Udon Noodles,Today I am going to show you how to make homemade udon noodles.
Udon noodles is very famous. It’s like normal handmade noodles,and it’s not hard to make at home.
We need plain flour, water and salt.
We also need some potato starch for dusting.
What makes udon noodle special is that the dough contains a relatively high amount of salt but less amount of water. This brings out a thick and chewy texture for this kind of noodles.
First, dissolve salt in the water.
Mix until dissolved. Put plain flour into a large basin.
Gradually add in the salt water, toss and moisten the flour.
Save about 10ml of the salt water just in case it will be needed later.
Press the crumble flour mixture with your hands and form into a dough.
The dough is very dry and hard at this point.
Knead the dough. The basin becomes clean without flour attaching to it, but you can see there are still some flour crumbs left.
Just keep kneading until the crumbs incorporated into the dough.
You cannot make the dough smooth for now.
We just need to knead the dough until there’s no flour crumbs.
Use you hand palm to knead the dough.
When the dough is shaped into a ball, put it into a ziplock bag and rest for about 30 mins.
[Rest for about 30mins] now let’s make it in a traditional Japanese style.
Since the Udon dough is very dry, it’s hard to press and roll it out by hands. So instead, we can use our feet. It’s easier.
Place the ziplock bag with your dough over a clean piece of towel on the floor. Step on it.
Don’t step too hard or you will break the bag.
Pick it up when the dough is flattened.
Fold it over inside the bag.
Fold it into a smaller dough.
Seal the bag but leave a tiny opening so that you won’t burst the bag when step on it.
Keep stepping on the dough.
Repeat the stepping and folding process.
Repeat for about 10 times in total.
Now the dough is smooth and softer.
Take it out of the bag and shape into a ball.
Try to pat the dough into a smooth ball.
Put it back in the bag and rest again.
[Rest again for 1-2 hours] Let the dough rest for a little bit longer this time, about 1-2 hours.
We can prepare the other ingredients while waiting.
We need to make a traditional Japanese broth with bonito flakes and Kombu.
For the toppings, we need aburaage, finely chopped spring onion, seaweed (nori) stripes and shiitake mushroom.
We also need soy sauce and mirin to taste, as well as a little shiichimi.
Let’s get started with the dashi stock. Soak a piece of clean Kombu into 350ml water for about an hour.
Do this while the dough is resting.
When the dough is ready, get it out of the bag and press it with a rolling pin.
Roll it out towards you and roll it out from you repeatedly, until you roll it into an oval shape. The rotate 90 degrees.
Roll it out again in two directions.
Make sure you roll evenly.
Rotate 90 degrees after each stretch, and keep the dough sheet smooth and even.
The dough will gradually become a square dough sheet.
Keep an eye on the shape and thickness of the dough, and keep it stretched as evenly as possible.
When the dough sheet is large enough, flour the surface with potato starch.
Then roll it up around the rolling pin.
Keep rolling like this to make it thinner.
Roll it out and rotate again. Repeat this process.
Keep doing so until the dough is large enough. Adjust the shape, and keep it as square as possible.
The dough sheet should be around 3-5 mm thick.
Flour some potato starch on the surface evenly.
Fold two sides to the center.
Flour the dough sheet with potato starch.
And fold again.
Then flour the cutting board with potato starch.
Place the folded dough sheet on top, and cut it into noodles.
You may need a tool to assist you in order to cut them evenly. Here I am using a small piece of wooden board.
Place the board next to your knife helps to cut the noodles evenly.
Cut the dough sheet into noodles that are 3-5mm wide to make a square cross section.
After that, shake off any excess flour.
Now it’s done.
You can store them in the fridge for about 3-4 days if you don’t want to cook them right away.
Or you can put them in the freezer. You can cook them in the boiling water without defrosting next time you want to serve the noodles.
Now let’s make the toppings.
Cut the aburaage into stripes, and slice the shiitake mushroom.
Heat the Kombu water on the stove.
Heat it up until it almost comes to boil with rising bubbles, then take out the Kombu.
This is because overcooked Kombu becomes slimy and bitter.
Add in bonito flakes. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 2 mins.
Cover a mesh strainer with a piece of gauze.
Strain the stock.
This is the traditional Japanese broth.
Besides Udon noodles,you can serve this versatile broth with other Japanese dishes.
Now let’s cook the noodles.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add in the noodles.
Give it a stir to prevent any sticking at the bottom of the pot.
Pour the broth in the pot.
Add in shiitake mushroom, soy sauce and mirin.
Simmer the broth until fragrant.
Cook the noodles and broth at the same time.
It varies from 8-10 mins to cook noodles,depending on how thick your noodles are.
Turn down the heat to medium to cook noodles.
When the noodles are almost done, add in aburaage into the broth.
Taste it and see if you like it. Add salt if needed.
Keep cooking noodles and broth at the same time.
After 8-10 mins, Your noodles will become plump and double in size, and look a little translucent. That means they are ready.
Don’t overcook to maintain the chewiness of your noodles.
Remove the noodles from heat, drain and rinse under cold running water right away.
Let them cool completely and get rid of excess potato starch.
Udon noodles taste better, al dente and lighter after rinsing in cold water.
You should do the same for Yaki Udon as well.
Udon noodles become cold after rinsing, so pour some hot water over to warm up a little.
Drain completely and transfer them into a bowl.
Place the aburaage and shiitake mushroom on top.
Pour hot broth over the noodles.
Lastly, sprinkle some chopped spring onions, seaweed strips and a little shichimi to taste.
Shichimi is a Japanese spice mixture. It’s optional.
Now the handmade Japanese Udon noodles are ready to serve.
Handmade Udon noodles are thicker and chewier than those on the shelves in a supermarket.
Serving with hot and rich broth, Udon noodles will chase away the autumn chill.
I hope you enjoy my Udon noodles.
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