How to Make Ramen Noodles from Spaghetti


I saw a wonderful method that magically transforms spaghetti to ramen noodles in Japanese SNS. Does 1 tbsp of baking soda in boiling water change spaghetti noodles to ramen noodles? Sounds too good to be true. But this seems to be a known method, which has been used by desperate Japanese who crave ramen noodles outside of Japan.

I tested with a box of angel hair in my kitchen. I boiled a potful of water and threw 1 tbsp of baking soda in it. I was a little alarmed, because the water started to bubble violently, but I went ahead to boil angel hair.

Soon, the water boiled over from the pot. It rarely happens when boiling spaghetti, but happens all the time when boiling ramen noodles. The heat needs to be adjusted accordingly as if you would boil ramen noodles.

I checked the noodles several times to see whether they are done, but I didn’t stop the point of “al dente,” as I thought that “al dente” ramen noodles would be weird.

I drained the water using a colander, when the noodles reached the desired hardness, and served them with soup and toppings. My husband loved the “ramen noodles” and couldn’t imagine the noodles used to be spaghetti.

The result was really impressive. Even though the noodles were still straight, they turned to real ramen noodles. No false advertisement here. According to one of the Japanese sites that introduces this method, other flour based noodles can be changed to ramen noodles, if baking soda is added in boiling water. It’s a great news that ramen noodles are more accessible now.

Here is an explanation. Ramen noodles are made of flour and alkaline water called kansui, which is similar to baking soda. Extra hydrogen in baking soda will be detached when heated, according to Japanese wiki. Therefore, the boiling water becomes kansui.


  • Any noodle pasta, such as spaghetti, angel hair, linguini, etc.
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • Desired ramen noodle soup
  • Desired toppings


Make soup first, if you are to make noodle soup. I added sliced ginger and green parts of scallions in regular chicken broth.

Prepare topping before boiling noodles as well. If you use soy sauce based soup, roasted pork goes perfectly. I cooked sliced chicken breast with julienned carrots and napa, adding salt to flavor.

Boil a potful of water, and add 1 tbsp of baking soda when boiled. Add pasta and cook. Reduce heat to avoid boiling over. Drain water using a colander.

In a noodle bowl, combine soup, noodle, and toppings. Serve immediately.


  1. RollyRyno says:

    That is a super tip! Homemade ramen sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the explanation, I had just seen this on a cooking show (Sachie’s Kitchen) but unfortunately Sachie skipped the explanation. I didn’t realise ramen noodle dough was a different recipe from other noodle dough and spaghetti. Someday I want to make ramen at home as you can’t get it where I live.

  3. Can I change the baking soda for baking powder?

    • No, because baking soda and baking powder are totally different. You can’t substitute baking powder for baking soda for any kind of recipe.

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