The famous Japanese dish, ramen, has become quite popular all around the world partially for the reason that it can be prepared quite quickly. Nonetheless, it is important to know exactly how long does ramen take to boil in order to achieve the right texture and taste.
By following these steps, you will be able to make perfect Japanese ramen:
1. Boil the water.
2. Drop the noodles in boiling water.
3. Fan them.
4. Add eggs and toppings.
Whether you choose traditional or instant, the whole process shouldn’t last more than ten minutes, and what is more important, the ramen will be even more delicious if you cook it properly.
What You’re Going to Need
- Saucepan with a lid,
- Kitchen utensils, preferably chopsticks or a fork,
- Spices and an egg.
Step 1- Boil the Water
First of all, you have to decide on the amount of water you are going to boil (this water will turn into your ramen broth, which is the most important ingredient). For instant ramen like Maruchan, two or three cups are enough. But, if you are planning to cook traditional ramen, the broth is often made in large batches (usually, a bigger pot is used).
Before cooking ramen noodles, you have to prepare the broth. Spices are added to water, and everything is boiled together. If you are cooking some instant ramen from Amazon, you will receive the spices in the packaging. However, if you are cooking homemade noodles, it is best to choose a recipe (there are many) and add the stated spices and ingredients.
This should take approximately one minute, and while the broth is being prepared, it is advisable to gently stir the mix in order for the spices to release more flavor.
Tip: If you are preparing traditional Japanese broth with animal bones like pork, don’t forget to skim the residue that will appear on top. Otherwise, the flavor, texture, and color might turn out unpleasant.
Step 2 – Drop the Noodles Into Boiling Water
Once the broth has started to boil, it is time to add the noodles. Whether you are preparing homemade or instant ramen, the dry noodles will be pressed together, forming a disc or a ball. You shouldn’t break the noodles, but rather, slip the entire dry product gently into the boiling broth.
Take the chopsticks or the fork and gently press the noodles in order to submerge them, but don’t stir them. After about two minutes, they will start to fall apart, and once you can’t hold them any longer, leave them to cook for three or four minutes more. Most noodles don’t require more than five minutes to be cooked.
Don’t overcook them. Instant noodles become mushy when cooked for a longer time to the point where they don’t have any flavor or texture at all. Hence, it is best to sit by the stove for those five minutes.
Tip: If you are planning to microwave ramen noodles, both water and noodles should be placed together in a microwave bowl. Microwaving takes even less time, and be sure to check on the packaging whether it is indicated how much time is needed. Usually, it takes only two minutes.
Step 3 – Fan the Noodles
Truth be told, this step is optional, but performing it will significantly improve the texture of the noodles, making your ramen dish much more enjoyable. It is particularly good to do this if you are preparing instant ramen.
The thing is, instant noodles will most likely be too soft after being cooked for five minutes. Sometimes the texture becomes soggy, and they disintegrate in your mouth. If you want to achieve a pleasant and firm consistency, you have to fan them while they are being cooked.
After the noodles have completely separated from each other, take the chopsticks or the fork in one hand and a lid in the other (a Japanese fan would be even better, but they are not a usual part of the kitchen). Carefully start lifting the noodles from the broth and fan them with the lid. Each lift should be accompanied by at least ten seconds of fanning.
By cooling the noodles while they are being cooked, their texture becomes more firm, like that of spaghetti. This should be done for at least a minute in total, but you can experiment and fan more or less. The difference in texture will be noticeable.
Step 4 – Add Eggs and Other Toppings
Once the four or five minutes have passed, the ramen is officially prepared. But, there are many toppings that can be added, which will make your ramen dish even more exciting and delicious.
An egg is a traditional ramen topping that adds a lot of flavors and makes the dish nutritious. The egg should be cracked right at the end while the noodles are still being cooked. Simply crack an egg into the saucepan and let it cook for thirty seconds or so. However, some people like to boil eggs and add them afterward.
When searching for ramen recipes on the internet, you will see that there are countless variations with all sorts of toppings, so don’t hesitate to experiment. This is another reason why ramen is popular, as it can be eaten with almost anything you can think of.
Instant ramen is a convenient dish that will satiate your hunger if you are in a hurry. However, we don’t recommend eating it often as it is not healthy. On the other, the traditional Japanese ramen that Naruto eats is a completely different story. It is a hearty meal with a lot of nutrients, and it is definitely worth trying.