Perfect Ramen Noodles;post_5320963_content
Kansui is not available in the US, so one needs to make their own. It is a mixture of sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. 5% of the flour with Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten in order to increase the gluten by about 2% sodium and potassium carbonate.
Okay, I found the equivalent of Kansui Powder, in Chinese shops it’s a clear liquid. Under a popular Koon Chun brand, it comes in a clear glass bottle labeled “potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution” and the UPC is 0-20717-80230-8. Interestingly, this is the same key ingredient in Chinese hand-pulled noodle recipes.

Common Instant Ramen Add-ons
1. Egg: Using one egg per packet of ramen, scramble in a separate bowl. When ramen is almost done, drizzle egg in a thin stream over surface of boiling liquid/noodles. Allow to cook for about 15 seconds then stir gently and cook an additional 15 seconds before serving.

2. Vegetables: Frozen or leftover cooked vegetables are appropriate since the cooking time for ramen is so short. Frozen peas, corn, pearl onions, mixed vegetables, snow peas and spinach all work well, larger frozen vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower do not. Chopped scallions or chives always enhance ramen.

3. Meat: Any cooked meat works well, such as deli meat and leftovers. Canned tuna, salmon or chicken are good. Some unusual additions that work well are canned smoked oysters, frozen mini meatballs, and cut-up frozen veggie burger chunks. Fried Spam slices are really good with Sappor Ichiban Ramen.

4. Flavor Enhancers: If for some reason the ramen doesn’t have enough salt (a common situation when extending a single package with lots of add-ons), soy sauce, fish sauce, or even Worcestshire sauce works well. If you have kimchi, the juice greatly enhances any broth. Some people like to add a sour component like red-wine or rice-wine vinegar to ramen broth as well.

5. Pickles: Kimchi works extremely well as a topping, side dish, and flavoring agent. Japanese “takuan,” bright yellow pickled daikon radish, adds textural contrast and oil-cutting acidity as a topping or side. A similar effect can be achieved with gherkins or cornichons.

Many Asians eat noodles in an unusual way, particularly noodles in a hot soup base. Some call it “slurping”, but the actual method is more akin to straight-up inhaling–in slurping, a relatively tight seal is formed by the mouth around the noodles resulting in a squeegee-like effect on the noodles and a slurping sound, with most of the suction coming from action within the mouth rather than via breathing. When eating ramen however, it’s best to not form a tight seal because the noodles and broth are hot. The loss of suction requires greater incoming airflow to compel noodles upwards, thus one actually inhales sharply with one’s lungs, drawing a bite of noodles into one’s mouth. In this way I’ve actually eaten an entire bowl of ramen in three mouthfuls.

Yuck! red red

https://1tess.wordpress.comThe right noodles are a necessary element of a perfect bowl of ramen. The noodles are thin, like some Italian pasta (that word is a latinization of the Greek παστά) especially vermicelli or capellini. But ramen noodles are not the same. They are chewy, springy, and crinkly. They are often wrinkled into a 2 serving brick which makes a convenient way to prepare the right amount of noodles. The crinkles are also fun to look at and eat.

8 thoughts on “Perfect Ramen Noodles

  1. Ah ramen would be purrrrrfect for the coming cold weather here. I think it is the crinkles I love plus all the toppings. Lets have an excursion to the ramen museum at once! Well okay a virtual excursion..

    • Our spring here has been very cold, except for one or two isolated days. I made the ramen stock and toppings so recently whent the temperatures should have been warm. Freezes well. It was good luck for me: the stock making was nice and warming on a cold dayI

      don’t know, can you get good ramen where you live in a restaurant?

      As to the excursion to the ramen museum, I’m interested in tasting a porky-white broth with butter, corn, and some bitter-ish greens on top. And some nice tender pork slices (ie: fatty, juicy, luscious). And don’t forget the garlic dare.

      Hey! See you there at 10 tonight! OK?

      LOL: we are having some nice leftovers here tonight, could be almost as good. J. cooked…

      less than 3, less than 3. And of course the familiar X O X O—
      you always cheer may day,

  2. Hi Tess,

    Sounds like you’re looking for alkali water, it’s the ingredient that gives the noodle elasticity or QQ as the Chinese would say. Koon Chun is the brand. Chinese/Asian groceries should carry it.

    • Hi Amy C—

      Yes! That is exactly what I will be looking for.

      I feel so illiterate, no matter how many times I shop in some Asian markets around here, but at least I now know what to ask about.

      Have you made ramen noodles? or some other sort?

      Thank you for the information.


  3. Hi Tess,

    I haven’t actually tried to make ramen noodles, not brave enough. I would love to take a stab at it one of these days. I really love ramen and it would great to make it at home.

    • Hi xiaomoogle,

      Yes, I love that movie—now I want to watch it again!

      food sex and the enlightened path of the noodle…
      ♨ Ψ ♡ ♂ ♀ ⇒ Ω ∞ ♮ ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

  4. Pingback: Homemade Ramen Noodles! « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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