The $30,000 machine provides a smooth ride by mixing, rolling and cuting dough into strands. The rolled dough unfurls from a cylinder then is cut into strands.
The finished noodle is sent down a short conveyor belt. Curtis, who sits on an upturned bucket for a seat, depresses an on/off switch with his right foot then grabs the noodles by the fistful and twists them into single-size portions.
Kansas City has been gaining ramen shops in the past few years, but Curtis is the only local chef who makes housemade noodles.
Curtis, who opened his 24-seat shop at 3605 Broadway about 18 months ago, demonstrated the ramen noodle-making process for a Wednesday Facebook Live Chow Town session.
1. Straight, like spaghetti served in shio and shoyu broth.
2. Wavy Sapporo-style, similar to cellophane packaged versions and includes egg powder, typically served with miso broth.
3. Tonkotsu, featuring a thinner, drier straight spaghettini-style noodle that is served only on Tuesdays with a rich pork broth that simmers for 32 hours. “The idea is it doesn’t absorb and hold onto as much of the super-rich broth, so you’re not overblasting your mouth,” he says.
In the 20-minute version of the show, we also discussed the types of ramen on the menu and etiquette. Curtis provides square-tipped chopsticks to help grab noodles, a large wooden spoon — and a fork, if you ask for it.
“We get guests who ask for forks, nervously,” Curtis says. “We always say, ‘There’s no shame in the fork game.”