear of poisoning myself. The results was not bad but noodle starts to discolour after putting it in the fridge for a day.. hmmmmm

    I read again that baking powder (made out of 2:1 cream of tartar:baking soda) could be the closest substitute for Kansui.. so that would be my next trial (or error)..

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  • Anthony

    The dough was very tough and non elastic after kneading it. I left it to rest for about an hour and it still was not very elastic. I thought I’d messed up following direction and was about to trash my dough. However, I’d decided to run it through the pasta machine and it turned out great! I’d boiled it and served it to my family and they were amazed. Thanks for the recipe.

  • ­ ­ 

    I sure do love your website! I’m on my way to making homemade tonkotsu ramen, and that sounds good to me ^^

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  • douglas

    I’m trying for the first time since i got back from japan to make ramen myself and i will post what the results are but i came across this site and its helped tremendously i’m making my stock tonight and then putting it all together tomorrow.

  • Cjchun250

    I have used your recipe 3 times now, and we love it!  We used a little baking powder in place of the kansui, and a little gluten flour to promote elasticity.  Tried making them once with whole wheat flour, but they didn’t turn out very good.

    • Anonymous

      Baking *soda* not baking powder.

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  • Nick Grillo

    Hi there,
    so i was going to try out your tonkotsu ramen recipe and make these noodles to go with it but im having trouble finding kansui. ive found some websites that break down the chemical elements that you can purchase and mix your own. some that also say that its basically the same thing as lye water, but if your recipe is designed for a powder id imagine adding lye water instead would alter texture. not to mention who knows if the proportions of the chemicals would be similar. for the life of me i cant find a kansui online to purchase. any link you can provide to an online shop that stocks it?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Harold McGee has a recipe using baked baking soda instead. I’ve never tried it, but in theory it should work: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/dining/15curious.html

      • Kgodes

        I use the ‘Baked’ soda in place of kansui and the results are great.   Preparing the soda is simple and i have been using the same batch of baked soda for months.  
        Great in soups or par cooked and fried.
        Thanks for the great article.

  • K. Michael Moser

    where’s the gluten free part?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Michael, I’m not sure where you got the idea this is gluten free, but this is a recipe that needs flour with a high gluten content (bread flour), so it’s definitely not gluten-free. 

  • Tony

    Great research!  An old professor of mine pointed me to your blog as we both love Ramen and making our own noodles.  I really enjoy your breakdown of the kansui and history of it.  I have spent my time concentrating on getting a good noodle dough and pulling good noodles, but after reading your post I am going to concentrate a little more on the soup part!  Feel free to email if you ever want to talk about pulling noodles!  Thanks for posting!

  • vacafrita

    Made these last night and they were amazing!   I was cursing your name when trying to run that brittle, dry dough through the pasta machine, but in the end, I had a nice, springy, chewy noodle that was better than anything I’ve ever bought from the Chinese grocery.  Thanks!!  You have a new fan! :)

  • Team Bushido

    when i tried boil my ramen they smell like rotten eggs =/

    • David C

      If your noodles smell like eggs, you might have added too much kansui. When you cook with basic ingredients (high pH) you can get an eggy smell.

  • Minnsota_fats1

    i am so full of noodles ty

  • couzinhub

    Thanks for this, I love discovering new ways to make noodle and this was definitely a great success. My wife got a bit scared when she saw me using a bottle with “CAUTION” written all over it, but the result was really perfect. My only comment is that the setting 3 makes my noodle way too thick, different machine I guess, but I had the perfect thickness at 6.

    I’m also very interested into hand-pulling noodles, do you know any ressources about this? I cannot find anything convincing…

    Thank !

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      The trick to hand pulling noodles is to make a looser dough (i.e. more water), kneading it well, then letting it relax overnight. If the noodles break it’s because the gluten chains are too wound up still. There are videos on YouTube that demonstrate the process.

  • Milkteddy

    Thanks for the recipe but i don’t own a mixer . Is there another way to mix the dough together ? perhaps kneading it instead?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      You might be able to use a food processor. Doing it by hand is doable in theory, but unless you are pretty burly, you might have a tough time with the very firm dough.

  • Ramen lover

    Hi Marc,
    I have a problem with my noodle. My dough is in a good shape. After i keep in the fridge for overnight, it smell bad. When I cooked my noodle, my pot of water turned out like very sticky on the wall of pot, and the colour of the water is not clear (very white).
    And after I put my noodle into my ramen soup, and I stir it, it changed a bit my ramen flavor (taste worsen).
    And after 3rd attempt using the same water to cook my noodle, the water is very cloudy.
    Any idea what I did wrong? I make the dough exactly as you mention in your recipe.
    Thank you

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      The dough may change color a little in the fridge, but it should not smell bad. What does it smell like? What about the texture of the noodles? The water turning white might be a result of using too much flour when dusting the noodles. Also, you should only use the water to boil one batch of noodles (unless you’re using a very large pot with a lot of water).

