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How to Make Udon…Again!

7 April 2011

So last time I kinda failed at making udon…and I vowed to try it again. So…today I decided to make some for lunch. And guess what? It worked! It turned out the way it should. I made some changes to the recipe in my cookbook, which worked out and now I know how to make good handmade udon and I won’t forget. From the pictures it might look kind of the same as last time, but I promise it was way better. So here it is:

Here’s what you’re gonna need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt

1. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and create a well in the centre. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour into the well.

2. Slowly fold the flour into the water, swirling your hand around to slowly incorporate the flour into the water. Mix until you form a firm dough. (tip: place a damp cloth under the bowl to prevent it from moving around)

3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it well for at least 10 minutes. Really work the dough well to develop the gluten. The dough should be smooth and quite elastic when you’re done.

It may look quite pock-marked but it was pretty smooth and the dough smoothed out a lot after resting.

4. Hit the dough with a fist at least 100 times in order to get rid of any air pockets. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth (to prevent it from drying out). Allow the dough to rest for at least 2 hours. This allows the gluten to rest so your noodles don’t end up tough. The dough will also smooth out while it rests.

5. Move the dough to a floured surface and flatten first with your hands. Then roll it out to about 1/8 inch thick.

6. Fold the dough over into an ‘S’ shape.

7. With a sharp knife, cut the noodles to your desired thickness (I prefer about 1/5 inch). If you want, you can stretch out the noodles by hand if they are too thick.

8. Separate the noodles and toss with some flour to prevent sticking. At this point you can refrigerate the noodles for a few days or even freeze them (I haven’t tried it though).

9. To cook, boil more water than you think you need in a large pot. Place the noodles in the boiling water. They will float up to the surface after a few minutes. Allow to cook for about 3 more minutes (depends on the thickness). When the water begins to boil vigorously, add some cold water to the pot to quench the boiling.

10. Drain the noodles and rinse well with cold water to wash off the outer layer of starch (not good eats).

11. You can serve your noodles in soup (refresh in some boiling water first then drain and pour soup over top), cold with dipping sauce or pan-fry them to make yaki-udon. Enjoy!

So I figured out that it’s important that the dough is smooth and that you knead it well to make them nice and chewy (but not tough). It’s really not that difficult and who doesn’t like slurping up noodles? Some of mine were kinda fat and ugly but it was all good. I served mine with some soup and topped it with green onion and some grated ginger and garlic. YUM. Udon is good. Try it.

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