Best Noodles for Ramen – Top Picks, Types & Recipe

To create the perfect homemade ramen, selecting the right noodles is paramount. The ideal noodles enhance the broth’s flavor and retain their texture, ensuring a satisfying eating experience. Traditional ramen noodles are often preferred for their alkaline composition, medium thickness, and wavy shape, providing an unparalleled texture and flavor in every spoonful.

When selecting noodles for ramen, opt for ones that absorb flavors well and retain a satisfying chewiness. For a genuine experience, select top-quality noodles renowned in authentic Japanese ramen shops, such as Sun Noodle or Hakubaku. Personalize your choice based on the broth and toppings you plan to use, as well as your preferred texture.

Key Takeaways

  • Alkaline, medium-thick, wavy noodles rank high for homemade ramen.
  • Authenticity matters – opt for brands like Sun Noodle or Hakubaku for a genuine experience.
  • Match your noodles to the type of ramen broth and toppings you’re using.
  • Noodle texture preference plays a crucial role in the selection process.
  • Dive into the ramen noodle varieties to find your perfect match.
  • Don’t hesitate to try out different ramen noodle recommendations to refine your picks.

Understanding the Different Types of Noodles for Ramen

ramen noodles in bowls on a wooden table

For many enthusiasts seeking the ultimate bowl, understanding what kind of noodles are best for ramen? is a quest that unveils a world of textures, tastes, and traditions. The diversity in ramen noodle options reflects the numerous regional and personal approaches to this culinary staple. Diving into the world of noodle types for ramen, one finds that thickness and shape significantly impact the dish’s final experience. The thickness of noodles can range from incredibly slender to pleasingly plump, paralleling the spectrum of delicacy and heartiness in broths they accompany.

Ramen noodle types are often categorized by their shape and texture, like the popular wavy noodle known for its superb sauce-retention or the sleek, straight noodle that shines in simpler broths. When navigating the realm of top ramen noodles, the term ‘alkaline’ often emerges, referring to kansui, a mineral water that gives authentic ramen noodles their signature texture. This ingredient fosters a chewiness and springiness in noodles, which are prized in a robust ramen bowl.

For those choosing ramen noodles, consider the broth and the desired slurpability. A miso-based broth pairs delightfully with thicker, curly noodles that cling to the rich soup, whereas a delicate shio broth might harmonize better with straight, thin noodles. The quest for perfect noodles for ramen is also a matter of matching the noodle to the Tare (seasoning) and toppings to round off a harmonious dish that pays tribute to this iconic food. Whether you prefer hakata-style ramen known for its thin noodles or the hearty chew of Sapporo-style noodles, the types of noodles for ramen you select can elevate your home cooking to new heights.

Noodle TypeDescriptionIdeal Broth Pairing
Thin, StraightDelicate and smooth, optimal for light flavors.Shoyu, Shio
Thick, WavyHearty with excellent soup-carrying capacity.Miso, Tonkotsu
Medium, StraightVersatile with a firm bite, balanced for various broths.Shio, Shoyu, Miso
Thin, WavySoft texture, picks up subtle flavors well.Light Tonkotsu, Shio

Total immersion in ramen noodles varieties is as much about personal preference as it is about tradition. Those who yearn for authenticity may lean towards Sun Noodle or Hakubaku, which echo Japan’s ramen chefs’ techniques and dedication. Ultimately, selecting a noodle type can be an intimate gastronomic journey—a culinary construction based on knowledge, intuition, and the pursuit of the profoundly satisfying slurp.

What Are Ramen Noodles Typically Made From?

Ramen noodles are unique thanks to their four essential ingredients: wheat flour, water, salt, and kansui, an alkaline mineral water.

Kansui gives ramen its signature texture, elasticity, and faint yellow hue.

If kansui isn’t available, bakers’ soda can be used instead. However, it needs to be baked to alter its chemical composition, making it similar to kansui.

This combination of ingredients creates the distinct chewiness and flavor of ramen, allowing it to withstand immersion in hot broth without losing its texture.

How To Make Kansui At Home

You can make a homemade substitute for kansui, a ramen noodle ingredient, using baking soda.

By baking the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), you convert it into sodium carbonate, which has similar effects to kansui.

While kansui often contains both sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate, homemade sodium carbonate can still provide the desired springy texture and yellow color in ramen noodles.

Here is the process for making your own baking soda substitute for kansui:

Homemade Kansui Recipe

Homemade Kansui Substitute that is easy to make at home and turns our fabulous results.


