by Heather Harris Brady
Somehow Chinese New Year slipped by me this winter (I was probably tunneling out from under the snow at the time), and I can’t let it go overlooked because Asian food is one of the major loves of my life. It’s pretty hard to come by in these parts, so a fair amount of the time I have to make it myself. Yes, you can buy ramen for under $1 a package, but really it’s something meant to be thoughtfully made as a tribute to the ingredients and the season. My recipe is based on one that recently appeared in Food & Wine magazine. While it’s possible to do this all with elbow grease, it’s a lot more enjoyable with a heavy-duty mixer and a pasta machine.
Homemade Ramen, Makes about six generous servings
- 1/2 c. buckwheat flour
- 1/2 c. rye flour
- 3-1/2 c. high gluten flour
- 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 T. plus 1 t. baking soda
- 1 T. kosher salt
- 2 c. water
Sprinkle the baking soda out on a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake at 275 for an hour. While the baking soda is in the oven put the buckwheat and rye flours in a non-stick skillet and toast for about four minutes, until they are fragrant.
Pour the toasted flour into the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and add the other two flours. When the baking soda comes out of the oven combine it with the salt and water.Put the dough hook on the mixer and turn it to medium while you slowly add the water in three parts. Gradually all the flour will mix into a heavy mass. Let it mix for close to 10 minutes.
When you’re done it should look something like this:
Get out the pasta machine and divide the dough into eight parts. Flatten each ball and run it twice through each setting, folding it in thirds (like a letter) in between.
You can add a little cornstarch or flour if you need to, but use as little as possible. When the dough is smooth and a cohesive sheet, run it through again on four and then put it through the spaghetti blade.
Toss the noodles quickly with cornstarch to keep them from sticking and drop them into a plastic bag.
At this point the noodles can be refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to two weeks. To cook one batch, bring two quarts of water to a boil and drop in the noodles. Cook for four-five minutes, until they are al-dente.
For cold dipping noodles plunge them immediately from the hot water into cold water to chill.
Dipping Sauce for Cold Ramen, Two Servings
- 1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/3 c. Ponzu
- 1 T. hoisin sauce
Stir all the ingredients together and serve with cold, cooked ramen. You can toss the noodles with vegetables and nuts if you like!
One year ago: Baked Custard