What kinds of noodles are great for shoyu ramen?

Mar 31 / akira
Shoyu ramen is one of the oldest types of ramen, and there's been many variations we have seen and are seeing emerging every year. There are varying types of soups and noodles, and we often get asked this question, "What kinds of noodles are good for shoyu ramen?" Answering this question can take a lot of explanations, but before moving forward, we may probably need to say, it depends.
It depends on the type(s) of shoyu soups you are couple the noodles with. It depends on the kinds of noodle texture you are trying to deliver. It depends on whether you want to bring out the wheat flavors in the noodles or not. Answering these questions may lead you to your ideal noodles for your shoyu ramen.
There are many regional shoyu ramen in Japan, and they are unique with their noodles, soups, and toppings. Put broadly, the soups can be light or heavy, darker in color, or stronger in soy sauce flavors. Depending on the kind of soup you are making for your shoyu ramen, you can pick the type of noodles that are best suited. And we can learn great coupling patterns of noodles and soups from these regional ramen. You can actually study them online. So, we encourage you to do that.

Digital Cooking helps design your shoyu ramen nodoles

Digital cooking is the method that we use at our ramen school to design, develop, and produce every part of ramen from scratch. And noodles are no exception. When thinking and designing noodles that are suitable for your craft shoyu ramen, Digital Cooking helps you design the noodles recipes of your shoyu ramen. 
Considering the noodles texture, there are a few variables that we need to think about. The hardness is determined by protein content of the wheat flour you use to make your noodles. The higher the harder. Also, hydration ratio. The less hydration (drier), the harder the noodle texture. Noodle size also affects the hardness of noodles. The thicker the noodle size, the harder the noodle texture. 
Another variable we should look for is viscosity value of wheat flour. But this value is not shown on the product label. We'd need to actually check the wheat flour on a measuring device to see this value. It tells us how elastic the texture would be when the flour is made to noodles. This is an important variable because the higher the viscosity value, the chewier or bouncy the noodle texture is. For example, if we make noodles from wheat flour that's high in protein but low in viscosity, we end up making hard noodles that are easy to break under our teeth. Not a good texture.
Another thing we want to consider is whether the noodles are curled or not. Wavy noodles are popular with shoyu ramen, and we also want to think about how curly we want our noodles to be. This can be done by machine or hand. Hand-curling noodles give us the randomness, which may result in unique noodle textures.
Another point is how strong the wheat flavors you want to bring out in your noodles. The basic rule is the less hydration the stronger the wheat flavors.

What is your favorite shoyu ramen?

The last thing you want to take into account when crafting your own shoyu ramen is your favorite shoyu ramen. Without it, it would be difficult for you to craft your shoyu ramen and keep serving it to your customers.
Heavy shoyu ramen, such as Iekei or Yokohama ramen uses relatively thick (about 1.6-1.7mm) noodles that are reverse-cut (thickness is larger than width). On the opposite side, there are light shoyu soup with clean finish. The soup may be made of chicken and seafood like dry sardines. For this type, the noodle size should be thin to medium size (1.5mm). When the soup is heavy, the noodles tend to be thicker.
But it is always a good idea for you to try different types of shoyu ramen and patterns of coupling noodles with soups. This way, you may be able to discover your own unique pattern and preference, which reinforce the strength of your shoyu ramen. And, we will be here to help you find your own shoyu ramen noodles at Yamato Ramen School.

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