Introduction: How to Make REAL Japanese Ramen From Scratch

Picture of How to Make REAL Japanese Ramen From Scratch

As a person living in Japan, I feel sad at how ramen is treated in the west. It is considered the epitome of junk food; a greasy, carcinogenic mess, lacking in any nutrients whatsoever and only to be eaten as a last resort or as a college student...
Here in its home country, ramen is, if not the healthiest thing around, at least something that you can eat every day and not get sick. And of course, the taste is incomparable.

This recipe will teach you how to make true ramen from scratch, with little more cost than a instant ramen packet (depending on what you do for the soup). It does take some extra effort, but if you enjoy cooking and know how to knead things, it should be fine!

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

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You will need:
3/4 Cups Flour (see below)
1 egg
~3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
~1 tbsp water (depending on flour and humidity)

In Japan, we do not have all-purpose flour, only low gluten and high gluten flours, which we have to mix. If you do have easy access to these flours, you should mix about 1 part low gluten to 2 parts high gluten. Otherwise, just use all-purpose flour. It's not vital to the noodles.

This dough doubles or even quadruples very well, although the dough becomes harder to knead.

Step 2: Combine.

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Mix the dry ingredients, make a well in the center, and beat the eggs and water inside.
Then slowly combine the ingredients together.

Step 3: Knead That Dough.

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Once your ingredients are somewhat combined, dump the stuff onto your CLEAN counter and start kneading. It should be a little stiffer than bread dough.
The dough is ready when your hands become fairly clean and the dough does not stick as much anymore (and when your forearms are sore). When it is the right consistency, you should be able to lift your hand and the dough should fall off after about a second.
If it's too sticky, add some flour and knead it in. If it doesn't stick at all, add some water a few DROPS at a time.

Step 4: Rest.

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The dough needs to rest before we stretch it, otherwise it will not make nice thin noodles.
Put it in a damp cloth and find something to do for at least 30 minutes in the summer, up to 2 hours in the winter.

Step 5: Stretch It!

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Take the dough ball and (if you are making a double or triple portion of the recipe) break it into a single portion (Otherwise we'll get a massive dough circle). Sprinkle some flour generously over the dough, take a rolling pin or roller and start stretching it. I suppose you could use a ravioli dough stretcher thing too, but I don't have one of those.

If you can, get it to about 1mm in thickness. If it starts sticking, get some more dry flour onto there.

If it starts springing back to its original shape, let it rest for a minute or two.

Step 6: Cut the Dough!

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Get the sheet of dough and put it onto a cutting board so you don't damage your counter. Spread flour LIBERALLY on the surface, because if it starts sticking when we cut it, our ramen will be ruined. Fold it two times in the same direction, each time spreading flour on the surface. finally, get some flour on the top. Don't worry, all that loose flour will wash off when we boil it, and the flour in the water will keep our noodles together also.

Once it is folded in a strip, start cutting it. A wide square knife is best, but any knife will work as long as it is big enough.

Periodically spread some more flour. It won't hurt anything and it's best to be safe rather than sorry.

Once you have a pile of cut noodles, toy at them with your fingers to unfold them. toss them around with some more flour, just be careful not to break the noodles.

Step 7: Boil It!

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I hope you got some water boiling already. I always forget. Anyhow, once the water boils, salt it, then sprinkle the noodles into the water. if you dump them in, they will stick. Mix the noodles around with chopsticks.

As long as the water is hot enough, they should start floating.

I usually boil them about 4 minutes, depending on how thin I got the noodles. The best way is to just taste the noodles and drain them when they're just soft enough. You can also boil some vegetables or meat with the noodles to heat them up, just make sure to not cool the water down too much when you put them in.

Step 8: Add Some Soup and Eat.

Picture of Add Some Soup and Eat.

This is the part I myself could use some help on. I just mix concentrated chicken stock and soy sauce (or miso), but if you're desperate you can use the flavor packet from instant ramen or something. Do not just use soy sauce or miso without any stock, because it will taste like crap. And for the love of god, do not use tomato soup or any of those American concoctions.

If you make or have your own stock, then yes, just the stock and some seasoning will work perfect. You can also make tonkotsu soup with pig bones, but that amounts to about a day of simemring and reducing, something I am too lazy for.