  • Baking sheet
  • Oven


  • Baking soda as much as needed


  • Preheat your oven to 250-300°F (120-150°C).
  • Spread baking soda on a baking sheet. A thin layer is all you need. For every teaspoon of kansui needed for your recipe, use one tablespoon of baking soda. The yield will be about a third of the baking soda’s volume once it’s baked.
  • Bake the baking soda in the preheated oven for about 1 hour. This process drives off the water and carbon dioxide from the baking soda, converting it to sodium carbonate.
  • Let the baked baking soda cool before handling it. Be careful when using it, as it can be a bit more caustic than regular baking soda.
  • Store the sodium carbonate in a well-sealed container to keep moisture out.


Use this homemade kansui substitute in your ramen noodle recipe by dissolving the required amount in water. Typically, you would use about 1 teaspoon of this homemade kansui per 2 cups of flour, but this can vary depending on the recipe.
Since the homemade kansui is more caustic than regular baking soda, handle it with care. Avoid inhaling it or letting it come into contact with your skin.
The transformation into sodium carbonate increases the pH level of the baking soda, which is what gives ramen noodles their unique texture and color.
Keyword Homemade Kansui Recipe, kansui

Best Noodles For Ramen: Our Top Selections

Embarking on the quest to find the ideal noodles for a ramen bowl is an adventure into the heart of Japanese culinary tradition. Recognizing the significance of the noodle is to appreciate its role as the soul of the dish, where each ingredient harmonizes to produce a memorable experience. From the springy bite of freshly made noodles to the comforting chew of their dried counterparts, the journey to discovering the best ramen noodle brands is filled with texture, taste, and tantalizing possibilities.

Authentic Ramen Noodle Options

For those who covet the quintessential ramen experience, exploring authentic ramen noodle recipes yields noodles that are a testament to quality and flavor. The key ramen noodle ingredients are simple: water, wheat flour, and kansui – the alkaline water that gives these noodles their distinctive spring. These traditional recipes prize the meticulous balance of texture and flavor, epitomizing what many consider to be the premium ramen noodles standard.

Hakubaku Authentic Plain Ramen Noodles

Hakubaku Authentic Plain Ramen Noodles

Dive into the authentic taste of Japan with Hakubaku Ramen Noodles. Perfectly textured and versatile, these noodles are ideal for your next ramen dish. Discover why they’re a staple in pantries around the globe.

Public Goods Ramen Noodles

Public Goods Ramen Noodles

Public Goods Ramen Noodles redefine instant noodles with their all-natural, vegan-friendly recipe. These noodles, free from preservatives and MSG, come in original and spicy sesame oil flavors, offering a wholesome alternative to traditional instant ramen. Dive into a quick, healthy, and flavorful meal that doesn’t compromise on taste or quality.

premium japan rice noodle

Premium Japan Rice Noodle

Dive into the gluten-free culinary delight of Premium Japan Rice Noodle. Made from the finest Sado rice flour, these noodles offer a unique mochi-like texture and are perfect for a healthier alternative to traditional pasta and ramen. Whether it’s a comforting bowl of ramen or a zesty pasta dish, these noodles are sure to satisfy.

Top Ramen Noodle Brands and Where to Find Them

Identifying the top ramen noodle brands is integral to crafting an exceptional bowl. Connoisseurs agree that brands like Sun Noodle and Hakubaku stand out for their commitment to quality, echoing the practices of acclaimed ramen chefs. As these popular ramen noodle varieties gain more presence globally, avid enthusiasts can now easily find them at specialty stores or order from online marketplaces, ensuring that the foundation for a delicious ramen is just a purchase away.

The Rise of Gourmet and Premium Noodle Choices

Ramen aficionados are witnessing a welcome surge in gourmet ramen noodles, appealing to those yearning for an upgraded slurping experience. Acknowledging the difference that premium ramen noodles make to their bowls, devotees are seeking out delicious ramen noodles that promise the finest quality wheat and an al dente noodle texture, indicative of a sumptuous ramen rendezvous.

Choosing Between Fresh and Dried: A Guide to Ramen Noodle Textures

The debate between fresh vs dried ramen noodles is as old as ramen itself. Fresh noodles, often touted for their superior chew and flavor, are coveted for their ability to personify a ramen bowl. However, dried noodles offer their distinct appeal, with some claiming that their concentrated taste and convenience uphold the integrity of this beloved dish. Ultimately, whether selecting fresh ramen noodles or their dried counterparts, the texture—the gauge of their ability to cling to the broth, their chew, and their mouthfeel—remains paramount in the pursuit of the quintessential ramen experience.

