Ramen noodles are springy because they're made with kansui, an alkaline lye solution. However, as Harold McGee discovered, baking soda makes a good substitute when heated in the oven to increase its potency. This recipe combines McGee/Dan Felder's method in Lucky Peach, along with the traditional method of using a combination of high gluten and low gluten flour. I swapped out some of the low gluten flour for an alternative flour (rye, kamut, whole wheat, buckwheat are just some possibilities) to add flavor, nutrients, and color. Feel free to experiment with your own substitutions -- that's the best part about making noodles from scratch! —rhubarb! rhubarb! rhubarb!
Basic Ramen Noodles
Ramen Noodles Variation with Alternative Flours for Added Texture and Flavor
bread flour (high gluten flour)
cake flour (low gluten flour)
rye, kamut, or other flour of choice
In This Recipe
Spread the baking soda out in a pan and bake at 275° F for an hour, then dissolve in hot water.
If using rye or kamut flour, toast in a pan until it smells nutty.
Combine all flour in a large mixing bowl.
Add hot water mixture, then cold water, stirring to form a rough ball. The dough will be fairly stiff.
Knead aggressively for 5 minutes until dough becomes more elastic. Let rest for 20 minutes, then knead again for 5 minutes.
Allow the dough to rest for at least an hour in the fridge.
Flatten the dough into a disk and cut into 6 slices. Each slice is a single serving of ramen.
Roll each portion out to around 1/16th or 1mm thickness using a rolling pin or pasta maker. If the dough is too elastic, allow it to rest for a few minutes before continuing.
Cut noodles using a sharp knife or a pasta maker. If cutting by hand, dust the sheet of dough with flour to prevent sticking, and fold over twice. Slice as thinly as possible.
If not using right away, cover with a slightly moist cloth and allow to air dry.
Boil in salted water for 5 minutes and serve with your choice of toppings.