Carfree since '82. Grrr!
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Kansas City, Missouri, USA
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1. Afficionados of ramen might also like to probe the wealth of Vietnamese noodles available in Asian markets.
2. Probably most cities, like Kansas City (hey, if it's here it must be everywhere, we have such limited imagination!
), have at least one company that makes and packages (relatively) fresh noodles. Some are vacuum sealed to retain freshness. These cook in a couple of minutes instead of 8-12, and are pretty good. They should be refrigerated to prevent molding, after opening.
3. It's very easy to make your own noodles. There's a catch, though: it tends to be very messy.
You don't even need a machine (though plenty of manual and electric ones are for sale). You can just cut the rolled-up sheets of dough with a knife as thick, thin, plain, or fancy as you please. You dry the noodles over clothesline or wooden dowels. Or I don't see why you couldn't lay them out on nylon mesh and dry them that way.
Your homemade noodles cook in one to two minutes. You can add crushed chili peppers, various vegetable juices or pulp, etc. to the dough and the sky's the limit.
I don't do it these days because I'm so lazy.
It occurs to me that if you wanted to get a more Asian kind of noodle, you could use rice flour instead of wheat flour. I imagine rice flour is available in Asian markets, though I haven't looked for it (see above comment on laziness). But it is very easy to make your own rice flour (I've done it) by grinding raw rice in an electric coffee grinder.
On leave of absence as of March 13, 2002. Contact by email.