      • Ramen Lover

        Thanks for replying me soon.
        It smell like a bit stink. the only different with the ingredient is that i can’t find koon chun kansui in my place, so i use lye water.
        the texture of the dough is dry and not sticky, so that i don’t use any flour to sprinkle on it when i rolled the dough. 1st roll is very dry, and smoother when i roll it again and again until smooth.
        the noodle texture looks fine (i can’t explain it).
        when i try to touch the pot after cook the noodle, my fingers is very sticky.
        the pot i used is about 25cm diameter and height about 20cm, and i fill the water about 3/4 pot.

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          Were you using food-grade lye? It’s possible the solution you were using is much more concentrated than the kansui I had. You could try and reduce the quantity you use. Either that or you can make sodium carbonate from sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) by baking it in an oven. This is pretty well documented on the internet if you do a search and might yield better results for you.

          • Ramen Lover

            Thanks Marc. I will try again reducing the solution. Hope it turn out good.
            Thanks again…



  • http://www.redrocknoodlebar.com.au/ chinese restaurant brisbane

    My favorite is Ramen noodles, i have some recipe but i was searching something for something new. This seems pretty interesting!

  • Gabriella Cavallucci

    Hi Matsumoto! I’m gonna participate in an anime convention in wich I’ll prepare lots of ramen, my question is, how can store the noodles pre-cooked for the next day without ruin them?? because in the convention I’m not gonna be able to cook anything. 

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Ramen noodles really need to be cooked on the spot or they will stretch out and not taste very good. That said, if you have no other choice, you can cook them about 1 minute less then what the package says, then when you drain them, wash them with cold water to stop the cooking immediately. Then toss them in oil to prevent them from sticking.

  • kimchi_mom

    This is awesome. Making homemade ramen (and udon) is a goal of mine this year.

    Can you store batches in the freezer?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      To be honest I’ve never tried freezing these noodles. That said, I know you can freeze the store bought kind, so as long as they’re floured well enough, I don’t see why you couldn’t.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DWYLKP65QS7GY5EG5ICCQ7MKHE Kelly C.B.

    This recipe sounds really good and I do enjoy ramen very much the only downside is I am wheat intolerant. Is there a way to replace the wheat flour with some type of glutinous rice flour to make it gluten free? I am pretty good at making gluten free foods so if there is a substitute for the wheat flour could you let me know?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Kelly, I really haven’t done much experimenting with gluten free flours, you would probably need to change the recipe significantly to use a gluten free flour. The kansui in these noodles reacts with the gluten in wheat flour to produce the texture and color of the noodles. One thing you may want to try is to find konyaku powder. It’s the stuff that’s used to make those vegan tofu noodles. It’s made from a starchy root (voodoo
      lily plant), and produces a water insoluble jelly that has a very firm texture. When mixed in smal quantities into a flour (doesn’t have to be wheat) based noodle, it produces a noodle with a firmer texture that’s doesn’t go soggy as easily.

  • Stephen

    Just wanted to thank you for the recipe. I am a noodle fanatic and hard core locavore. I make homemade italian pasta all the time and use a local grown and milled organic bread flour with local free-range organic eggs. After my own trip to Ippudo (and yes I even bought the cheesy I Love Ramen shirt) I needed to make home made Ramen. I tried the Lucky Peach Recipe, which uses the baked baking soda as the alkalizing agent and they came out gooey and basically tasted like baking soda.

    I made this recipe yesterday for some hard working Urban Farmers and they even cooked the tiny bits. I do have a question about rolling the noodles out using a Kitchen Aid pasta attachment. Because the dough is so dry and tough, flattening the dough seems to always leave me with some zig zag edges and so I lose alot of noodles when I finally cut them. Any suggestions about working that dough to get straighter edges would be great.

    • stephen

      also another note, I noticed that the noodles did not look quite as yellow as I was hoping for. I spoke to my local flour Miller and he said that because the flour I buy has been milled within a week of purchase, that it is alot more hearty and full of protein and other nutrients. I wonder if the freshness of the flour has something to do with color, texture and how it rolls out.

      next time I am going to roll it out to #4 on the Kitchen Aid pasta attachment because I thought the noodles were a little fat. I’ll let you know how it goes.

      • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

        Glad to hear you like them! The jagged edges will happen, but if you keep folding the dough over and running it through at the largest setting, it should start to smooth out. If not, it’s possible that the flour could have something to do with it. You can try adding more kansui as it’s what gives the noodles the yellow color, though I wouldn’t go too overboard with it as it’s a very strong alkali.

      • E.T.

