Lye noodles is one step up from the Easy Homemade Noodles, but still super easy to make. Salt, water, lye water and flour and you get these super delicious, extra bouncy noodles like the traditional Japanese Ramen(Not the dried package stuff)! Making classic, traditional noodles at home is much easier than you think.
Yellow noodles don’t always mean egg noodles. The lye changes the consistency of the gluten and the color with it, making it yellow, stretchier and bouncier.
What is Lye?
Food grade lye water(Amazon Affiliate) is a potent liquid alkaline (potassium carbonate) used in home brewing and baking, to raise the pH of dough. It is commonly used in traditional Chinese cooking to change the consistency of noodles, meatballs and sometimes rice. Traditionally, lye water for food is made with ashes of burnt wood, and rice husks soaked in water in a jar for 3 months. It is pretty strong and might burn your throat/stomach when accidentally ingested.
Only a very small amount of lye water is needed when making these noodles, 1/2t to be exact. Completely harmless to human, if you’re wondering.
You should be able to find this bottle or something similar to this at your local Asian store, I’ve seen both Chinese and Philipino version of lye water or find it on Amazon via this link: Food grade lye water (Amazon affiliate).
Pasta Maker or no Pasta Maker
These noodles can be made 100% by hand(rolling pin) or with a pasta maker. (Amazon affiliate, Choochoo-ca-Chew will make a small commision to support this blog if you purchase through the link.) I LOVE my pasta maker. It’s probably one of the most used kitchen gadgets in my kitchen(not that I have that many). I love it because it cuts my noodles into these perfect, beautiful, professional looking strips and I’ve got so many compliments on it!
Another reason why a pasta maker is great for making this particular recipe is that the dough is on the dry side. It will almost look crumbly when the dough is first shaped, there’s a lot of folding and “kneading”(rolling the dough out) and it’s slightly trickier to do with a rolling pin. A pasta maker makes the process a lot easier and doesn’t use as much muscle power. Fold the dough in half, run it through the machine(number 1), then fold it again and run it through again, until the dough is smooth. About 10 times.
Making the noodle with a rolling pin
It is essentially the same process, roll it out, fold in half, roll it out, fold again, roll again. More detailed photos can be found in the post “Easy Homemade Noodles“. It may take a little more time than making noodles with the pasta maker, as the dough is dry and will get harder to work with as you roll-knead. When the dough builds up too much tension and hard to roll, cover it up with a wet towel and rest for 10-15 minutes to relax then repeat the roll-knead process again until the dough is smooooth.
What recipes go great with these noodles?
Undercook it slightly and it makes a DELICIOUS Yakisoba. (Think Kyatchi’s soba dog/yaki soba).
SESAME NOODLE SALAD | 麻醬涼麵 is actually what I made these noodles for.
Any kind of ramen broth would be delicious too. You can do so much with these noodles, experiment and have fun with it. (Or shoot me a message on IG and ask me for more ideas!)
I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE, RATE + COMMENT BELOW OR #CHEWEXPERIMENT ON INSTAGRAM!!!
- 4-3/4 C All-purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1-1/3 C Water
- 1/2 tsp Food Grade Lye Water
- Mix the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl
- Mix the water and lye water together in another bowl
- With a fork, adding the wet to the dry 1/4 at a time and mix simultaneously, adding the liquid to the driest part of the flour mixture every time. Mix until the it becomes stringy crumbs.
- Work and knead the dough together with your hands, until it all sticks together. The dough may seem dry and almost crumbly, totally normal.
- Cover with a wet towel and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes to fully absorb all the moisture and relaxes the gluten.
- Separate the dough into 4 portions so it’s easier to work with
- With a rolling pin, take one portion and roll it out, fold in the dough from the long ends, turn it 90 degrees, roll it out again and repeat for 10 times or until the dough is completely smooth. (OR do this with a pasta maker)
- Switch to another portion and do the same while the first one rests, repeat through all four of the dough
- Come back to the first portion and roll it out to 1/10″(0.2cm) thick (or your desired thickness)If using a pasta maker, I prefer the thickness of #5.
- Dust the flat dough with cornstarch so it doesn’t stick and fold it 4 times so it is easy to cut.(No folding if using the pasta maker to cut)
- Cut your noodles into your desired width
- Boil a pot of water and cook it for 2~3 mins and enjoy! (or group them into a ball and freeze them to use in the future)
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