Spinach and Chinese cabbage (hakusai) both go great with ramen, as does most kinds of mild meat.You can also add corn, peas, or any other manner of frozen vegetables. Eggs also go will in the soup, hard boiled or mixed in.

Finally, let us examine the price. The eggs, flour and salt should come to no more than 50 cents. Depending on how much you spend on your soup, you should be able to get a decent bowl of ramen for about a dollar in ingredients. Not much more expensive than a instant packet! You can, of course, really go crazy on the condiments.


MichelleP203 (author)2017-06-03

Is this recipe for one bowl or two?

zethreal (author)MichelleP2032017-11-08

This is the same recipe I use for spaghetti and it would be a very large single bowl of ramen. This would make more noodles than 2 packages of instant ramen. Just going by my spaghetti recipe, I'd say this should make, with veggie & meat additions, enough noodles for 2-3 bowls or so.

Swansong (author)2017-04-12

My favorite is tonkotsu ramen because I used to live in Fukuoka, but this looks yummy! I need to try making my own noodles. :)

AngelineL3 (author)2017-02-13

I have made it, its tastes very close to the type of noodles served in japanese ramen restaurant. I think traditional japanese ramen noodles do not use alkaline in it. Whereas chinese noodles definitely do

DerekJ29 (author)2017-02-07

I don't know what the benchmark is for "Real Japanese ramen", but I'm pretty sure the one posted on LuckyPeach is closer than the ones posted here.

There is nothing wrong with a new method or new style, but calling something real or authentic should be reserved for a common style of ramen made in Japan and as far as I could find there isn't a common style of ramen made with eggs.

ChefBoyRDaddy (author)2016-12-11

Thank you for this recipe! My whole family loves these noodles, they are great!!

Easy Weight Loss (author)2016-10-12

Mmmmmmmm :)

AndyS171 made it! (author)2016-10-04

itidakumasu! Thanks for the easy recipe. Here's my scratch ramen and bootleg tonkotsu! I used porkchops on the bone and left it in my slow cooker with bamboo shoot carrot onion and plenty of other goodies, topped it with an egg them devoured it! Lol thanks again!

fwanc (author)2016-02-14

I'm going to try and make these gluten free.

KittyF (author)fwanc2016-04-20

Try making them with buckwheat flour. Buckwheat isn't wheat and doesn't have flour but may not cling together as well so you won't be able to make them as thin. but there is a japanese noodle that's made with buckwheat flour

HoboJoe666 (author)KittyF2016-06-21

I think your talking about udon noodles

JoshH159 (author)HoboJoe6662016-09-10

it's soba noodles. Though udon noodles are great! (they're the super thick noodles.)

tiger12331 made it! (author)2016-08-29

My first time trying this recipe and I love it, easy and delicious.

javiermendez made it! (author)2016-06-19

This idea was GREAT, I boiled some chicken with Kale and a red pepper to make the soup to use with these noddles. Thank you!

ShaneB10 (author)2015-08-16

Japan, home country of ramen? HAHAHAHAHA!

ManaR1 (author)ShaneB102015-08-30

Yeah Japan is the home of ramen. Lamian (Chinese ramen) is what it is based off of but isn't the same

WeilunM (author)ManaR12016-04-13

but ramen and lamian means "pulled noodle", the fact that Japanese no longer hand pull their noodle, the ramen is the fake version of lamian. BTW, ramen is just the japanese pronunciation of lamian.

NathantheGray (author)ShaneB102016-04-05

Whats so funny about Japan being the home country of ramen? ???

OrpaT (author)2016-03-19

its so hard to get thin noodles!!!

hotlinedingo (author)OrpaT2016-03-20

Just buy a noodle cutter.

BearT (author)2016-03-11

How much chicken stock and soy sauce should I add? And do sweet Italian sausages go good with ramen? That was the only kind of sausage I could find in the supermarket, except for hot Italian sausage and those frozen breakfast sausages.

GracieT4 (author)2016-03-10

I found this recipe about four years ago, and it's definitely my go-to whenever I make ramen :) I've had an itching to make it again, and it makes me happy to see that it's still one of the first things to come up in an "authentic ramen" search. Just be aware that this uses an egg-type noodle, which tastes perfectly fine but some people claim that other types of noodles are superior/more authentic. It really all depends on where you go and who makes it.

