How to Make REAL Japanese Ramen From Scratch

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Intro: 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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

7 People Made This Project!

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486 Discussions

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GiggyL

Question 3 months ago on Step 1

Can you give me a recipe that does not call for white flour? I work with a lot of people with Diabetes/ Prediabetes, so would love to try to make these noodles with higher fiber that can help them achieve a better blood sugar yet still give them the taste they love. Have heard of vegetable pasta, but not sure how I would do that incorporating with flour?

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Warren4GiggyL

Answer 2 months ago

You could use zucchini noodles as an alternative. I like them better than regular old wheat noodles anyway (now that I can’t eat them, ahha.)

All you have to do is toss three or four zucchini into a spiralizer, or peel them if you don’t have one, and then prepare them with salt and olive oil. (Salt after cooking to preserve crunch.)

I hope you can find this useful and apologies that this was so late!

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DesertChef

Question 4 months ago

I really would like to try this, but my arthritis prevents me from prolonged, vigorous kneading. Can I use a food processor for most of the kneading?

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DesertChef

4 months ago

You mentioned in the article that tonkotsu broth takes hours of simmering; it does take hours, yes, but you don’t simmer it! You need a rapid boil for the entire process, because the boiling action emulsifies the fat into the broth. That’s whate makes that silly, creamy texture and the signature milk-like opacity!

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inthesnow

6 months ago

Thank you for posting this recipe and method. I have considered making my own ramen but not had a recipe that looked approachable to me. As far as the suggested meat/veg: when you mentioned cabbage (hakusai), I accidentally read hokusai - and all I could picture was a great wave of noodles and shredded cabbage flowing over the side! :)

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JoeyyBoyy

Question 6 months ago on Step 8

Why does the noodles show sausages in the bowl? Is it necessary? What kind did you use? Thanks.

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emartin18

9 months ago

http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/how-make-ramen-noodles#1

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zethrealMichelleP203

Reply 11 months ago

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.

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Swansong

1 year ago

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

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AngelineL3

1 year ago

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

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DerekJ29

1 year ago

http://luckypeach.com/recipes/fresh-alkaline-noodes/

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.

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ChefBoyRDaddy

1 year ago

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

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fwanc

2 years ago

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

3 replies
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KittyFfwanc

Reply 2 years ago

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

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HoboJoe666KittyF

Reply 2 years ago

I think your talking about udon noodles

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JoshH159HoboJoe666

Reply 2 years ago

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

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ManaR1ShaneB10

Reply 3 years ago

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