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Homemade Ramen Noodles

Thy Tran

Servings: Makes 24 oz. uncooked noodles, or 6 servings

The yellow color and earthy fragrance of traditional ramen noodles comes from alkalinized water (known as kansui in Japan), which is reminiscent of the mineral-rich water once drawn from wells. Look for bottles of premixed alkaline solution in Asian markets; a clear liquid with milky sediment, the alkaline solution may be labeled “potassium carbonate” or “sodium hydroxide.” Finely ground 00 flour, with its higher protein content, is also key because it gives the noodles their firm bite while retaining their silky smoothness.

Editor’s Note: Thy shared her noodle making technique during her popular Ramen Noddle Workshop presented by Fine Cooking at Eat Drink SF 2014. As part of the workshop, Chef Paul Piscopo of Pabu and The Ramen Bar demonstrated Chef Ken Tominaga‘s legendary ramen broth.

Visit Thy’s blog The Wandering Spoon to learn more about her culinary travels and cooking classes.


  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 Tbs. kansui (see note above, or see below about how to make your own kansui)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3-1/2 cups 00 flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Potato starch


  • Stir together the hot water, kansui, and salt in a medium bowl until dissolved.
  • Put the flour into a food processor fitted with the dough blade; pulse a few times. With the machine running, drizzle in about 3/4 cup of the kansui mixture. Stop to squeeze the dough and incorporate any clumps of dry flour. Continue mixing in the water 1 teaspoon at a time just until the dough forms small, distinct balls that, when squeezed, meld into a smooth mass.
  • Knead by machine for 3 minutes, then finish kneading by hand for 2 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a smooth square, wrap in plastic, and let rest for at least 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 1 day.
  • Divide the dough into four pieces. Using a pasta machine, pass each piece through the rollers, starting with setting 1 and working through to setting 5. Coat the dough sheets well with potato starch to prevent sticking, and then pass noodles through the thin-width cutters. Dredge the noodles evenly with more potato starch.
  • Boil immediately, or wrap well and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Note: To make kansui in a dry form, thinly spread 1/4 cup baking soda on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hour at 250˚F. Let cool and store in a tightly-sealed glass jar. To make ramen noodles, stir 1 Tbs. dry kansui powder into 1 cup of water until completely dissolved, before adding the salt.


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Reviews (4 reviews)

  • TheGreatThrowdini | 08/21/2020

    I agree with Brian, the recipe is confusing. The ingredients state 2 Tbs of kansui and the note says to add 1 Tbs of kansui to the cup of water. Can someone at FC update with correct information.

  • hiphopsays | 05/23/2019

    @brian_ss I made the kansui (1 tblspn to 1 cup of water) and then used 2 tblspns of it for the recipe which requires a cup of hot water.

  • brian_ss | 03/23/2019

    Hi, I'm not sure about the directions being clear -
    to make your own kansui, do you add 1 tbs cooked baking soda to 1 cup water, and then add 2 tbs of that solution to the 1 cup water in the recipe?
    Or do you add either 1 or 2 tbs of cooked baking soda to the 1 cup of water in the recipe and ad that to the flour??

  • RachaelN | 01/28/2016

    The directions were clear and the results were great!

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