I found a wonderful method that magically transforms spaghetti to ramen noodles in Japanese SNS. Does 1 tbsp of baking soda in boiling water really change spaghetti noodles to ramen noodles? Sounds too good to be true. But this seems to be the known method, which has been used by desperate Japanese expats who crave ramen noodles.
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 as soon as the baking soda was added, but I went ahead to boil angel hair.
Soon, the water boiled over from the pot. It doesn’t happen when boiling spaghetti, but happens all the time when boiling ramen noodles. The heat needs to be adjusted accordingly to prevent boil over, as if you would boil ramen noodles.
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.
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RollyRyno, Submitted on 2013/12/21 at 11:23 am
That is a super tip! Homemade ramen sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Jody, Submitted on 2014/06/23 at 3:08 am
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.
Alex, Submitted on 2015/08/22 at 10:51 am
Can I change the baking soda for baking powder?
Yuki, Submitted on 2015/08/22 at 12:42 pm | In reply to Alex.
No, because baking soda and baking powder are totally different. You can’t substitute baking powder for baking soda for any kind of recipe.