Te-uchi udon (Handmade udon noodles)


Ingredients ( Serves 4 )

・300 g flour
・ ¾ cup (150 ml) warm water
・ 1 tablespoon (15 g) salt
・ Extra flour for dusting the dough and others

Broth for the noodles:
・6 cups (1.2 liters) dashi (Japanese-style stock) (or stock made from vegetables, chicken or seafood)
・1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
・1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce

Garnish (optional)
・Sesame seeds, grated root ginger, and finely sliced Welsh onions or onions according to taste

How to cook

1. Dissolve the salt in the warm water. Place flour in a roomy bowl and add the salted water. Mix and then use your hands to shape into a ball of dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead rigorously.

2. Place in a plastic bag or cover, and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. Lightly dust the work surface with flour and roll the dough.

3. Roll out dough to a thickness of approx. 3 mm. Then fold the dough into a series of overlapping pleats approx. 7 cm in width. Dust the dough with flour. Cut the folded dough into strips approx. 3 mm in width. Separate them and untie the noodles and make sure that the cut surface of the dough are coated with some of the flour.

4. Bring water to the boil in a roomy pot and cook the noodles for 8-10 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain once more.

5. In another pot, heat the dashi with salt, and soy sauce. Add the noodles and simmer until the noodles are heated through. Place the noodles in bowls and ladle in some of the broth. Garnish and serve.

Udon noodles: Served in so many different ways

Udon is the name given to the noodles made from flour. They are one of the most popular varieties of noodles in Japan. Udon is believed to have been introduced from China by around the 8th Century, but it is not for certain. However, people around Japan were eating flour noodles by around the 15th Century, and each area developed its own particular style. Sanuki udon is the name given to the rather elastic udon noodles originally from Kagawa prefecture, which are popular nationwide.

There is a whole range of udon recipes to suit people’s tastes and the season. The noodles are commonly served in a dashi-based broth, which can be augmented with other ingredients, such as pieces of tempura, pieces of meat simmered in a salty sauce, an egg, etc. The noodles can be rinsed in cold water and served cold with a chilled and more concentrated dashi-based broth. This dish is popular in the hotter months of the year. In winter, udon noodles are often simmered in broth along with seafood, meat, and vegetables.

Courtesy of NHK World “Let’s Cook Japanese” by Culinary Specialist Akiko Watanabe.

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