Manna may have come from heaven, but ramen comes from machines. In eight hours, Bullex's Bigger Automatic Instant Noodle Production Line produces nearly a quarter million bags of noodles. Enough to feed the citizens of Springfield, Illinois two (literal) squares a day—just like instant ramen's creator intended.
Wheat flour, salt, water and kansui—a combination of sodium, potassium carbonate, and phosphate—are what makes up the Japanese (originally Chinese) noodle we know and love, delicious dry and crunchy or wet and slinky. Once the noodles are made into 100-foot long strings, they're cooked for a minute at 212°F in a machine like the one you see above. The ramen is folded into squares, deep-fried at 400°F, and paired with the all-important flavor packet, the umami-salt soul of every bowl.
I bet you've never seen ramen flow like water, which is exactly how it moves through these machines. And into my stomach. [Made-in-China.com and rameniac; Image credit: Made-in-China.com and Shutterstock]
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