Ramen noodles, I used to buy by the dozen in college for like $3 bucks. These small noodle bricks are still in high demand with a third of the grocery store shelf space and loads and loads of sodium that I now feel guilty having made these for my kids when they were bitty. Although, pho being all the rage and that supermarket aisle has cultivated a higher level of ramen choices. I still scope out the sodium intake and retreat to the thought of making my OWN version to keep this a reasonable level.
So the first time I made this ramen recipe, I was all in. Meaning I was breaking in making the noodles with my new pasta attachment. What I discovered in my research was noodles for a ramen-style dish needs to be substantial and not get mushy after being in the broth long. To achieve this, I needed to incorporate an ingredient found in Asian markets called Kansui. Kansui is a mixture of sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate. Kansui, when added with water, changes the waters PH level thus giving the noodles a firm, chewy structure. And the color of ramen noodles is yellow due to the reaction of the wheat with the alkali salt (Kansui) not necessarily from the eggs.
What I discovered after a bit of review was that I didn’t need to go on a scavenger hunt for this first ingredient. I had the stuff in my cabinet for years. Not literally, but it is an everyday pantry staple and to my amazement what I needed to do was bake it.
Baking, Baking Soda. No, that is not a typo we are going to bake the baking soda to transform it into an alkaline salt.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and spread one cup of baking soda onto an aluminum foil covered baking pan. Bake for one hour. Store tightly in a glass container for about six months.
Caution, the baked baking soda (now alkaline salt) could irritate your skin when handled.
This recipe I found with great success from blogger Sandy of gingerandscotch.com and is now officially in my recipe box for great eats at home. This ramen with some garlicky ginger bok choy is now my healing mojo for sniffling colds and winter weather season. It makes a decent amount for two (okay maybe) three people. I could quite honestly kill the pot in one sitting. Something about that broth with spicy ginger and cold killing garlic makes it all worthwhile. Granted, when you aren’t feeling spiffy to whip out these noodles, it is OKAY to use store bought. I prefer even though not traditionally a ramen-style noodle is using Koyo brand Udon noodles. (Not sponsored, just loved.)
Alkaline Noodles for Ramen Recipe
Highly recommend using a pasta machine or attachment. This dough is quite tough to handle. Also, whenever doing a recipe that is primarily flour I find it to be the best practice in weighing your dry ingredients. A kitchen scale comes in handy when needing exact quantities. Flour can be tricky when measuring as it can be over packed and result in the wrong amount.
- 2 cups of all purpose flour (240 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baked, baking soda (aka Kansui)
- 2 tablespoons water
- First, you will mix the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl.
- In another bowl, add eggs.
- In a mug, add baked baking soda and one tablespoon of water and mix till completely dissolved. Then add this mixture to the eggs. Whisk together gently till incorporated.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix with a fork. The mixture will be crumbly at first. Using your hands, continue to form dough into a ball while adding a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough is a ball with no crumbs left in the bowl.
- The goal is to keep the dough on the dry side, if it is too moist it will stick when running through a pasta machine.
- Continue kneading dough for one minute then let rest covered in a bowl with a damp towel for 30 minutes on the counter.
- At this point, you will want to continue kneading for 3-5 minutes, rest again covered for 30 more minutes.
- Roll dough out, divide into two portions. Return one half to the covered bowl. Flatten the other half into a disk sprinkled with flour and fed through your pasta machine starting with the widest setting. Feed through 3 times and then adjust rollers to the next setting and feed through 2 times per settings till the thickness you prefer.
- Cut dough into strips by hand or by pasta machine. I used my spaghetti cutter on my Kitchenaid, and it was a perfect size. Lightly dust the dough sheets before feeding through the cutter.
- Sprinkle more floor over noodles and shake into loose bundles onto a cutting board and set aside till ready to boil.
- To cook noodles, bring a large pot of water to boil. Do not add salt. Add noodles to boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes tops. These noodles need to be al dente when added to the final soup base.
Now, for the Garlicky Ginger Bok Choy Soup!
This ramen with some garlicky ginger bok choy is now my healing mojo for sniffling colds and winter weather season. It makes a decent amount for two (okay maybe) three people. I could quite honestly kill the pot in one sitting. Something about that broth with spicy ginger and cold killing garlic makes it all worthwhile.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 bunch scallions
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 ct. baby bok choy
- 4 ounces homemade alkaline noodles
- Salt to taste
- Chopped scallion greens
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Crushed red pepper flakes
In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Trim the ends off the scallions and chop up the light green stem. Save the dark green tops for topping. Next, add the scallions to the pot with the garlic and ginger. Cook, occasionally stirring for 2 to 3 minutes until the garlic and ginger are fragrant.
Pour in the chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
While broth is simmering, cut the end off the head of bok choy. Cut off the stems and then cut the stalks into thin strips. Roll the leaves together and also cut into pieces.
In a separate pot boil water for cooking the ramen noodles: Do not add salt. Add noodles to boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes tops. These noodles need to be al dente when added to the final soup base.
Add the stems to the broth and cook for 5 minutes or until stems are starting to be tender. Follow with the leaves and cook for another 5 minutes more. Finally, stir in the ramen noodles and simmer soup until the noodles and bok choy are tender 4 to 6 minutes. Taste and add salt as needed.
Divide soup into two bowls. Then top with chopped scallion greens, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes.
Read original blog post on how to make amazing alkaline noodles (aka ramen) with homemade Kansui!