Mastering the Art of Homemade Ramen with the Perfect Noodles

different types of ramen noodles

Embarking on the journey of creating the ultimate bowl of homemade ramen noodles starts with knowing the foundations that make this dish a global favorite.

Crafting noodles from scratch not only adds a personal touch but allows for customization to suit individual palates. A basic homemade ramen noodle recipe pairs simple ingredients like high-quality wheat flour, water, and kansui to create the springy texture and unique flavor that ramen connoisseurs cherish.

best ramen noodle recipe

Homemade Alkaline Ramen Noodles Recipe

Dive into the art of making authentic alkaline ramen noodles from scratch. These noodles are known for their springy texture and ability to soak up delicious ramen broth. Using a simple combination of high-quality wheat flour, water, and a homemade kansui substitute, you can create the perfect foundation for your next ramen adventure right in your kitchen.
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 220 kcal


  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Kitchen scale (optional for precise measurements)
  • Rolling pin or pasta machine
  • Knife or pasta cutter
  • Baking sheet (for making homemade kansui)
  • Oven


  • 2 cups high-quality bread flour about 240g
  • 1/2 teaspoon homemade kansui see notes for preparation
  • 3/4 cup water adjust as needed for dough consistency
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Make Homemade Kansui: Follow the instructions provided in the notes to create your kansui substitute by baking baking soda. Allow it to cool before using.
  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt thoroughly.
  • Dissolve Kansui: In a separate bowl, dissolve the homemade kansui in water.
  • Combine and Knead: Gradually add the kansui water to the flour mixture, stirring to combine. Once the mixture begins to form a dough, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water; if too sticky, add a bit more flour.
  • Rest the Dough: Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour. This resting period helps to develop the gluten, which is crucial for the texture of the noodles.
  • Roll Out the Dough: After resting, divide the dough into four equal portions. Using a rolling pin or pasta machine, roll out each portion to your desired thickness. For traditional ramen, aim for a medium thickness.
  • Cut the Noodles: Using a sharp knife or pasta cutter, cut the rolled-out dough into thin strips to form noodles. Dust with a little flour to prevent sticking.
  • Cook the Noodles: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles for about 4-5 minutes, or until they reach your desired level of tenderness.
  • Rinse and Serve: Immediately rinse the noodles under cold water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. Your homemade ramen noodles are now ready to be used in your favorite ramen soup recipe.


Homemade Kansui Preparation:
To make the kansui, spread baking soda on a baking sheet and bake at 250-300°F (120-150°C) for 1 hour. Use 1/2 teaspoon of this baked baking soda dissolved in the 3/4 cup of water for this recipe.
Flour Type: Bread flour is recommended for its higher protein content, which contributes to the noodle’s chewy texture.
Cooking Fresh Noodles: If not using immediately, you can store the noodles in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze them for longer storage.
Customization: Feel free to adjust the thickness and length of your noodles based on your preference or the type of ramen you’re making.
Approximately 220 calories per serving (noodles only, does not include broth or toppings).
Special Note from the Chef at Kaizen Kitchen:
“Crafting your ramen noodles at home allows for a deeply personal touch to your ramen dishes. The effort put into making these noodles from scratch pays off with a texture and flavor that’s unmatched by store-bought options. Remember, the key to perfect noodles lies in the balance of ingredients and the love you put into the process. Happy cooking!”
Keyword Alkaline Noodle, Alkaline Noodles, Homemade Ramen Noodles, Japanese Cuisine, kansui, Noodle Recipe

Whether you prefer your noodles thin and delicate or thick and hearty, the process of kneading, rolling, and cutting the dough by hand is a culinary adventure that brings you closer to achieving the authenticity of the noodles served in the streets of Tokyo.

While making noodles from scratch is ideal, we acknowledge that life’s demands sometimes necessitate convenient alternatives.

When choosing store-bought ramen noodles, it’s crucial to prioritize quality.

Look for brands that strive to deliver noodles that closely resemble homemade versions in both flavor and texture. These premium noodles will significantly enhance your ramen experience. For those who prioritize speed, selecting the best instant ramen noodles ensures a respectable bowl of ramen can be ready in minutes.

