Crafting dream tsukemen noodles

Have you tried a great tsukemen (dipping ramen noodles) dish? Tsukemen literally means "dipping noodles" in Japanese, but it is now a distinctive type of ramen, similar to shoyu ramen, tonkotsu ramen and shio ramen. Even though it has a short history of 65 years since it was offered for the 1st time, it is now a major genre of ramen. There are even  number of ramen shops that specialize in serving tsukemen across Japan. The fact that these specialty tsukemen shops can survive and even thrive tells us the popularity of tsukemen and its potential overseas.
Tsukemen or dipping noodles was based on a traditional Japanese noodle cuisine dish. It is the cold, zaru soba (buckwheat noodles). People enjoyed it over the past 400 years. As Japanese love to combine different things to create new things, the owner of Taisho-ken put together zaru-soba and ramen to create tsukemen.
Now tsukemen has grown into a major category of ramen. People expect the intense tastes and flavors of ramen and strong noodle textures they get from dipping and slurping of noodles.
In this article, we'll explore what kinds of noodles would be great for tsukemen noodles. 

What do we want in tsukemen noodles?

Tsukemen is a very unique noodle dish. Because noodles and soup are served separately, customers have to do the job of dipping the noodles into the soup. It is up to you, how long you dip the noodles in the soup or how much noodles you dip at a time. Even though the soup may be served hot, depending on whether you ask the shop to serve noodles cold or hot, the dipping soup gets cold as you dip more noodles. Some prominent tsukemen shops offered a hot rock that is to be put in the soup to reheat the soup. Because the temperature of the noodles and soup affect the noodle texture and whole experiences of having a tsukemen dish, we want to offer ways to control the temperatures of noodles and soups that our customers experience.
The noodle texture definitely plays an important role in enhancing the experiences of eating tsukemen dishes. In tsukemen noodles, we only taste the noodles that are covered with the dipping noodles. The biting sensation and flavors we get from the dipping soup determine our experiences. For the noodles to hold the soup well, we want a certain noodle texture, which come from the noodle shape. It is the cross section of noodles. We want a certain ratio of thickness and width to have a good noodle shape, which is squared with the four surfaces dented. This is the ideal shape because the dents can carry more soup with good traction. The soup stay on the noodles to our customers' mouth. And this equally dented shape give great biting sensations. The ratio should be 1:1.6 (thickness x width). It is a rectangular shape but when cooked, it turns into a square shape with 4 sides dented inwards. 
Other shapes like flat noodles are also great for tsukemen noodles as the larger flat surface carry more soup. But we want to care about the thickness to the width of the noodles. The thinner the noodles, the less bite we can feel. And because noodles get cooked from the sides (rough surfaces that are shredded by the grooves of a cutter), the wider the longer it takes to fully cook the noodles.

Variables to craft your tsukemen noodles

When crafting any types of ramen noodles, there are certain variables you want to think about before actually making the noodles. Especially for tsukemen noodles, having the right noodle texture is critical to making a popular dish. When crafting your own tsukemen noodles, you should ask yourself the following questions.
1. What kind of dipping soup you are coupling your noodles with?
2. What kind of noodle texture is great for the dipping soup?

If the dipping soup is thick, viscous, and heavy, you may want to go for thick noodles with bouncy texture that would give your customers the satisfying bites. If you serve thin noodles with this type of soup, the noodles wouldn't have much presence. Or, if the noodles are soft without much bites, it is hard for customers to remember the noodles. It is important to create unique and strong biting sensations, especially in tsukemen noodles for our customers to remember. So they sometimes, ideally often crave for our tsukemen noodles.
The variables you want to consider when crafting your tsukemen are, choice of wheat flour, hydration ratio, noodle size and shape that match your dipping soup.
Tsukemen is a very interesting ramen dish, which we believe continue to be popular in the future. Many ramen shops seem to come up with new ideas and innovating tsukemen dishes that wow many tsukemen fans.
At our ramen school, we've also been working on a variety of great tsukemen dishes with potentials to turn many into raving fans. You can join our Online Ramen School today to start crafting your own tsukemen that wow your customers today.

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