        It’s probably a little late for this, but young, or green, flour usually is not desirable for recipes that require much gluten development or rely strongly on the flavor of the flour. I bet the flour you’re using is of awesome quality, but I would let it sit for a few weeks in a cool, dry place before using it, so it has a chance to mature, or oxidize. This oxidization will help with gluten formation, and letting the flour rest will also help with fermentation tolerance (not relevant here, but useful for bread making). Green flour also tends to absorb more water initially than mature flour. For more on this, check out SFBI’s Advanced Bread and Pastry.

  • Irene

    This is by far the best recipe for handmade noodles. I’ve tried different recipes but I’ve never managed to make the noodles so chewy and tasty. Thanks a million!

    I made mine by hand, from kneading the dough, rolling it, and cutting it with a knife. A lot of work, but the end result was oh-so-satisfying. I didn’t roll the dough thin enough, so I ended up with udon-sized noodles that I had to boil a little longer, but they came out perfectly springy and slippery. I fried the noodles with eggs, soy sauce, fried garlic, and kecap manis. It was like a party in my mouth.

    I have some frozen homemade tonkotsu soup, I’ll be making soupy ramen next!

  • David Phan

    Hey Marc, did you ever get a chance to make a video for this? I’m having issues with the dough being too brittle and it keeps falling apart… is it suppose to be like this?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi David, nope not yet. I moved and don’t currently have a pasta maker. The dough is going to be extremely brittle, but if you pass it through a pasta maker several times, it should start to come together. Did you use the weight measures for the flour? If not, try using the weight measures as volume measures can be very inaccurate (i.e. the amount of flour that fits in a cup depends on how you scoop the flour).

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  • Sook

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to try this! I love ramen noodles.. and this recipe is much healthier than the store bought ones!

  • Phil

    Marc, the recipe calls for 1 tsp of Kaneko. Is that the liquid or the powder. I can only get the liquid form here.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’m not sure what Kaneko is, but if you mean Kansui, it’s the liquid kind.

  • David

    Hi Marc,
    You said: “I’ve actually been experimenting and adding a 1/2 tsp more kansui does
    increase the springiness. Anymore than that though and the noodles
    take on a gummy texture that’s not pleasant.” What do you mean by ‘gummy’ texture? I was in China and I saw them making La Mian ‘Hand Pulled’ Noodles and the dough became very similar to the look to chewing gum and very stretchy. Maybe this is the stage which you are reaching with more Kansui? Did you know that they also add and alkali to their dough to make it more stretchy and firmer for boiling? I hope you find the time to reply.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It’s hard to explain, but the outside of the noodles got really sticky and soft. Honestly I haven’t tested higher amounts of kansui enough to be able to conclusively say it was the kansui (it might have been due to resting period or some other factor). If you try larger amounts of kansui I’m sure we’d all love to hear how it goes:-)

  • travellingchef

    Point of interest for you, along with a question. Imperial dry and wet measurements are different from U.S. standard measurements. For example, 1 Imperial cup = 20 fluid ounces and 1 U.S. cup is 16 fluid ounces. 1 Imperial cup holds 250 ml and the U.S. cup holds 200 ml. The question is, which are you using?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      We’re based in the US, so unless otherwise specified (for example “rice cooker cups”) all measurements are in US cups.

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  • ebmsynthp0p

    What is the best was to store these noodles? do i need to toss them in flour before i store them? How long can they last in my fridge? BTW the best noodles ever

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      They’ll keep in the fridge for a few days if you dust them generously with flour. They do have a tendancy of turning grey though. Best way to keep them long term is to freeze them.

      • ebmsynthp0p

        Thanks Marc for the info.I do love your recipes. One more thing If i just keep them in the fridge for a day or two should I leave them in plastic bags or just out on a trey or plate? Thanks for the reply too.

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          You don’t want them to dry out, so they should be covered, but if you seal them too tightly, the condensation might make the noodles stick together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cook62 Elmer E. Encinas

    Thank you so very much for sharing with us your knowledge and secrets of so many delicious food recipes,I wish you more success in life cause you have unselfishly shared your GOD given talents with us. I can never forget how crazy I was of ramen with pork when I was in Beijing. Everyday I would eat lunch or dinner and order the same ramen. Just like you I always assumed the oil on top of the soup was entirely sesame oil,now that I know the real score thanks to you plus the recipe of home made noodles when I get to pursue my dream of a small resto when I retire someday I will always have you in mind for your kindness and knowledge shared.Good health always…elmer frm manila

  • Nancy

    Thank you for the science behind noodle making. Have you seen a book called “Asian Pasta” by Linda Burum. She uses wheat gluten with flour to make her noodles. I have had pretty decent results with her recipes.

  • Jay

    Marc, what pasta maker are you using? I want to make sure I have the right equipment before I try this!
    Thank you,

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I use a kitchen aid with the thin pasta attachment. It’s a roller type, not an extruder.

