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!
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Step 1: Gather your ingredients

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 3: Knead that dough.

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 5: Stretch it!

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!

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!

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.

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.
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It is a lot of work but then again with a new article I saw on how the prepacked stuff is preserved with a chemical they found causes heart disease and other problems this is timely, I have a member of the family with renal disease that can't take a lot of salt, (usually toss out the "flavor pkt" on the instant stuff and add my own veggies and no salt seasoning because of that) Do you think a Potassium Chloride salt substitute would work in the recipe?

This is exactly why i looked up this recipe! yea if we are doing ramen in this house, It's with real noodles not plastic.

I'm so used to ramen looking nice, and having everything in place. The picture you featured with the vegetables mixed in, doesn't look appealing at all, I'm sorry to say. The vegetables look really soggy. And the white stuff over it? Is that egg? I like to eat the eggs first, it doesn't look nice mixed up with the vegetables like that. I'm sure it tastes great, but without the appealing look, it just doesn't work for me. But thanks for sharing the recipe though. :)

Perhaps you ought to check Google Images for a few representative pictures? You might find that your idea of ramen appeal is the exception and not the rule...

Nhat-VietP14 days ago

It's sad that INSTANT ramen is assumed to represent FRESH/homemade ramen. But logically, shouldn't instant ANYTHING naturally be kept separate from the slow versions?

It's also sad how "bukkake udon" carries a certain connotation...

balbers21 month ago

i love it, i just made some. i'll be making this again. thank you! :)

joscie1 month ago

this looks good! I for my soup I like soy sauce, a little dashi and a little sugar. super yum!

johnny1081 month ago

"a greasy, carcinogenic mess."


It is NOT a geasy carcinogenic mess!

It is a salty carcinogenic mess!.

ebarnett41 month ago

Thanks for sharing! The recipe was nice and turned out better than I thought it would. Waiting for my broth to finish and then digging in :D

baomien2 months ago

If you add one or two drops of oil to the boiling water the noodles stick together, thus helping to prevent a "gungy mess" when your attention is distracted elsewhere in the kitchen - like when you are attending to the soup.

baomien2 months ago

I have used ordinary flour in this process, but I find that using cornflour (maizena) works better for me. You will get a ''silkier" feel to the noodle dough.

baomien2 months ago

When I make it knead the dough on your draining board (clean and scrub it clean first of course) at the kitchen sink. As the surface is wavy it will cut down on your kneading time.

mschaefer42 months ago

Literally buying the ingredients now. Should I buy sausage or is it not needed?

ttofu3 months ago

Thx a lot ^^

at last a recipe which gives instructions how to do it right

I HAVE TO try it out!!!

JayRRNoodle made it!3 months ago

I just purchased the Rapid Ramen Cooker. It is the coolest way to make Ramen Noodles in the Microwave.

cheapo3 months ago

Hehe, I never thought of seeing recipes on Instructables!! Awesome!! I'll try this.

rapidschnell4 months ago

Is there a maximum time to allow the ball to "rest" in summer?

hard water or soft water, though

I worked off this recipe almost 1 year ago, with a slight difference. If you would be okay with it, I'd like to link to this recipe from my Ramen Broth recipe on a different site.

Mmmm! I just tried it and it tastes delicious! Better than the stupid store-bought fake Maruchan instant packet of ramen noodles! :D

breanatif696 months ago

We eat a lot of ramen. This sounds great. Going to try it today. Thank you.

I love this recipe! I tried it the first time and it was a hit with my husband, who wasn't a big ramen fan.

To serve, i just boiled some pork cutlets, added some liquid seasoning, salt and whole pepper. I boiled an egg with the stock to have a hard-boiled egg on the side. After boiling the pork i took it out and fried it briefly to make it toasty and quick fried some tofu, bell pepper and string beans. Poured the stock all over my noodles and just arranged the toppings over everything.

