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Reasons to use ramen noodle machines

3 Issues With Pasta Machines
When Making Ramen Noodles

Typical types of ramen noodles have hard texture. They are as hard as almost impossible for human to make them by hand. If making them by machine, the machine must be durable and strong in sheeting mechanism. Otherwise, there would be big troubles.

From our customers, we have heard 3 big problems with pasta machines and other types of machines when making ramen noodles.

1. Slow production speed

When trying to make ramen noodles on pasta machine and others, it gets pretty cumbersome. So, it takes time. To make ramen noodles in volume, you’d have to have a machine, designed to make them. To make one hundred servings of fresh noodles on a pasta machine, one may expect to spend hours. Yet, our Richmen One, for example does it in an hour from scratch.
When time is of precious resources in your business, this is a big reason for you to consider to start using a machine, designed for ramen noodles.

2. Poor quality/not capable of making certain types of noodles

It is difficult to make good ramen noodles with non-ramen noodle machine. This is because ramen noodle machines must have strong roller structures. A set of rollers need to apply great force to dough to develop good gluten structure in dough. Good ramen noodles have distinctive textures made possible by good gluten structure. And, ramen noodles being hard/firm, which is a result of high protein flour and low hydration. (Amount of liquid/water added to solids in mixing is small) 

When you try to make such hard noodles on pasta machine, you cannot make them. Because a pasta machine does not have proper roller/sheeting structure and mechanism, it cannot process such dough.

A set of rollers of ramen machine. The roller gap is set to 1 millimeter
A set of rollers of ramen machine. The roller gap is set to 1 millimeter.
Low hydration dough at 28% ratio (to the total weight of solids) This dough is processed through rollers into sheet of dough.
Low hydration dough at 28% ratio (to the total weight of solids) This dough is processed through rollers into sheet of dough.
Noodles freshly made from the low hydration dough from the left picture. Typically, the noodles size of this type of noodles is very small (1.1 - 1.3 mm). Production of these noodles requires strong and durable sheeting rollers.

One time, we were asked by a customer who uses a pasta machine to make ramen noodles on Richmen 1, using exactly the same ingredients and recipes. They were stunned to find the noodles clearly better than noodles they make on their machine. They said the chewiness and texture are completely different. Though they want to make tsukemen (dipping noodles), it is difficult to make them with the limited selection of cutters available for their machine. If there are particular types of ramen noodles you want to make, chances are they are tough on a pasta machine.

Slitter cutters with different shapes and sizes
A variety of sizes and shapes are available for different types of ramen noodles

3. Pasta and other machines often break down/malfunction

Pasta machine is designed to handle noodles that are more than 35% hydration (35% liquid ratio to the weight of solids)So, when making noodles less than 35% hydration, which gives much resistance against sheeting, it wears roller bearings. When pasta machine has delt certain number of batches, it breaks down. When that happens, you can no longer make noodles. We’ve seen many customers who switched to ramen noodles machines after their noodle machine have broken down.

It would be a nightmare to imagine your pasta machine breaks down without any warning. 
Because if you’re a noodle restaurant, no noodles would mean no business, it is very scary. And, it is very unnerving to do business without much sense of reliability on your main product, noodles.

So, there are reasons ramen noodles should be produced by ramen noodle machine.

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Ramen Chef/Instructor Jason

Over a decade, he’s worked as a ramen shop owner, chef, consultant and over the past few years, he’s been teaching ramen and udon at Yamato Ramen School in Singapore. He shares his expertise on noodle making and operational aspects of noodle restaurants.