Ramen

Continuing to look for more uses for my pasta maker I wanted to try making my own ramen noodles. The noodles are pretty simple, but for one special ingredient; ramen noodles are made with an alkaline solution. While I do have some lye from making bagels, its pretty powerful stuff; it seemed like using some sodium carbonate would be easier and safer. Sodium carbonate can be created by heating sodium bi-carbonate (baking soda) in a low oven for about an hour.

The alkaline reacts with the flour to help develop the gluten, giving them that chewy texture. The dough was a little tougher to form than normal pasta dough, but the kitchen-aid was still able to manage it. After rolling it out and cutting with the spaghetti cutter I had homemade ramen noodles.

The noodles ready to be eaten or frozen for later.
A test sample
Pickled radish, sauteed mushrooms, green onion, bone broth, seaweed/nori, soy-egg, shoyu/miso tare, sesame oil, tofu, miso, and the handmade noodles.
Fully assembled

Its a lot more work than instant ramen, and there is still room in my pantry for the prepackaged noodles; but this was excellent, and a fun exploration in cooking a new food. There are so many different ways to prepare ramen I can expand and simplify as I want. Next if I want to put in even more effort I can try making Chashu pork belly to have with the ramen.

Rainy days are hard for us all

Its been a very wet and rainy spring in Seattle, and it looks like we may be in for a wet and rainy summer too. Its hard for me, because I would rather be outside enjoying some sunshine, but its difficult for others as well. I found this little guy clinging to a window trying to stay dry during one of today’s downpours.