How to Make Ramen Noodles with 4 Ingredients

Updated: Nov. 29, 2023

Want to upgrade your soup game? This recipe will teach you how to make ramen noodles from scratch!

As a 12 year old—well before I learned how to make ramen noodles—I was sure that I made the best ramen in the world. My recipe involved adding packets of powdered spices to the cooking water before the dry noodles had their boiling 3-minute bath, even though the package instructions said to add them after. I enhanced the flavorful noodles with tidbits of frozen corn and, on a luxurious day, bits of leftover meat from the fridge.

It was more than a decade before I learned that ramen could be made from fresh ingredients. Armed with that knowledge, I set about learning how to make ramen noodles from scratch and developed my own takes on ramen broth and garnishes. In the years that followed, I won first place in a ramen-making competition and occasionally served unusual variations in my restaurant (duck soup, anyone?).

No matter what kind of broth I was using, the noodles in the recipe below were the noodles that went into the bowl.

Ramen Noodle Basics

Ramen noodles are alkalized, which gives them their distinctive flavor and texture. This means that a basic (the opposite of acidic) ingredient is added to the dough. Traditionally, the noodles are alkalized with an ingredient called kansui, otherwise known as lye water.

Although it can be ordered online or purchased at a shop that specializes in Asian ingredients, kansui is not usually found in standard American grocery stores. However, there’s any easy alternative: baked baking soda. Simply cooking baking soda in the oven makes it more alkaline. When it’s ready, it can be used to make lovely, springy ramen noodles.

Once you’ve baked the baking soda, ramen noodles only need 3 other ingredients: all-purpose flour, water and salt. If you have access to bread flour, you can swap that in to make your noodles even chewier.

Also, if you’re looking for a new way to eat ramen, you might want to put a new trend, creamy ramen, at the top of your list.

Equipment You’ll Need

Ramen noodle dough is too stiff to roll effectively with a rolling pin, so you’ll want a pasta roller to make these noodles (it will come in handy when making other homemade noodles, too).  It’s also very helpful to have a stand mixer. Otherwise, you’ll be doing a lot of kneading.

The dough is on the dry side and can be difficult to work with. In this recipe, we’ll add a little more water than is traditional in order to make the process easier to accomplish at home.

The Best Recipe for Homemade Ramen Noodles

This recipe yields 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams baking soda (if you don’t have a kitchen scale, start with 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Extra flour or cornstarch for dusting finished noodles

Directions

Step 1: Bake the baking soda

This will make more baked baking soda than you’ll need for your noodles.

Preheat the oven to 275°F. If you are using a kitchen scale, set the units to grams. Put a small baking pan such as a cake pan on the scale and write down its weight (you’ll need to remember this later in the process). Add 100 grams of baking soda to the pan. Bake the baking soda until the combined weight of the baking soda and the pan is 33 grams less than when you started.

If you don’t have a scale, measure 1/2 cup baking soda and put it in your cake pan. Bake the baking soda for 1-1/2 hours. This method is less precise, but should still yield good noodles.

The resulting baked baking soda is more caustic than regular baking soda, so don’t let it touch your skin and label it carefully when you put it away.

Step 2: Dissolve the solids

Measure 1 cup of cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of your baked baking soda and stir to dissolve. do the same with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

Step 3: Make the ramen noodle dough

close up of dough hook attachment in a mixerSuzanne Podhaizer for Taste of Home

Place 4 cups of flour in the bowl of your stand mixer. Put on the dough hook attachment. Turn the mixer to low and trickle in the cup of water with the dissolved salt and baking soda (you’ll potentially add more water in a few minutes to make the dough easier to work).

Increase the speed to medium and let mix for 3 minutes. Stop the mixer. The dough will be shaggy and there may be some residual flour in the bottom of the bowl. If there is, turn the mixer back on and drizzle in half of the remaining 5 tablespoons of water. If the dough is still dry and crumbly after that addition, and “crumbs” remain in the bottom of the bowl, add the rest of the water.

Let the machine knead the dough for 3 more minutes. Then, remove the dough from the mixing bowl and knead it by hand until it comes together in a ball. Unlike pasta dough, which includes a higher percentage of water, or eggs, this may not make a perfectly smooth ball.

Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

Step 4: Roll the dough

Set up your pasta roller while the dough is resting and make sure that it’s clamped tightly to your work surface. When the dough has rested, cut it into 6 equal parts.

Put the pasta roller on its widest setting. Flatten the first pasta ball into a disk with the palm of your hand, making sure that the edge is thin enough to fit in between the rollers, and run the dough through.

Fold the dough sheet in half lengthwise and run it through the machine again, with the dough facing the same direction, on the same setting.

Repeat this with your other 5 dough balls.

Step 5: Make the dough thinner

thinly rolled dough for ramen noodlesSuzanne Podhaizer for Taste of Home

Adjust to the next smallest setting on the pasta machine. Run each piece of dough through. Because this noodle dough is on the dryer side, you shouldn’t need to worry about it sticking. If the dough does stick, you can dust it with a little flour.

The settings on various brands of pasta rollers are different, but you’ll want to roll the dough through about 5 times to get it to the proper thickness.

Step 6: Cut the dough

Put a small pile of flour or cornstarch on your work surface and set out a plate or cookie sheet for your finished noodles.

For ramen, you’ll want your noodles to be fairly thin. If your pasta maker has an angel hair or spaghetti cutter, use that. Send each piece of dough through the cutter, catching the resulting noodles as they exit the machine.

Run the cut noodles through the pile of flour or cornstarch, lightly coating all sides. Then, curl the finished noodles into the shape of a bird’s nest.

Use the noodles in your favorite ramen recipe, or freeze for later.

How to Make Ramen

These homemade ramen noodles will make an excellent accompaniment to any ramen broth, whether you make yours with miso, soy sauce or salt (here’s a vegan ramen to try). For details on how to create a soup worthy of your noodles, check out our guide to how to make ramen. When you don’t have time to make your own noodles, these creative upgrades to packaged ramen will make your dish feel homemade.

Not in a soup mood? Here are some of our favorite ramen noodles recipes without the broth.