  • coffeecat

    kansui (or akaline) water is a very commonly used additive on some chinese food. perhaps you may find it in chinatown… it is also pronounced as ‘kan-sui’ in cantonese.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joey.kyle.5 Joey Kyle

    I made this last night and it turned out pretty good. My only problem was I couldn’t find any kansui so I used about 3 tsp of soda ash instead so the color was off.

  • fenn

    I think your recipe is a little brittle/dry when using the pasta maker. When it goes through the spaghetti cutter, the noodles break into little pieces. I think probably 2/3 cup water and 1 tsp kansui or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 tsp kansui may be work better for me…

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      There are a lot of factors that could influence this. Did you use weight measures (vs volume measures) for the flour? If you used volume measure it’s possible you’re scooping more than 300 grams of flour into a with your measuring cups. If you weighed your flour (and assuming you followed all the other instructions precisely) it’s possible your flour has a lower moisture content than the flour I use (King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour). In that case, increase the water slightly. The dough should still be very brittle and not come together fully until you’ve passed it through the rollers 6-7 times.

  • Marissa

    Made this and it turned out great! Thank you so much for a fabulous recipe that will be made often.

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  • Doug Yoshimura

    Hi Marc, thanks for posting this recipe. I’m in a suburb of Denver and have made about 5 batches so far of your noodle recipe using Koon-chun kansui, and King Arthur Bread Flour. I followed the recipe exactly as written for the first two batches and they came out okay but what a struggle to work with that dry of a dough! I adjusted the amount of water by adding approx. 1/4 cup of additional water and just a tiny bit less kansui and it made life a whole lot easier and the taste and texture was fine and didn’t suffer from the changes (maybe actually it was a little less sulphury smelling than with 1 level teaspoon and a lot less smelly than with a dribble over a teaspoon). I am using an Italian made manual crank noodle cutter/roller and leave it at it’s widest setting (7) for the first few passes and then gradually get it to the middle setting (5) after a couple more passes. I trim the ragged edges, wipe water on them, and then lay them on the center straight piece and use a rolling pin to roll it to an even thickness (to keep the edges somewhat straight) as I go through these passes and then fold the length in half and half again before wrapping it with plastic wrap and tossing it in the fridge overnight for the rest. The next day I run it through a few more times at 5 (trimming and rolling) before the final roll out at 3 and cutting it into thin noodles. Just for grins, I think I might try to adapt this same recipe for a try at hand-pulling noodles. Thanks again. Doug

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  • http://twitter.com/Mozbo_Artist Mozbo

    Hi Marc! I received a motorized Atlas pasta machine for Christmas, and am having a blast playing with pasta doughs. Through trying the different thickness settings, I found that I could achieve a ramen-like noodle, which started me on a search for ramen dough recipes, which led me to you!

    A few random thoughts and observations…

    ~Regarding the kansui, or alkaline water – From my experiments with making pretzels I learned that the alkali reaction to flour when in contact with water, causes the proteins in flour to gelatinize – This is why some people notice a “slimy” feel, and why it may be related to too much or too strong a kansui solution.

    ~Noodle dough will turn gray because wheat enzymes start to break down once flour gets wet. While not very attractive looking, the dough is still edible – My mother made homemade noodles her entire life, and in quantities that would be refrigerated for 2-3 days until made into noodles and eaten. If you lightly re-knead the dough a bit, the discoloration works back in, and you simply move on. :)

    ~If you let the dough dry for about 10 minutes before running it through the cutters, you will find that it is less likely to stick. I also lightly dust my cutters with flour first.

    ~I too live in Colorado, and for this altitude your dough is a bit too dry. Adding a few extra Tablespoons of water eliminates a lot of breakage and toughness problems, especially if you then let the rolled dough dry for a bit before cutting it. Weighing the dough is a MUCH more accurate way of cooking – I do it for fresh bread as well.

    ~Another poster, “Nancy” mentions the book “Asian Pasta,” and how the author uses wheat gluten in her noodles. That is something that interests me, as Vital Wheat Gluten is often added to AP flour, and even Bread Flour to give the dough more elasticity. Have you ever tried using it? I would expect it to make the dough a bit tougher to handle, but the chew might be fantastic. It might also allow for less kansui…

    ~Why do you not recommend letting the noodles dry? Packaged ramen is deep fried to remove all moisture, which gives the noodles longevity. Even Italian Egg Pasta can be dried. Any specific reason you recommend against this?

