A noodle is a noodle is a noodle—right? No way, dude. Though the ingredients are few, the process to make ramen is nuanced. It can (obviously) be done by hand, but Sun Noodle HQ has the help of a long machine that mixes dough into balls, flattens it into sheets, rolls it like toilet paper, and cuts it into all different wavy and straight portion sizes.
This stuff goes through a lot before it's ready to be your tasty meal.
The folks at Potluck Video went behind the scenes at the factory, which produces a staggering 20,000 servings of ramen a day. Each batch is made up of wheat flour—40,000 pounds worth!—water, salt, and kansui, which is a salty alkaline solution that gives ramen its unique texture.
Making sure these are all mixed properly is incredibly important, with "each particle of flour touching each particle of water" thanks to sprays and custom drip maneuvers, and here, gluten is given the kind of TLC it's not getting from dopey fad dieters. The compound pressing procedure allows for multiple stages once the dough's been made, until it's eventually "aged" for 45 minutes to allow the proteins to rest.
Really though, it's just fun to watch the different parts of the machine doing their collective thing. Mmmm, ramen. [Digg Video]