Thanks for this great and easy recipe and instructions! :)
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lucky a 6 pack can cost from 2 - 5 dollars in aus and thats just the maggi brand best ones are mi goreng although an army buddy told me they support al queda which is really bad he still eats them but i refuse to ( :'( they were really good noodles) now i normally just cut the meat of a marinated kebab and fry that up with some onion (because of the preservative or sticking agent used by woolies though now it will jsut sitck together (totally sucks) so if youre making ramen a recipe i absolutely loved was the sweet misou steak with ramen on otherwise just slice up some chicken and marinate it over night the marinade when poor into the pan can be fryed of with somewater to produce a ice fine stock (make sure to use strong flavours as it will be diluted by the water i really like thin hokkien noodles( if anyone knows where i can get some naruto (not the anime the swirly fish cakes it would be appreciated)
Darmek1 year ago
Very nice
scarlet361 year ago
I've always wanted to know how to make ramen. Thanks for the easy recipe!
I already know how to boil chicken and other ingredients and am fully capable of making my own soup. However I wasn't sure how to make noodles and in that endeavor this was very helpful.

My only complaint is that they tasted more like what you might get in chicken noodle soup. Still quite good though.
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DGP_Maluco2 years ago
Well, like most outside the cultural country's that do have ramen, in mine we don't, I never tried it but I really looking forward to try it, just made the first steps it wen't as described! Awsome, its resting now!

I never tried Ramen, hope I love it :)

Just need chopsticks :( IDK where to get some.. I know how to handle them but I never saw them for sale... And I don't have a restaurant near by where I could get some damn :)

Hope it turns out great! Its a healthy way to eat!
you should be able to get chopsticks in the Asian foods section of a major grocery store. If they don't have any, you could try to find an Asian grocery store. I live in a suburban/rural area, & we have 3 within 20 min. drive. as l last resort, ask for extra when you order Chinese take out. good luck
philbert11 year ago
The author's remarks about Ramen in the US being unhealthy and carcinogenic is unfounded. The gist of this recipe is how to make noodles . . which, in and of themselves are just a starchy filling . . not necessaritly healthy as a food choice by itself. . . and then salt and bouillion as additives for the mix, are not healthy either . . A cursory search online can give you recipes on how to make noodles . . nothing special here . . the most important thing for a healthy and delicious Ramen is ingredients . . the author suggests just tossing a flavor packet from one of those Ramen packages included in the cheap Raman . . well . . for everyone's information . . that is the unknown factor in store bought raman and is the carcinogenic part if there is one . . it'd be nice if the author was teaching people how to make a flavorful ramen and healthy one by instructing on how to prepare and add meat and vegetable ingredients. . . too bad. . this is just a recipe to make noodles. You'd be better served to buy noodles pre-made and learn how to prepare ingredients.
I'm not sure they realize that chewing is part of the digestive process..

Whole ramen noodles vs obviously chewed home made noodles.

And some how that is suppose to equate to 'death by preservatives' or whatever their over all argument is.

..Seriously guys? -_-
ajocys osgeld3 years ago
this is much more tasty and healthy, because you dont know what they put in the instant packets.
Maybe price wise but seriously, taste wise, health and wellness wise it is incomparable.

I haven't given this recipe a try yet but I'm going to. We eat ramen a lot in my house hold because we love soups. But because it's so bad for you we've been trying to get away from it and then end up coming right back. So I think this will be a great alternative of sorts. Thank you muchly for the recipe and step by step!
REA elxia4 years ago
when K mart was here, they sold it 10 cents each. we used to buy them by the shipping box full.
I've seen it at wal-mart.
i don't know where you're from but here in the usa they're 15 -20 cents a pack..... btw neryam, good instructable i think ima go makes some now....
Im from usa ...mabye its because i get mine from post
when i get mine i either get a 12 pack from walmart for $2 or a 6 pack from dollar general for $1
you can get the better versions of the instant packets that would be better to compare at .99 to $1.49.
BUT the time is still a huge difference.
still though its nice to see how its done from scratch.
barneytomb2 years ago
High Gluten flour is bread flour.
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