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Instructions* Click image to start slideshow.
Let's make the salt water to knead into the flour. Dissolve the salt in the water completely.
This wheat flour is specially made for udon noodles. We recommend using flour with protein content 9.0 to 9.5%. Sift the flour into the large bowl.
Roughly flatten the flour with your fingers. Gradually mix in two-thirds of the salt water.
Toss to coat and moisten the flour evenly.
Mix in the rest of the salt water, but leave 1 teaspoon of it in case you need to adjust the moistness. Give it a quick mix with your hand.
Scoop the moist flour with your hands and mix until crumbly. The dough softness depends on the room temperature, humidity and a type of wheat flour, so gradually add the salt water and adjust as you go. If the dough is too dry and powdery, add the remaining salt water.
Press the crumbly flour mixture with your hand and form into a dough ball.
Put the dough in a food storage bag, and fold the bag in the middle. The dough is not smooth at this stage, and it will easily break apart.
Let's knead the dough with a rolling pin. Use your body weight to press the dough.
Gradually shift the rolling pin, and spread the dough until the bag is filled.
Roll up the dough in the bag, and turn it by 90 degrees.
Fold the bag in the middle, and spread the dough into a sheet.
Repeat the kneading process around 5 to 6 times. It will take about 10 minutes to get the smooth and even texture.
To see if the texture is even, remove the dough from the bag. If the dough is not smooth enough, give extra kneading process.
Press the dough into 2cm (0.8") thickness and rest it in the bag for 10 minutes.
The dough becomes a bit softer in the resting process, and you can quickly shape the dough.
Face down the dough on its smooth surface, press it with your palm to even thickness.
Fold the edges of the dough toward the center. Be careful not to leave the air in the dough.
Rotate and shape the dough into a ball.
Replace the dough in the bag, and leave it at room temperature for 2 hours.
Let's make the udon noodles. Spread the corn starch on the pastry board, and also dust on top of the dough.
Apply your weight and press the dough ball with the rolling pin. Flatten the half of the dough from the center to the side away from you, and flatten the other half toward the side closest to you.
Rotate the dough by 90 degrees and repeat the process.
Next, roll out the half of the dough from the center to the corner, and roll out the other half toward the side closest to you.
Rotate it by 90 degrees and repeat the rolling process.
Roll up the dough around the pin, and roll it down on the pastry board.
Rotate the dough sheet by 90 degrees and repeat the process.
Spread the dough evenly into a square sheet, and make sure it has less than 2~3mm (0.1") thickness.
Apply corn starch on the dough.
And roll it around the rolling pin.
Dust starch on the cutting board, and spread the dough on the surface. Put a generous amount of starch on the dough.
Fold it and put on starch again.
Fold the rest of the dough, but be careful not to overlap the creases. The dough tends to stick together so put corn starch generously for each fold.
Place a baking sheet near the cutting board.
Dust the starch on top of the folded dough.
Position the knife vertically to the creases and cut the dough into noodles.
Shake off the starch, and line up the udon noodles on the baking sheet.
The noodles are less than 2~3mm (0.1") thick now, but almost doubled in size after cooking them.
If the noodles stick together, gently tear them off one by one. Be careful not to cut your hand.
Let's cook the udon noodles. Boil a generous amount of water in a large pot. Lightly shake off the corn starch and submerge half of the udon noodles in the boiling water.
Gently stir with the chopsticks so that the noodles don't stick to the bottom of the pot. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low.
Cover with the lid and cook for 13 to 15 minutes.
If the water is boiling hard, remove the lid and lightly stir the noodles.
Pick a single string of udon noodle with chopsticks, immerse it in cold water and see if it has the texture you like.
Take the pot to the sink, strain and rinse the udon noodles with running water.
Rinsing the udon with fresh cold water removes the gooey film from the surface and improves the texture.
Drain the noodles well and serve them on a dish. Enjoy the udon as soon as possible, otherwise it will become soggy. Spring onion leaves, grated ginger, and sesame seeds go great with noodle soup.
The resting time depends on the temperature, and it was 24°C (75°F) when we made the udon. As a rough guide, rest the dough in a plastic bag for 2 hours in spring and fall, 30 to 60 minutes in summer, and over 3 or 4 hours in winter when you are in Japan. Use a generous amount of water to cook the udon, otherwise the water gets starchy, and the salt in the noodles doesn’t dissolve into the boiling water. Corn starch or potato starch helps keep the noodles from sticking. You can substitute flour instead but you should cook them as soon as possible.