Chef Ivan Orkin is the American face of ramen, operating two successful restaurants in New York and another in Tokyo that he recently departed. But despite his obsession with the dish, Orkin hasn't always been a fan of the ramen noodle itself. In this video from Mind of a Chef, he explains why.
"I never understood ramen noodles that much, and I didn't love ramen noodles," Orkin says in the video. "I still don't love ramen noodles. The soup's really good, but why are the noodles so average."
Because he hasn't found many ramen noodles he enjoys, Orkin makes his own. The chef blends bread flour, cake flour, toasted rye flour, salt, and baking soda to make his dough. After it's mixed together with water, plenty of kneading with a pasta roller is required. With all of the effort he puts into his noodles, Orkin thinks of himself as more than a ramen chef.
"Being a noodle-maker is more than just being a guy who makes ramen," Orkin says. "It takes a certain amount of skill to work with dough, flour, and water. It's something that takes time and care. I am a noodle-maker."