Pantry Basics: Homemade egg noodles

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Why would anyone bother to make their own noodles?

I’ve been obsessed with being able to prepare all my favourite comfort foods from scratch. I guess as the years go by, I’ve become more conscious of the gradual erosion of flavour in our street food. And to recapture some of the magic of the dishes I cherish for my children, I’m determined to learn how to make iterations of my flavour memories at the very least.

Penning these recipes down (after many rounds of recipe testing) is equally important to me, because it’s about trying to ensure that these flavours are somehow preserved.

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So, I’ve played with versions of this noodle recipe for some time. I first started out using it for our char siu and wonton noodles. I fell in love with it, used it repeatedly, then promptly forgot about it.

When I wanted something I could use in ramen, I tested a whole range of ramen noodle recipes and failed miserably. You cannot imagine the number of blank stares I’ve gotten from trying to grill Japanese chefs about kansui, the ingredient that is supposed to give ramen noodles their signature texture. I never managed to get my hands on the ever elusive Japanese kansui powder (although I know that there is a simple hack floating around out there). And for the record, I could never get the kansui water used in dimsum to work for me on this front either.

In the meantime, this noodle recipe remained forgotten.

Later, I became obsessed with trying to make my own version of mi goreng. Like most university students of a certain generation, I fueled a good part of my education with this spicy and umami instant noodle dish, preferably made using Indomie Mi Goreng, then topped with an egg fried sunny side up. I wasn’t about to cop out and use instant noodles. And I wanted a noodle with a nice bite to it (what Singaporeans refer to as a QQ texture). It was only when I revisited my original wonton noodle recipe for my mi goreng, that it occurred to me that it would work just as well in ramen!

My next obsession is going to be attempting to create a version of Mamezen‘s utterly unique and addictive soy milk ramen. These noodles are definitely going into it!

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Noodles are such a fundamental, basic ingredient. Good noodles can really make a dish. I like my noodles to have a bit of bite to them, so it’s important to me that I make them from scratch. Cooking them for no more than 60 seconds is also vital. If you keep them boiling for too long, you’ll end up with flaccid noodles.

I like that these noodles really don’t take much time to whip up. I often make the dough two days ahead of when we need the noodles, before I go to bed, and roll it out the following evening. Even when I’m pressed for time (which I often am) I can still get away with rolling out the dough after the kids have gone to bed and just before (or as) our guests arrive.

The addition of wholewheat flour is just a personal quirk. I try to squeeze in wholewheat whenever I can. But I am also thinking about incorporating some semolina flour into the recipe (I like the way it gives pasta a nice bite). And I can’t wait to try making these noodles with the noodle flour we’ve just bought in Osaka!

Versatile and simple, this is a nifty pantry basic worth mastering. Mi goreng recipe to follow soon!

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About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her two kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.

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