tsukemen ramen

What is Tsukemen ramen and how to make tsukemen noodles

For those of you who are not familiar with tsukemen, this is a whole new category of ramen. Like tonkotsu ramen, which may still be the most popular type of ramen in the world, it’s been around in ramen industry in Japan for a while. And, it has revolutionalized how people eat ramen and developed a whole new genre of ramen. Here’s a trivial information for you. “Tsuke” means dipping, and “men” is noodles in Japanese. So, tsukemen is literally dipping noodles. Noodles and soups are served in separate bowls, and you dip the noodles into the soup. This is what tsukemen is, but it is dipping ramen. Zaru soba or other dipping noodles are not tsukemen. How you eat tsukemen ramen is similar to how you do zaru soba noodles How tsukemen was born Tsukemen, a new category of ramen is said to have first been served in 1955 by Taishoken (a ramen shop operated by Mr. Kazuo Yamagishi). It was initially made as a board meal for the shop staff. It was leftover noodles and soup with soy sauce added. And, they ate it like zaru soba (cold buckwheat noodle dish – noodles dipped in sauce). Noodles are cooked and washed (rid of starch off noodles). Then, you dip noodles into sauce that’s flavor-intense and eat them. Some […]


The essence and History of Ramen

It would be hard to imagine probably 30 years ago or so, but there are now a number of celebrity Ramen fanatics, Ramen critics and Ramen researchers in the world. And, Ramen remains to be a very hot topic of discussion among many people. Nowadays, there is a lot of information about Ramen all over the world, and the amount of that information is increasing day by day. teaching how to blend ramen soup in ramen school For the most part, that information is based on customer experience, and addresses Ramen from a consumer point of view. I, however, would like to analyze it from a slightly different perspective – the one of the Ramen School principal. Every month at three locations (the Head Office in Kagawa, Tokyo Branch, and in Singapore) I teach students how to survive in the Ramen industry. In addition, for the past 40 years I have pursued the essence of Ramen from a perspective of an engineer, and a founder of a noodle-making equipment company. This is from this standpoint I would like to examine the following questions: 1. Why Chinese Lanzhou (蘭州) Ramen which boasts a history of four thousand years could not gain a world-wide popularity, but Japanese Ramen with a history of 100 years at most could become a global cuisine? I […]

ramen noodles freshly made

Types of noodles made on noodle making machine

how different types of noodles evolved over time from different routes Noodles evolved over time in our food cultures There are so many different types of noodles around the world. Different types of Pasta, originated in Italy. Lanzou ramen, which has a history of 4,000 years in China. Different types of rice noodles, such as Vietnamese pho and Laksa of Malaysia. Hand-pulled noodles of China. Wonton egg noodles, famous in Hong Kong. kalguksu of Korea. And, ramen, udon, and soba that grew in sophistication in Japan and overseas. All these noodles have gone through different food cultures and changed over time. How they are made, what ingredients are used, sizes, and textures, etc. Why do we eat noodles? It’s because of course, we like them. There is more fundamental reason. Noodles are easier to eat than say, flour (of wheat, rice, etc.) Have you tried to eat wheat flour by itself? Noodles are part of food evolution. Different types of noodles call for different types of noodle making methods There are also many ways we make noodles today. Different types of noodles need different making methods to achieve their unique textures, tastes, etc. So, there are certain types of noodles that cannot be made by certain production methods. For Lanzou ramen to achieve the unique textures, some noodles need hand-pulling […]

hong kong wonton noodles

Making of HK Wanton Egg Noodles on Ramen Noodle Machine

Have you ever tried the famous Hong Kong wonton egg noodles? It’s a noodle soup dish that features soup (light broth made of pork and seafood umami flavor), wonton (shrimp filling), and egg noodles. These egg noodles does not use water but only eggs. Duck eggs are usually the ingredients. So, these thin noodles with chruncy textures are made with flour, eggs, kansui, and salt. This wonton noodle soup is very unique and memoral for the egg noodles. The noodles give unique bite and are very thin. We get asked by many if we can make these noodles on our ramen noodle machine. The answer is, yes we can. For those in doubt, we show how we can make these noodles in this article. So, let’s make the famous Hong Kong egg noodles. What are the ingredients? 1. Wheat flour – the one we used today is usually used for ramen noodles. It has protein content of 11.5% and ash content as low as less than 0.4%. 2. Fresh eggs – the ideal would be duck fresh eggs, but we couldn’t get enough for this batch, so we use chicken eggs. 3. Kansui – poweder form that is 60% potassium carbonate and 40% sodium carbonate. (If we want to make it harder, we increase the ratio of potassium carbonate) 4. […]

ramen noodle cutting

Reasons to use ramen noodle machines

3 Issues With Pasta Machines When Making Ramen NoodlesTypical types of ramen noodles have hard texture. They are as hard as almost impossible for human to make them by hand. If making them by machine, the machine must be durable and strong in sheeting mechanism. Otherwise, there would be big troubles.From our customers, we have heard 3 big problems with pasta machines and other types of machines when making ramen noodles.1. Slow production speedWhen trying to make ramen noodles on pasta machine and others, it gets pretty cumbersome. So, it takes time. To make ramen noodles in volume, you’d have to have a machine, designed to make them. To make one hundred servings of fresh noodles on a pasta machine, one may expect to spend hours. Yet, our Richmen One, for example does it in an hour from scratch.When time is of precious resources in your business, this is a big reason for you to consider to start using a machine, designed for ramen noodles.2. Poor quality/not capable of making certain types of noodlesIt is difficult to make good ramen noodles with non-ramen noodle machine. This is because ramen noodle machines must have strong roller structures. A set of rollers need to apply great force to dough to develop good gluten structure in dough. Good ramen noodles have distinctive textures made […]

tonkotsu ramen

Why did ramen get so popular so fast?

