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.