What Are Authentic Ramen Noodles Made Of?

Ramen noodles are made from a combination of wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui; alkaline water that contains sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate (usually) and a little phosphoric acid (sometimes).

We’re here to share some fascinating information about the Japanese noodles with you from Thy Tran of the Wandering Spoon and Ken Tominaga, the head ramen chef at Pabu SF. The two shared their tips for making and eating ramen. No. 9 is essential, be forewarned.

Making good ramen noodles at home is a simple process, so long as you have a few key ingredients.

What Are Authentic Ramen Noodles Made Of?

What Are Authentic Ramen Noodles Made Of?

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  • Using bread flour, which has a high protein content, gives you a noodle with a good amount of chew.
  • Supplementing the protein content of bread flour with vital wheat gluten produces an even chewier noodle.
  • Using baked baking soda (sodium carbonate) in the dough gives the noodles their characteristic elasticity, springiness, and glossiness, as well as their flavor.
  • Running the dough sheets repeatedly through the pasta rollers both develops a strong gluten network and aligns it horizontally along the sheet, giving the noodles their “bite.”
  • You can make excellent noodles at home if you have a few essential but common ingredients: high-protein bread flour, vital wheat gluten, and baked baking soda. You can buy high-quality noodles from manufacturers like Sun Noodle, but you must have wheat-based alkaline noodles in order to enjoy a bowl of ramen.

    Although they could theoretically be used with almost any ramen recipe, these noodles are intended for use in shoyu ramen and miso tori paitan, and are best paired with relatively light-bodied broths. This recipe, which yields four portions of noodles, is based on the formula shown below for a single portion of noodles (using this formula, the recipe can be scaled up or down as desired):

  • 99g King Arthur bread flour
  • 1g vital wheat gluten
  • 1g kosher salt
  • 1.5g baked baking soda
  • 40g water
  • When creating this recipe, we consulted three noodle experts: Mike Satinover (a chef), Kenshiro Uki (the vice president of operations for Sun Noodle), and Keizo Shimamoto (the owner of Ramen Shack and Shimamoto Noodle). k. a. Ramen_Lord).

  • 6g baked baking soda
  • 4g Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt or other kinds of salt, use the same weight
  • 160 ml water
  • 396g King Arthur bread flour (see note)
  • 4g vital wheat gluten (see note)
  • To Make Noodles: Add baked baking soda to water and stir to dissolve completely, about 1 minute. Add salt, and stir until dissolved completely.
  • Combine vital wheat gluten and bread flour in the bowl of a food processor fitted with metal blade, or in the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Process until thoroughly mixed, about 30 seconds in a food processor or 1 minute on low speed in a stand mixer.
  • Increase speed to medium-low and, with machine running, add 1/3 of liquid at a time, allowing time between each addition for liquid to be fully absorbed, about 30 seconds. After final addition, allow machine to run until flour and water mixture looks pebbly, about 1 minute. If using food processor, stop machine and let rest for 30 minutes. If using stand mixer, stop machine, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes. (This pause is to allow the flour to more fully absorb the liquid.)
  • Press dough into a ball and divide into two roughly equal portions. Place both in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent them drying out.
  • Working with one portion at a time, flatten balls to a thickness of about 1/5 inch (the dough will be very stiff, so do the best you can, as it will make it easier to run through the pasta rollers). Run flattened disk through widest setting of pasta roller, followed by the second widest setting, followed by the third widest setting, followed by the fourth widest setting. Fold dough sheet in half, so it is half of its original length, then repeat entire process two times (it will become significantly harder to run the doubled up dough through the rollers in each iteration). If done correctly, longitudinal lines will form on the sheet of dough. Wrap dough sheet in plastic wrap or place, folded, in zip top bag, and repeat process with the remaining portion. Let dough sheet rests for at least 30 minutes before proceeding. Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik
  • Working with one dough sheet at a time, run dough through progressively narrower settings on your pasta machine, until it reaches the thickness you desire (~1-1.5 mm). Run final dough sheet through the spaghetti cutting attachment; dust noodles with flour or corn starch to prevent sticking, shake off excess starch or flour, and fold into loose nests. Alternatively, dust dough sheet with flour, fold it, dust again with flour, and fold again, to form a stack of dough. Using a sharp knife, cut through dough at regular intervals to produce noodles. Once finished cutting, shake noodles to loosen, and fold into loose nests.
  • Place noodles in zip-top bag and refrigerate overnight. (Noodles can be used immediately, but they improve significantly in texture and flavor if allowed to age slightly.)
  • Before Cooking Noodles (optional): Gather noodles into a ball and compress with your palms on a clean, dry surface, using a similar amount of pressure you would use to compress a snowball. Loosen noodles and repeat process, gathering them into a ball and compressing with your palms. (This brief compression gives the noodles their signature curls.)
  • To Cook Noodles: Bring large pot of unsalted water to rolling boil over high heat. If using noodle baskets, add noodles to baskets and plunge in water, rapidly stirring noodles with tongs or chopsticks in basket to prevent sticking. If not using noodle baskets, add noodles to boiling water and stir vigorously with tongs or chopsticks to prevent sticking. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes if using hand-cut noodles; cook for about 1 minute and 30 seconds if using noodles cut on spaghetti cutter. (The exact cooking time will depend on your preferences and on the thickness of the noodles.) Drain thoroughly, shaking off as much excess water as possible, and add to hot ramen broth.
  • King Arthur bread flour is mentioned here because it has one of the highest protein percentages of all the bread flours available today. You will need to test the noodles to find out exactly how long they need to boil. One noodle should be divided into five or six pieces, added to boiling water, and then taken out of the water every ten seconds beginning at one minute and thirty seconds. To ensure the proper boiling time, according to your preferences, repeat the procedure as many times as necessary. Add 10 seconds to the total time after accounting for the time the noodles spend sitting in the hot broth bowl.

    Vital wheat gluten is a protein additive that is used to increase the “chew” of breads and noodles. It can be found in most supermarkets, health food chains, and grocery stores like Whole Foods.

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Noodles are best made 24 hours in advance to use. They can be prepared up to three days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Noodles can be frozen and kept for up to three months after spending the night in the refrigerator.


    The newest variety, miso ramen, is also one of the most well-liked. It is distinctly Japanese and includes a sizable amount of the traditional Japanese ingredient miso fermented soy. The chicken or fish broth, which may also contain lard, can be either medium-thick or thin. You can find miso ramen with many different toppings.

    Nearly every region and major city in Japan has its own unique ramen dish. A few have become nationally and globally famous.


    What are actual ramen noodles made of?

    A packaged variety of instant noodle known as ramen is made from wheat flour, a variety of vegetable oils, and flavorings. To reduce cooking time for consumers, the noodles are pre-cooked, which means they have been steamed and then air dried or fried.

    Are real ramen noodles healthy?

    Due to the use of enriched wheat flour in their production, the majority of conventional ramen brands have high starch and carbohydrate counts (between 40 and 80 grams net carbs). At the same time, they lack any real nutritional value. And as evidenced by research, eating refined and excessively processed starches may be harmful to your health.

    Are ramen noodles made with real chicken?

    The only ingredients in ramen noodles are wheat flour and oil, with the occasional addition of flavorings like salt or extra fillers like potato starch. All of these ingredients are vegetarian or even vegan.

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