Udon Noodles ( Japanese noodles)
Method adapted from Harumiís Japanese Home Cooking
Makes 4 servings
4 teaspoons salt
8 ounces (1 cup) warm water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups plain all-purpose flour
1. Add the salt to the warm water and stir until it has dissolved.
Put the bread flour and all-purpose flour in a large bowl, and whisk
the flours together.
2. Pour the salty water into the bowl with the flour. Using your
hands, mix the flour and water together lightly until the mixture is
crumbly. Pull the dough up from the bottom of the bowl and press
down, and repeat until the flour and water are well combined and a
rough ball is formed.
3. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it
for 5-10 minutes until the dough has smoothed out and a lumpy ball
4. Transfer the dough to the bread machine to continue kneading on
dough setting. Then put the dough inside a plastic bag and leave
aside for 4 hours
5. After 4 hours, take it out of the plastic bag and knead it again
the second time on the bread machine. The dough may crumble and
break to pieces.
6. Combine the dough together using your hands . Then roll it out on
a pasta machine to cut it into thin noodles as in making Chinese
If you do not have a bread
machine to do the kneading for you.
(continue from step 3)
4. Transfer the dough to a large plastic bag, and then wrap
the bag in a thick towel. Put it on the floor and walk on it with
flat feet (not just the heel). Turn as you walk, so that all the
dough gets flattened. When the dough feels flat, remove the dough
from the bag and roll it out. Then fold it up, put it back into the
bag and repeat the process. The should become more and more smooth
with each repeat. Repeat 3 or 4 times. On the last repeat, leave the
dough in the bag, wrapped in the towel, and let it rest for 3 to 4
hours (during the winter, leave it in a warm place).
5. When the dough is done resting, take it out of the bag, reshape
it into a ball, then return it to the bag and walk on it one last
time. Try to spread the dough with your feet, turning around 360
6. Dust your work surface with a bit of bread flour, then place the
flattened dough on top and roll it out, working from the middle out.
Rotate the dough 45 degrees and repeat until the dough is about
1/8-inch thick, and approximately a rectangle measuring about 1 foot
wide by at least 1 1/2 feet long.*
7. Dust the top of the dough with bread flour and then fold it into
thirds. Using a long sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4-inch to
1/8-inch thick ribbons. If the dough gets very sticky, dust it again
with bread flour. Dust the noodles with bread flour before moving
them from the work surface.
Cooking the noodles:
1.Fill a large pot with water and bring to a
rapid boil. Lightly shake any excess flour from the noodles and add
them to the boiling water. Using cooking chopsticks, or a wooden
spoon, stir the noodles to prevent them from sticking to each other.
Cook the noodles for 6 ó 7 minutes, or until they are translucent
and firm without a hard core. Drain the noodles in a sieve and rinse
under cold running water so they cool rapidly.
2. Once the noodles are cool enough to handle, separate them with
your hands and rinse them again in cold water to make sure that all
of the starch is removed.
1. Resting the kneaded dough first time for 3-4 hours aside is to weaken the glutton in the flour.
2. *Rolled out dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated
for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Bring the dough to
room temperature before sprinkling it with flour and continuing on
with step 7.
Makes 4 servings
1 batch udon noodles (recipe above, or enough store bought noodles
for 4 servings)
1 cup water
2 cups soy sauce
1 1/2 cups mirin
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1.8 ounces katsuobushi (dried fish flakes)
6 3/4 cups dashi
finely sliced scallions, to taste
shichimi togarashi or chili powder, to taste (optional)
1. In a large pot, combine the water, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to
low, and add the katsuobushi. When the mixture comes to a boil
again, turn off the heat and let the mixture stand for 2 minutes.
Then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, or a sieve lined
with a double layer of cheesecloth, and discard the katsuobushi.
2. Separate the udon noodles into 4 separate deep bowls.
3. Add the dashi to the mixture in the pot and heat over high heat.
When the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat off and pour it over
the udon noodles. Sprinkle with scallions and shichimi togarashi, to
taste and serve.