    Sorry for the “mini-novel,” but thank you immensely for sharing your recipes!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Wow thanks for all the great info! I was recently introduced to vital wheat gluten through the process of making seitan and the the first thing I thought of was about adding it to ramen noodles. I haven’t tried it yet, but will let you know when I give it a go. As for not letting the noodles dry, you can certainly do it, but I just prefer the texture of fresh pasta, whether it’s Asian or Italian. The reason why instant ramen is deep fried first is to make them cook faster (i.e. just add boiling water). I find deep fried noodles tend to have a spongy texture, so even with “instant” noodles, I prefer the type that have dried noodles that need to be boiled a bit longer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/noopd David Poon

    Hey Marc, thanks so much for this recipe. I’m just starting my journey to make my own ramen and it’s very hard to find instructions. This is awesome. May I ask where you are located?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I kind of wander around the world so don’t really have a place I call home, but right now I’m in Japan.

      • http://www.facebook.com/noopd David Poon

        hey, thanks for your reply. I live near san francisco. I just started following your blog so i’m excited to try a few new things. Anyways. I have another question regarding your ramen recipe. Some other recipes i see has eggs in it while yours doesn’t. What do you think about egg vs. no egg? Also, can u do egg AND kansui or they don’t go together..

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          I think the difference may be between Chinese noodles and Japanese ramen noodles. Japanese ones do not typically contain egg. Still it wouldn’t hurt to try. Let us know how it goes if you give it a shot.

  • Herman

    Hi Marc,

    I also enjowy making noodles and have experimented with kansui. The kansui really makee the noodles more springy and rnon-sticky. The only problem with the kansui is the eggy smell, taste and discoloration (greyish) of the noodles. How can this be avoided are reduced?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Boiling the noodles as soon as they’re made reduces discoloration, and you can cut back on the smell by reducing the amount of kansui. I haven’t tried this yet, but as another commenter suggested boosting the gluten content of the flour may be one way to cut back on kansui while giving the noodles an even better texture.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jonjonkwan Jon Kwan

      I’ve tried using baking soda instead of kansui. The eggy smell/ taste isn’t that strong in my opinion. But it doesn’t get as yellow as the one pictured!

  • Sarah Morehouse

    You wonderful man! I can’t put packaged ramen noodles into my own broth because any unfermented soy makes me very sick, and all the brands around here have soy bean oil. This recipe gives me a way to have ramen! Life-altering!

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  • Ellen Liu

    Thanks for the recipe. I added a little more water to make the dough easier to work with. When I ran it through the pasta machine , I dipped the dough into a little flour and it worked out great. My husband is allergic to yellow dye that is in a lot of the commercially made ramen noodles and this way I control what goes into the noodles. I used the noddles to make Dan Dan noodles. They taste like the ones from PF Chang. Will definately make it again.

  • Jennevieve Sevilla

    Just out of curiosity, what kind of pasta maker did you use, brand wise?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      It’s the one that attaches to a Kitchenaid stand mixer.

  • nmharleyrider

    I found the kansui with no problem at our local international market. I made the dough using the 2 cups of flour with 1/2 cup of water and a tsp of kansui. I used my dough hook for a full ten minutes, after which I was not even close to a gravely consistency. It looked like I had added no water at all. The color was not even a pale yellow. I added another 1/4 cup of water and another tsp of kansui. The color barely changes at all and was a slightly off white color. I kneaded the dough some more and then finally thru it onto my board and tried to push it together into the two balls I was supposed to make out of it. I then put each ball through my electric pasta rollers but the dough just fell apart into little pieces. I kept on putting these pieces back together and then back into the rollers. After doing this, folding the dough in half, and rolling it again it finally came together into a course looking dough. Nothing smooth or sophisticated about this dough for sure. I worked both balls of dough this way, wrapped them in plastic wrap and they are now resting in the refrigerator. I am wondering why the original recipe was so far off for me, having to nearly double the water and doubling the kansui with no appreciative color change. I live in New Mexico and it is very dry here so I imagine the flour was very dry also and needed the extra water but to have to double it? As far as the kansui is, I cannot imagine how much of that I will need to pour into my mixer to get this golden yellow color you described.

    Very frustrated and disappointed here as you can well imagine. We will see what happens when I take the dough out of the fridge and work it tomorrow

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi, I’m sorry to hear you’re having problems with the dough. Next time, try using a scale to weigh the flour. Flour is easily compressed and the way 1 person measures 1 cup can contain a significant amount more flour than the next. Even the shape of the cup can make a difference, (round bottomed cups compress less and will hold less flour than flat bottomed cups). That’s why it’s pretty important to use weight measures when precision is important. It could easily account for the 1/4 cup extra water you needed to add. As for the kansui, did you use Koon Chun brand? Different brands have different concentrations and so you may need to use more or less.

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  • ATB

    Hi Mac,
    Do you know the name of ramen that Santouka Ramen used ? Do you think this ramen was imported from japan ? Tks.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi ATB, Santouka is a Japanese chain that started in Hokkaido. I’m assuming they have a factory somewhere in Japan that cranks out their noodles. They’re a little unique in that their noodles are very thin for ramen from hokkaido. Usually thinner noodles come from the southern end of Japan (Hakata).