TaylorG13 (author)2016-02-25

I'm citing this as a source for a speech- in speech class. I would love to email it to you when I'm done writing. I also plan to make this for dinner, thanks for posting!

karimicus (author)2016-02-14

Looks great, any recommendations on what nongluten flour you could suggest for this recipe

marilyn.stonecipher (author)2014-12-16

I wish I could print the instructions out. I really want to make this. I love soup and I love noodles and I'm always jealous of Anthony Bourdain eating all the good ramen in Japan!

I just copy and paste into notepad, or openoffice. or you could buy the PRO version and download the PDF file.

Petra Silverbird (author)2016-02-05

I am a sucker for homemade foods and I look forward to trying this out. Thank you for this instructible!!!!!

Ninzerbean (author)2016-02-05

May I suggest that you change the title to How to Make Ramen Noodles. I was looking so forward to the reading of the ingredients and instructions to the incredible nuences of the broth of real ramen. I know how to make egg noodles and your directions for those are great.

craftyv (author)2016-02-04

This is an excellent Instructable but after all the comments I am confused so, I will try it your way and ignore the rest and go from there. Thank you.

MaxwellP4 (author)2015-12-29

How long approximately would you have to wait for it to rise in about 14 degree celsius temperature?

Eirinn (author)MaxwellP42016-02-04

It doesn't rise. Leaving it in a ball in the fridge is for flour hydration. Basically for the flour to incorporate the moisture.

WilliamH119 (author)MaxwellP42016-01-19

it dose not rise. once mixed use rolling pin or pasta maker to form if you use a pin it is harder but roll it flat and then cut in to strips, hang to dry if using right away I have learned that letting it dry for 15 to 30 min helps some.

dave.bishop.14 (author)2015-04-19

How is there no mention of baking soda being added to the noodle dough??? It is the KEY component that by altering the Ph of the dough, gives the ramen noodles their unique texture. These are just egg noodles.

backing soda is not the normal ingredient they use a water high in Alkaline, but if you bake, baking soda you get a compound close to the Alkaline water so it is used as a substitute.

WilliamH119 (author)WilliamH1192016-01-19

forgot real ramen dose not use eggs either, but some use it to help with texture. Do not use egg with Alkaline water or backing soda, texture will be to chewy.

Eirinn (author)WilliamH1192016-02-04

I've done it with regular pasta dough (has eggs). Consistency was just right :)

AutumnB2 (author)dave.bishop.142015-04-20

How much baking soda would you add to this recipe?

Stanley974 (author)AutumnB22015-05-23

At LEAST half a teaspoon

Stanley974 (author)2015-05-23

This is NOT a ramen noodle this is your basic egg noodle. A ramen noodle has no eggs but is basically flour,salt, baked baking soda (foil lined baking tray at 250* for 1 hour) and water. When you make this noodle, it is a REALLY eggy noodle. If you want a actual ramen noodle, make one with naked baking soda.?

The chinese owners of the resturant I work for buy and prefer egg noodles. They say its more authentic. So I think its a regional thing. Egg noodles are more filling and nutritious.

Eirinn (author)morningsdaughter2016-02-04

Regular noodles and Ramen noodles are the same thing, AFAIK. The difference is that Ramen noodles are treated with an alkaline solution that makes them more chewy.

billbillt (author)2016-02-04

Could I ask what kind of sausage you are using here?..


billbillt (author)2016-02-04

Aside from all of the bitching here, I thought this was great!....

Animangafan made it! (author)2015-08-12

My noodles turned out thicker than i wanted them to but I'm sure I'll get better the more I practice. I grilled some meat and boiled an egg while waiting for my dough to rest.

WilliamH119 (author)Animangafan2016-01-19

when I make my ramen I use the same thing I make for angle hair pasta it makes it nice and thin.

ChristopherJ24 (author)2015-09-01

I can get instant ramen for 19 cents per pack, but it has way more sodium than homemade.

The cheep packs of ramen use sodium for a preserver but real ramen using Alkaline water has a high sodium content and is not as bad for you as normal sodium.

HannahW10 (author)2015-08-06

Can the dough be refrigerated overnight or will it ruin the consistency?

WilliamH119 (author)HannahW102016-01-19

if you have more than you need like I do I dry it however this recipe, well any with egg should be used asap but real ramen or any pasta that dose not need egg can be dried and then put in air tight container for later use how ever it can spoil easy if the air gets. I only store mine for a few days however friends of mine take my noodles home after dried and they keep for a couple of weeks.

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