To create ramen that would make even seasoned chefs nod in approval, integrating the best ramen noodle recipes into your culinary repertoire is key. Recipes that balance traditional techniques with innovative twists ensure that your homemade ramen stands out. Remember, the noodles are not stand-alone; they act as a canvas to a symphony of flavors presented by the broth, tare, and toppings. With the artistry in your approach and a mindful selection of ingredients, you’re well on your way to mastering a ramen noodle dish that would enthrall family and friends alike, making your kitchen the next best stop for a ramen aficionado.

FAQ’s On The Best Noodles For Ramen

What kind of noodles are best for homemade ramen?

The best noodles for homemade ramen are typically fresh, alkaline noodles that have that signature chewy texture. They should have a springy consistency that holds up well in hot broth. Look for noodle options labeled as ‘ramen’ at your local Asian market or online specialty stores.

What are the different ramen noodle varieties?

Ramen noodles vary in terms of size, shape, and texture. There are thin, straight noodles that are ideal for light, clear broths and thicker, wavy noodles that are better for hearty, creamy soups. Other varieties include alkaline noodles, which have a unique texture due to the addition of kansui, and non-alkaline noodles, which are simpler in flavor and texture.

Which noodles are ideal for an authentic ramen soup experience?

Ideal noodles for an authentic ramen soup are fresh alkaline noodles because of their ability to maintain a chewy texture and not become soggy in the broth. They also have a distinctive yellow hue and an ability to accentuate the flavors of the ramen broth.

How do I choose the right type of ramen noodles?

When choosing ramen noodles, consider the type of broth and toppings you’ll use. Thin, straight noodles go well with lighter broths, while thick, curly noodles are best for richer soups. Also, take into account whether you prefer a firmer or softer noodle and if you’re seeking authentic flavor, opt for alkaline noodles.

Can you recommend any top noodle brands for authentic ramen?

Yes, there are several brands that are recognized for their quality in the ramen world. Sun Noodle is a popular brand that offers a variety of fresh ramen noodles catering to different ramen styles. Nissin and Maruchan are also well-regarded, offering both fresh and dried options that are widely available.

What’s the difference between fresh ramen noodles and dried ramen noodles?

Fresh ramen noodles are typically refrigerated and have a shorter shelf life, but offer a superior texture and taste that closely resembles what you would find in a ramen shop. Dried ramen noodles are more convenient and have a longer shelf life but may require more careful cooking to achieve an al dente texture and often lack the same depth of flavor as their fresh counterparts.

Is it worth trying gourmet or premium ramen noodles?

Absolutely! Gourmet or premium ramen noodles often use high-quality ingredients and artisanal methods to create an exceptional product. They can greatly enhance the overall taste and authenticity of your ramen dish, making it worthwhile for those seeking an elevated dining experience.

How can I make homemade ramen noodles?

To make homemade ramen noodles, you’ll need wheat flour, water, and kansui (alkaline water) or a substitute like baked baking soda. Mix these ingredients to form a dough, let it rest, then roll it out and cut it into thin strips. Cooking them properly involves boiling and then cooling them quickly to achieve the desired texture.

Where can I buy authentic ramen noodles?

Authentic ramen noodles can typically be found at Asian markets, specialty grocery stores, or through online retailers that cater to Japanese cuisine. Look for brands that offer a variety of shapes and textures to match your broth and topping preferences.

About Kaizen Kitchen in Santa Cruz, California

Kaizen Kitchen Banner

Step into Kaizen Kitchen in Santa Cruz, where every dish is a celebration of Japanese precision and Hawaiian vibrancy. Our name, “Kaizen,” symbolizes our journey of continuous improvement, blending the spirit of change (‘Kai’) and excellence (‘Zen’) with a nod to the Hawaiian seas. Our kitchen is dedicated to this journey, focusing on crafting dishes that honor traditions while innovating for today’s palate.

Discover our standout ramen and poke bowls, each a masterpiece of flavor, made fresh in our kitchen. Ready for a flavor adventure? Visit us in Santa Cruz or order your next meal online at Dive into our menu, where tradition meets innovation in every bite. Welcome to Kaizen Kitchen, where our dishes speak of our dedication to quality and creativity.

Local To Santa Cruz, California?

If you’re in Santa Cruz, your next adventure is just a click away. Order now from Kaizen Kitchen for a taste of Japanese tradition blended with Hawaiian zest, delivered straight to your door. Don’t wait, dive into our menu of exquisite ramen and poke bowls today and experience the flavors that make us unique.

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