      • ATB

        Tks you for your sharing.

  • ATB

    Hi Marc,

    Do you know the style and name of Ramen noodle which Santouka store used ? Is it imported from Japan and Mitsuwa Market place have carry it ? Thanks you so much.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Ramen isn’t like Italian pasta in that there are no names for specific noodles. Typically Hakata-style are thinner and Sapporo-style are thicker and chewier, but there are always exceptions (like Santouka). What I was saying about Santouka is that they probably manufacture their own noodles, so you won’t be able to buy just the noodles as a store (although in Japan, Santouka sells a just-add-water instant ramen).

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  • Stephen Arellano

    Hi Marc, I have been using your recipe to make ramen noodles for a while now and have added these noodles to an assortment of pasta that sell as a small cottage food business. People in Michigan are not hip to the ramen craze yet, but I am working on them. Personally, I am grateful for your recipe and have had many a delicious bowl thanks to you. My question has to do with drying the noodles. My fresh noodles turn out great. However, when I dry them in nests they look fantastic but they break up into small pieces when cooking. I use the nest because it seems like the best way to prevent breakage . Do you have any suggestions about drying process or recipe that could help with this? I tend to make the dough with more liquid than you suggest and am wondering if that might be the thing. Thanks in advance! I would post a picture of the nests but it doesn’t seem to allow that.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Stephen, I’ve never tried drying ramen noodles, so I’m not sure I can be of much help. I do know that most dried ramen noodles in instant ramen packs are once flash fried. This is intended to make them cook faster, but I also wonder if it helps them not fall part too. Actually now that I think of it, almost all the instant ramens I can think of either come refrigerated with fresh noodles, or with flash fried noodles. There are some exceptions, but they may also be processed in some way before drying them.

  • Luke LeClair

    Is there any kind of a substitute for kansui? The part of Canada were I live has little to nothing when it comes to international ingredients.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Luke, I’ve never tried this, but Harold McGee has a method of turning baking soda into a stronger base http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/dining/15curious.html?_r=0 this should in theory mimic the effects of Kansui on the gluten in the flour, but since I’ve never tried it I can’t say for certain.

  • Mackenzie

    Looks good

  • Leslie

    Anyone experiment with Gluten Free flours when making noodles?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Leslie, the firm chewy texture of ramen noodles is produced by the gluten in wheat flour reacting with the kansui. It’s going to be tough reproducing this with a gluten-free flour, though if I were going to take a stab at it I’d probably start by using a high ratio of tapioca or kudzu starch to a filler flour. You’re also going to want to omit the kansui and add some turmeric for the yellow color.

    • Habitablaba

      Although I doubt anyone will check this a year after the original post…
      I’ve made successful gluten free & vegan noodles / pasta dough with just buckwheat flour and a ‘flax egg’ (3 tablespoons ground flax, 1/3c water, blend). I rolled it all out by hand with a rolling pin, so I’m not sure how it will stand up to a pasta roller. I also found that I had to be extra liberal with the flour on the rolling surface and pin, since the dough remained quite sticky.

  • Joe

    I just tried this recipe with King Arthur bread flour, and there is way too little water. I follow the weight measurements, so there is unlikely to be a problem with too much flour. The weather here is fairly humid as well. It could be the extra high protein content in King Arthur flour. I had to add almost another 2Tsp of water to get to dough to even be workable. My suggestion to others attempting this recipe is to add a teaspoon of water at a time half way into the mixing process to make sure there is not too many dry spots in the flour.

    • Flower & Monster

      Yes, too much gluten. Asian wheat doesn’t have that much. It’s a cross between cake and all-purpose flour.

      • Steve Ford

        I don’t know about “Asian” flour, but when i lived in Japan they sold pretty much low protein (cake) or high protein (bread) flour, there was no all purpose.

  • Nay Jade

    i cant find kansui here.. its hard to find it everywhere can i make it by myself..? using something familiar in here? please help me, i want to make ramen for my husband >_<

    i wacthed japan movie "chef from north polar" theyre mention about making ramen without kansui, they cant make ramen because theres no kansui, but the scientist part told the chef to make kansui with something i cant clear enough to know, baking powder or baking soda or something..

    are there any other way to make it?

  • Ramen is awesome

    Hi Marc,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I had instant success. I still have a ways to go before I can be truly proud of my ramen, but on my second try I got good color and decent texture. I don’t have a mixer or a pasta roller and did it all with a wooden spoon, bowl, a rolling pin and a knife. I am confident now that with some hard work and experimenting (and maybe eventually some better equipment) I will make ramen that the ramen gods will deem worthy. Thanks a million and when I am not super broke I will donate.

