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I saw this video earlier today and it got me thinking: nothing in the recipe for fresh ramen noodles (as opposed to instant ramen) requires a hechsher on its own, as the ingredients are: flour, water, kansui (an alum-rich water, traditionally sourced from lakes in Mongolia) and [sometimes] egg. They are packed while moist, rather than being dried in oil. Consequently: as they are also uncooked, should fresh, Asian-style noodles, require a hechsher?

  • A few concerns that I can think of - If in a factory, what else do they produce that may be non-kosher that could have been in contact with the noodle ingredients? Were the eggs checked for blood? Chicken eggs? (Asians tend to use many animals that Americans wouldn't think of eating. Could be ostrich eggs for all you know.) Was the flour checked for bugs? BTW - have you found a brand of kosher fresh ramen noodles available in U.S.? – DanF Oct 6 '16 at 15:10
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    The video says explicitly that they also add extra gluten, vitamins, colorings. – Double AA Oct 6 '16 at 15:21
  • He also says they may add egg white – user6591 Oct 6 '16 at 17:21
  • @user6591 Other than what I mentioned about blood spots on eggs, what would be the kashrut problem with egg whites? – DanF Oct 6 '16 at 17:22
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    @DanF nonkosher birds? Or any other issues mentioned in the laws of eggs. We are actually not allowed to buy cracked open / beaten eggs from them. But it's just indicative of the bigger issue. 'Plain' noodles are nothing like plain coffee beans. – user6591 Oct 6 '16 at 17:27
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I am not certain about Asia, but I can say that in some South American countries (e.g. Peru), flour is legally required to be enriched with vitamins and minerals -- which is most often from a "non-kosher source".

Unlike the U.S., where major flour brands are certified kosher, Peru’s two-year-old flour enrichment program has left kosher observant Jews searching for options. Vitamins and minerals added to the flour have a “non kosher source,” said Rabbi Blumenfeld. While a solution is sought, a friendly flourmill owner sets aside a monthly allotment of some 500 kilos of flour without additives for Chabad.

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    Ariel, the company used in the link is actually based in the US. In general, food items from certain countries which might not normally require certification do necessitate them (eg. anything from China). – Noach MiFrankfurt Oct 7 '16 at 14:04

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