Follow This Tip To Transform Spaghetti Noodles For Ramen

Anyone who has ever enjoyed a bowl of ramen knows it's nothing without noodles. Whether it's a gourmet bowl from one of the best ramen resturants in the country or the dorm room classic instant ramen cup, one thing is constant and that is the springy, yellow noodles waiting to be slurped from your soup. But, what do you do if you're making homemade ramen and can't find the right noodles? With 60% of shoppers reporting shortages of desired grocery items in April 2022 (per Morning Consult) and a shortage of wheat potentially looming, specialty items like ramen noodles may become difficult to find in your neighborhood grocery store.

While some foodies might suggest simply putting your meal plans on hold, Life Hacker suggests making a simple substitution. If you don't mind mixing up your cultures a little bit on your stove, spaghetti, angel hair, or capellini can be used as a substitute with a little help from a trusty kitchen staple: baking soda.

Culinary chemistry

Italian pasta like spaghetti and angel hair are not entirely different from Japanese ramen noodles, as Life Hacker explains. Both are made with wheat flour and water, however, ramen noodles include one extra ingredient called Kansui, which gives the noodles their unique flavor and color. Kansui, which can be bought in specialty grocery stores, is also known as lye water or alkaline salt and is essentially a solution made of potassium carbonate and baking soda (per Omnivore's Cookbook).

Therefore, in order to get your spaghetti to mimic ramen noodles you simply have to add baking soda. Okonomi Kitchen explains with a simple recipe that this can be done by adding baking soda and a little extra salt to your boiling pasta water and mixing it in before adding the spaghetti, then cooking the pasta a few minutes longer than usual. Life Hacker also suggests that baking the baking soda in the oven before you add it to the water could increase its alkaline properties, however, it is not a necessary step.

Once you have your modified noodles you are ready to make up your ramen, add them in with your broth, vegetables, and choice of meat or tofu and get ready to enjoy a delicious bowl of homemade comfort food.