Making udon noodles
Noodles and rice
Making fresh udon noodles
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Introduction :: Soups and dashi :: Egg dishes :: Sushi :: Fast food :: Noodles and rice :: Side dishes :: Desserts
Serves 4, vegan
If you have ever made your own pasta making noodles isn't that different. When I was researching the Japanese method for making udon noodles I was impressed by the amount of skill that was put in to create the perfect noodle. I was unable to recreate this at home - not having the correct tools and teaching - but I was quite satisfied by my results. They tasted good and hearty and as good if not better than any commercially produced dried or pre packed straight to wok noodle. Give it a go all you need is a bowl, a rolling pin and a sharp knife.

Ingredients
350g wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
170ml water


Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the water and with a blunt table knife swirl the mixture together until it forms a thick dough. If it feels a bit too sticky add tiny bit more flour. If it doesn't quite come together add a tiny amount of flour at a time to bring it together.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes soft and smooth.
Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 5mm (3/16th of an inch). Lay it somewhere safe on your work surface where it will not be disturbed and cover it well with cling film and leave it for two hours. The cling film will prevent air moisture being absorbed into dough.
After 2 hours roll out the dough to a 2mm thickness (1/16th of an inch). Lightly flour the surface and fold the dough in half. Flour that surface and fold neatly in half again.

Trim the end of with the largest and sharpest knife you have to leave a perfect straight edge to the dough.
Japanese noodle makers would use a special knife for this purpose (see glossary) but don't worry you don't need to spend 100's on a new knife just use your largest and give it a good sharpen. Cut the dough into strips keeping them as even as you can. Don't worry too much about being precise though.
After every few cuts unfold the noodles, dowse them in a little flour, and set them to one side. Keep going until the dough is finished.
To cook the noodles bring a large pot of water to the boil and plunge them in. When they float to the surface count 30 seconds and they are done. If you want them for a salad cool them under cold running water and drain them. Otherwise serve them straight away after draining.
Hmmm! Congratulations!
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Udon noodles are the thickest of the Japanese noodles and are made from refined wheat flour. They come dried or pre-cooked in vac pac bags. They are usually served either hot in a dashi based soup or served cold with a dipping sauce. If you want my advice buy the dried udon and cook them yourself as the vac pac ones are often very chewy and plastic looking.
Udon noodles when made by hand are cut using a special knife called soba kiri and are custom built for the job. The one pictured here costs about 350.00