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  • Amanda White

    on the dvd Kung Fu Panda in the special features there is a video with Alton Brown on ramen and the noodles. In case you wanted to know how one restaurant forms the noodles.

    ~ Amanda White

  • Matt Romano

    Hi Mark, this may be a stupid question. My pasta machine only has 8 settings, so do I still use the 3rd last setting when rolling the dough out before I put it through the spaghetti cutter?

    • Rob Johnson

      Peek into your roller and estimate the thickness that is the same width as your spaghetti cutter. I have 8 settings as well with the kitchen aid stand mixer attachment, perhaps you use that. If so, I find setting 4 makes noodles with a symmetrical cross section

      • JF

        Thanks for that I made it with the Kitchen aid attachment to number 5, I will give my next batch a go to #4

  • Joe Sneed

    So where do I get Koon Chun Potassium Carbonate & Sodium Bi-Carbonate (kansui) ? I’m here in Vegas.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Joe, I don’t know Vegas very well, but any large Chinese grocery should carry it . If you happen to be in LA, try 99 Ranch Market.

  • Matthew Amster-Burton

    FYI, I just tried this recipe using Harold McGee’s baked baking soda substitute for kansui, and it worked great. I started with 1 teaspoon of baked soda, figuring I’d adjust as needed, but 1 teaspoon turned out to be fine.

    • Jason C Reasoner

      bonus points for the Harold McGee reference

  • 3MinuteTV

    Hi Marc, Thanks for the really insightful article and explaining the science behind this. I used the baked baking soda method with bread flour and it turned out great – uploaded a video of the process here as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wySzXVxuUI
    Keep up the good work with your site!

  • Yaunchi

    It seems a lot of people are having problems finding or understanding the whole Konsui… To break it down simply Kansui is “Lye Water”. It can be purchased on amazon or from several Internet stores. You also use this for making pretzels and other types of pastries. Note though…. The Lye Water has to be for cooking…. DON’T JUST GET LYE… You get sick or worse. There is an FDA requirement to be considered safe for human Consumption

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  • Isho

    What temperature is the “warm water”

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Isho, it doesn’t really matter as long as the water is not boiling and is not cold. I’d say anywhere from 35-60 degrees C should be fine. Using warm water aids in the formation of gluten.

  • Shih-An Cheng

    Thanks for the post. I read a book “Ivan Ramen” by Ivan Orkin, he uses the combination of rye flour/cake flour/bread flour which suppose to give it more flavor. (70g rye/ 620 g cake/ 300g bread/10 g kansui powder/430 ml water/13g salt) This book is quite fascinating, you might really enjoy it.

  • josh

    awesome… thanks.
    I have been cooking for a living for 21 years… appreciate the hand-over of knowledge greatly!.

  • ikoiko

    Thank you sooo much for the recipe! I’ve been looking for years for a handmade ramen noodle recipe. I went to our Thai Market to find the kansui but they didn’t have any. I did see the lye water though but the owner said it wasn’t for making noodles. I kind of think it’s because he’d lose money from me making my own so he lied. 😛 I’m going to do the baked baking soda recipe and when I get to a bigger city I’ll go and find the kansui. Thanks, again!!!! 😀

  • Jim Piriyalertsak

    I tried your recipe yesterday and it’s turn to be quite OK. However I need to make noodle a bit tougher. Your one is soft and elastic. I have found that if you add some salt you might toughen the noodle. I will try again on Monday and I will add about 4.5 gram to the recipe. Any suggestion before I process would be nice.

  • Eating on Two Wheels

    Hand pulling is fun! You might not end up with perfect looking noodles, but they’ll still taste great, and you’ll have all sorts of laughs bouncing and stretching the rope! I had success hand pulling with a baking soda (not even baked soda) recipe, but didn’t get the nice yellow color (or, I suspect, the really springiness). I’d like to try it again with the kansui or baked soda.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Eating on Two Wheels. hand pulling noodles is a blast, but I think you’ll be pretty disappointed if you try and pull this dough. It’s far too dry and brittle to pull. That’s probably why Japanese ramen noodles are almost always cut, not pulled.

  • JimbreezyWho Dat Le

    I want to ask if there is a gluten free version of this recipe? thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi JimbreezyWho Dat Le, the gluten is what gives ramen its texture, without it they just won’t be ramen. That said, there are lots of gluten-free pasta recipes out there if you’re just looking to make noodles.

  • Jared Asachika

    Just wanted to know… is there a way to incorporate seaweed puree into the ramen noodle recipe? I wonder if it would be similar to making spinach pasta. Or would the seaweed puree throw off the PH balance too much?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jared, I’m not sure what the purpose of adding seaweed, to the noodles would be, as most seaweed doest have a ton of flavor. If you’re looking to infuse them with more flavor, you could add powdered dashi konbu to the dough. They do this in Hokkaido and it turns the noodles a mossy green and gives them quite a bit of flavor. It needs to be served in a really simple broth (like a clear shio) though otherwise the konbu gets lost. Kind of similar to how you would serve a flavored italian pasta really simply (olive oil and maybe a little cheese).

