Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Homemade Udon Noodles

Compared to making ramen noodles, making udon noodles seems a lot less fussy.  There's no obscure ingredient to find (unless you live somewhere where you can't find tapioca flour) and you literally use your feet to knead the dough.  I know!  Since the noodles are a thicker cut, there's even less of a need to have a pasta machine as well, although I found the dough to be stiffer so a pasta machine can really help with the rolling part.

Udon Noodles (adapted from She Simmers)
makes 1 1/2 lbs. fresh noodles

5 1/2 cups bread flour plus more for dusting
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/4 cups warm water

Mix together the bread flour and tapioca flour in a large mixing bowl.

Dissolve the salt in the warm water.  Pour about half of the salt water into the flour and mix with your hands.  Add the remaining water, a teaspoon at a time, just until you can form a ball with the dough.

Kneading the dough with my feet
Place the dough in a gallon size Ziploc bag, squeeze out the air, and seal.  Place the bag on the ground and knead with your feet for a minute.  (I may or may not have put on my cutest socks for that shot.)

Remove the dough from the bag, fold it in thirds like a letter, place it back in the bag, and knead with your feet again for another minute.  Repeat this process two more times.

Let the dough rest in a warm place for 3-6 hours.

Divide the dough in 4 quarters.  Work on a quarter at a time, leaving the rest of the dough covered.

Rolled out
Use a pasta machine or roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8" thickness. 

Dust the surface of the dough with a little more flour and then fold it into thirds like a letter.  Cut the dough into 1/8" thick strips. 

Keep the noodles covered while you work on rolling out and cutting the rest of the dough.  At this point you can store the fresh, uncooked noodles in an airtight container (I used a Ziploc bag) in the refrigerator for a few days before cooking.  Just make sure to toss them in enough flour to keep them from sticking to one another.  As you can kind of see from my pictures, my dough was so dry already that I didn't need to add much more flour. 

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the fresh noodles.  After about 3 minutes, the noodles will start to float.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the noodles look swollen.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

Handmade vs. Machine rolled
Above is a comparison of hand-rolled and hand-cut noodles vs. machine rolled and cut noodles.  Can you tell which is which?

In broth
I like to eat my udon noodles in a dashi broth seasoned with a little soy sauce and mirin (about 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of mirin per cup of dashi).  Add whatever toppings you want:  tofu, mushrooms, snow peas, carrots, etc.  My favorite is vegetable tempura, which I'll cover in the next post!

Next:  Vegetable Tempura and Tempura Udon
Previously:  Momofuku Ramen Broth
Three years ago:  Apple and Pear Cake Fail
Four years ago:  Macarons - A Lesson in Humility


  1. I found your blog while Googling for udon noodle recipes. Love your posts! Thanks for posting about your food life :)