old style shoyu ramen with flavored egg, scallions, and chasiu/slices of braised pork China has Lanzhou Ramen with a history of 4,000 years. Japanese ramen was originally created by Chinese who emigrated to Japan about 100 years ago. Even though Japanese ramen has a history of only 100 years, why do we see more ramen shops all over the world than Chinese noodles, or the word, ramen has become more famous than any particular type(s) of Chinese noodles? Before we get into the details of why, we should first establish what Japanese ramen noodles are and how they’ve become ramen noodles that they are today. Chinese noodles they introduced and the present Japanese Ramen are two completely different things. When Chinese ramen was first introduced to Japan 100 years ago, Japan already had well established Udon and Soba food cultures. (In Japan, both Udon and Soba have had about 450 years of history as established noodle cuisines.) Because of this unique foundation Japan had (the fact that unique noodle eating cultures existed) before ramen was born 100 years ago, ramen was created in Japan by incorporating those unique noodles. how ramen was invented Japanese ramen soup is a combination of Chinese ramen soup and Japanese buckwheat soup stock. In short, Chinese ramen came to Japan, and underwent a process of […]

The more pressing, the harder the dough?

combining process in ramen noodle making process There is a process, called “combining”, which combines a sheet of dough and a sheet of dough in making of ramen noodles. For those of you who are not familiar with this process, you can read this article for more details. how rolling process goes Combining process plays the following roles in making of good ramen noodles. 1. Develop/build gluten structures inside dough By folding sheets of dough, join gluten structure into web-like construction inside dough 2. Even development of gluten throughout dough By folding sheets of dough, train the entire areas of dough evenly and develop gluten 3. Appropriate training/building of dough Gluten structure is developed up to the point before it is destroyed/damaged noodles gone through combining processes measured by rheometer This time, we are doing some tests to see how noodle’s hardness changes over rounds of combining processes. We measure the elasticity/bounciness of noodles on a rheometer (measuring equipment for bounciness of noodles). We do this for the same noodles (same wheat flour, liquid ratio, and other conditions) at each round of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th combining processes. The contents of noodle making Wheat flour: Yamato Spirit Liquid ratio: 35% (inside 1% kansui, 1% salt) Cutter: Square No. 18 We make noodles from each round of 1-4th combining process […]

How to sheet ramen noodle dough properly

Ramen machine thinning dough sheet and dusting it After mixing, 1st resting, rough forming, combining, and 2nd resting, we’ve come all the way here, nurturing and developing gluten structure of noodle dough, we finally have a pretty good gluten structure in our dough. So, from this point on, all we have to do is to thin the dough to a proper thickness for the size that’s good for your noodles. But, we at Noodle Master Labs do thinning process in a particular way. So, let’s talk about how this is done on a ramen noodle machine. Formed gluten structure inside ramen noodle dough What we need to watch out for in this process of thinning is again gluten structure. We cannot ruin it after all these efforts not damage it. But, we have to thin dough sheet by applying pressure on it by passing it through rollers. So, how do we do it? After 2nd resting process, we need to carefully adjust roller gap to gradually thin the dough to a proper thickness. With this you can adjust clearance between rollers on ramen machine – roller gap set to 1.0mm Like in combining process, we again apply the rule of 70%, thinning dough sheet to about 70% of the original thickness. As far as operational speed is concerned, we want […]

1st resting for good ramen noodle dough

ramen noodle dough after mixing process After mixing process, we should have good noodle dough that’s still in crumbles (for hydration ratio of about 20-40%). Now, we need to do something that makes this dough even better. “Maturation/resting” is a very important process in making of ramen noodles. Good understanding of this resting phenomenon, proper method of resting dough, and development of gluten structures are critical to make good ramen noodles. The phenomenon of resting works as follows. dough of high water content noodles [Hydration of wheat flour] Hydration is literally a process of evenly distributing molecules of water to particles of wheat flour, one grain by one perfectly. Hydration is not sufficient after mixing is done, but just by leaving the kneaded dough in pieces, the molecules of water spread to the particles of the flour, which moisten. This is hydration of wheat flour. This requires a certain amount of time and temperature. medium water content dough [Degassing] If there are many small air bubbles entered into dough during mixing, the following problems occur when cooking noodles. 1) Bubbles present in gluten tissue expand in volume by many times when heated, the gluten tissue ruptures in a way that pushes it out from the inside, and as a result the texture is impaired. 2) Because gluten structure is destroyed, […]

How to cook ramen noodles properly

ramen noodles are cooked, portion by portion in a basket So, we finished talking about all the processes of ramen noodle making from scratch, but to be able to serve great ramen noodles, you need to understand one more thing, which is proper cooking/boiling of ramen noodles. This is a critical process for you to serve superb ramen noodles. Cooking noodles properly is very important, and it could ruin your noodles if done in a wrong way no matter how well you’ve made them. Noodles release salt and kansui and absorbs hot water instead First of all, the most important thing in cooking of noodle is water. The type of water we want to use in cooking of noodles is soft water. What’s soft water or hard water? Soft water is water that has no or little minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, etc. Hard water is the opposite and with a lot of minerals in it. When we cook noodles in hard water, it is difficult for cooking water to penetrate into noodles, then cooking time prolongs, and cooked noodles turn soft fast in hot soup. Also, long cooking time means, bad yield (noodles melt into cooking water), rough noodle surface, and big difference in noodle condition between the core and surface, resulting in poor noodle texture. But, if we […]