      • Jared Asachika

        My primary goal was to see if the puree would give the noodle a slightly different texture and a green color. Overall, I wanted to make a green-noodled ramen topped with an assortment of seaweeds. I’ll try the powdered dashi konbu though. Thanks!

        • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

          Hi Jared, if you primary objective is to give the noodles a green hue, I’d recommend using spinach powder. The green color from seaweed tends to give it a brownish green color that’s not especially appetizing. That said, powdered konbu will give the noodles a great flavor. Good luck!

  • Joe

    Hi Marc, when you say boil the noodle for just over a minute, do you mean from the time as soon as you put the noodles in the boiling water or after the water comes back to boiling again? Maybe I need to use more water but as soon as I put my noodles in, the water stops boiling and then takes about another minute for it to boil again.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Joe, you’ll probably want to use more water if it’s taking that long to come back to a boil, but the timing is based on when you put the noodles in the water.

      • Joe

        Thanks Marc!! I’m going to try it again!

  • Rei Ayanami

    Hello Marc! What would be the proper storage for this noodles and how long would they last refrigerated? Im planning to have a party on a weekend, but do the noodles ahead of time as I will be doing the broth from scratch as well. Thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Rei, sorry I missed your question. it’s best to make these noodles fresh as the color tends to turn an unappetizing shade of grey when they’re left in the fridge for too long. The broth can be made ahead and frozen.

      Sent from Mailbox

  • David

    Hi Marc. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I have been seeking this for a long time. I didn’t get success( not firm enough) for the first time because I didn’t follow your procedure. I got very OK noodle (80% similar to the outside ramen) for the second time. Now I realize “… mixer and run on medium high speed for 10 minutes” meaning something. It will distribute the kansui more even so that will help to bond the protein much better by the mixer strike. The result is the firm noodle.

    I hope more people will get help/ benefit from your website.

  • Dana Beckstoffer-Yares

    Where can I buy the Kansui??

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Dana, it depends on where you live, but Chinese grocery stores usually carry it in the same aisle as soy sauce and other bottled sauces.

      Sent from Mailbox

  • Dana Beckstoffer-Yares

    Thanks! I’ll give that a try.

  • Aaron Freeman

    So, you use the same liquid amounts as you would with the powder? Good to know, because I ruined 3.5 c of dough using too much kansui liquid…

  • Kaori

    Love this recipe and use it a lot! Thanks Marc!

  • Dan

    Hi Marc, I’m finally feeling adventurous enough to try making my own ramen noodles and was wondering if you could answer a question Google is failing to: What’s the conversion between liquid and powdered kansui? Thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Dan, I checked both the bottle and the maker’s website and it doesn’t mention the concentration anywhere, so I’m afraid I can’t give you an answer. You’re probably going to have to experiment. Try preparing a few bowls of solution at different concentrations and use them to make a small bit of dough. You want enough kansui to turn the dough yellow, but not any more than necessary.

  • Pat

    Watched a cooking show where they put baking soda in oven which turns it into potassium bicarbonate/citric same as kansui. Just don’t know how long to leave in oven.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Pat, I’m not sure where you saw that but the show is wrong. Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate 2NaHCO3) turns into Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3) when baked. Potassium does not magically appear and it’s certainly not citric acid (C6H8O7). Sodium Carbonate is a strong alkali like Kansui though so in theory it should work(though I’ve never tried it). Just spread the baking soda out onto a sheet and bake it in a 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes. If you do this, please be careful with the Sodium Carbonate as it is a caustic substance that can cause chemical burns if it’s not handled properly.

  • Sem

    Hi Marc, I planned to open a small ramen shops. Do u think is wise to take up a ramen course in Japan. If yes, do u know a good master ? Many thanks !

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Sem, while it’s certainly up to you how you wish to proceed, if I were going to open a ramen shop I’d certainly consider apprenticing at a ramen shop I like in Japan. That said, Japanese ramen shops can be very protective over their recipes and typically aren’t as open to staging as western restaurants so unless you have a connection that can help introduce you to a place it can be hard to make happen. Good luck!

  • yumi

    Hi Marc,i am going to make ramen follow this instruction,i live in UK,i can’t find “kansui” here,so is there any ingredient i should use instead of kansui?Thank you!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi yumi, the kansui is what gives the noodles their color and texture, without it you just have regular pasta that will go mushy in soup very quickly. I’ve heard that you can achieve a similar effect by baking baking soda in the oven for an hour. Since I’ve never tried it can’t can vouch for the technique or tell you how much to add. Try doing a search on google for “alkaline noodles”.


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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