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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home-made Alkali Noodles

Following up on my ramen post, I decided to make some alkali noodles to complement the level of flavor development that I had with the smoked brisket and bacon broth I used for the last ramen post. The noodles, which I bought, were just not good enough, they were soft coming out of the bag and got softer after a bried cooking. I think ramen needs to have noodles with texture and tooth, because of the hot broth, the alkali noodle is a perfect foil for the broth.

I am basing this on a variety of sources, but, took a large amount on inspiration from Lucky Peach, the aforementioned quarterly from the mind of David Chang. Since I based it upon his recipe, I hesitate to publish the recipe, as you should really buy this publication. However, the real key is simple, you need some form of kansui, an alkaline powder, which lends additional body to the noodle.

I went with a batch using 3 cups of flour and just enough water and kansui to pull a rough dough together. This was then kneaded for 5 minutes, an athletic 5 minutes, to pull together the dough into a not quite smooth dough.
Wrapped in plastic wrap and allowed to rest for 20 to 30 minutes, this results in the time for a second kneading, to further develop gluten, I suppose.
After this, since I was not going to need the noodles today, I split the recipe in two, wrapped the dough balls in plastic wrap and placed in the refrigerator. It needs to be in there for an hour at least, so my plan is to chill them for at least an hour, then I will freeze one ball and keep the other one for tomorrow night.
One day later, I rolled and cut the ramen by hand, this was not by choice. I would sure like to know where the heck my pasta rollers have gotten to. How could they get lost? Oh well, ramen rustica I guess. After rolling, I hand cut and floured the noodles.
These were later boiled in hot water while everyhting else was prepared. Since I did not want to do a lot of cooking tonight, I went with a simple 'tare' of Tonkatsu sauce. I happen to like Tonkatsu sauce and it works great to support the flavors in ramen.
Tonight was leftovers, so I at the last of my brisket dashi, fortified with some chicken legs and some furikake I had lying around. A couple of eggs, shreds of chicken and some green beans from last night. Ta Daaaa! Quick(ish) ramen dinner.


  1. Your pasta rollers must be hanging out with your pie server. :-) Have you found either of them?

  2. No, but, I am shedding no tears over a $3 pie server. I am somewhat disturbed that the $100 pasta rollers are missing.