Fresh Udon Noodles

Fresh Udon Noodles

Details

These chewy Japanese wheat-based noodles are often served with hot broth in a soup or stir-fried. Or, simply cook and serve with soy sauce and mirin, and garnish with chopped scallions and shaved nori.
  • Serves: 8 cups
  • Active Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 4 hrs
  • Views: 35,023
  • Success Rating: 83% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Dough

• 2 3/4 cups bread flour
• 1/3 cup corn or tapioca starch
• 3/4 cup warm water
• 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Method

To prepare the dough, in a bowl, dissolve the sea salt in warm water. In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour and starch.

Next, make a well in the flour bowl and pour about 1/2 of the water into the well. Mix with both hands and all fingers, scraping the bottom of the bowl as you mix until the water is incorporated.

At this point, add about 1/2 of the remaining water and continue to mix until the dough begins to separate into strands. Finally, add the rest of the water and mix and squeeze the dough together until it binds into a ball. The dough will not be smooth at this point but will begin to show elasticity. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.

Step 2: Kneading the Dough

Method

To knead the dough, on the countertop, sprinkle on a bit of corn or tapioca starch, just enough to prevent the dough from sticking. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on the lightly–dusted counter. Knead until very smooth and shiny, about 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, form the dough into a tight ball and rub with a bit of oil. Place the dough ball into a clean bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 3 to 4 hours before rolling.

Step 3: Rolling Out the Dough & Cutting the Noodles

Method

To roll out the dough, sprinkle some corn or tapioca starch on the counter and roll out until the dough is very thin (about 1/4 – 1/8 –inch thickness). Note that the noodle will expand as they cook.

Before cutting the noodles, sprinkle the dough lightly again with corn or tapioca starch and spread over the entire dough surface. Grasp the far edge of the dough and fold it in half toward you to meet the close edge. Sprinkle and spread some more corn starch and bring the far edge toward you again, folding in half a second time. Spread some more corn or tapioca starch on the top and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.

Once the dough has rested, apply a slightly heavier amount of corn or tapioca starch on top and some additional starch on the counter. This will help make sure the noodles do not stick together when cutting.

With a sharp chef’s or similar knife, begin cutting the dough crosswise into noodles about 1/4–inch wide. After cutting the noodles, separate to prevent them sticking together, using a bit more starch if needed. Set the noodles aside on a dusted counter or tray until ready to cook

Step 4: Cooking the Noodles

Method

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water, stirring occasionally until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes, continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes once floating at the top, but careful not to overcook since they will get slightly rubbery. Test for fineness before removing from water. Lift them out with a spider and place them immediately into ice cold water until it is time to serve.

Chef's Notes

Note: These noodles are excellent as leftovers and frozen. To freezer, form small piles on a plate or sheet pan (portion size), and place in freezer. Once piles are frozen, place then in ziplock bags and add frozen noodles directly to hot water or soup to cook for a quick meal.

23 Comments

  • Heather
    Heather
    I love udon and can't wait to try this! Could I store the cooked noodles in the fridge to use throughout the week? If so, how long will they keep? Long shot, but could I freeze them?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Yes, you can cook them and keep them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. And, yes, you can freeze them (both raw and cooked) but it will impact the cooking time and texture. If raw, make sure the noodles are separated before freezing - you don't want a frozen dough clump. Enjoy!
  • Kalyn S
    Kalyn S
    Could I let the dough rest overnight in the refrigerator and then take it out a few hours before I start rolling to ensure it comes to room temperature?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes, that should be just fine. Cheers!
  • Randy G
    Randy G
    Can you use all purpose flour instead of "bread flour" for making udon noodles?
  • Chad S Rouxbe Staff
    Chad S
    Hi Randy - yes, this is a fine substitute, just note that you may need to adjust kneading time to activate the gluten a tad longer if using All Purpose, since it has a slightly lower % of gluten compared to bread flour. Other than that minor adjustment, the results should be similar with the final product. - Good luck. Chad
  • Randy G
    Randy G
    Chad ... Thanks for the info. I actually went and purchased gluten and mixed with All Purpose figuring that the overall protein % would be an average based on the mix of the two components. I remembered bread protein % should be around 12-14% so I mixed a 6/5 ratio of All Purpose to Gluten. The noodles seemed a little less stringy than when I did Udon Noodles before, so I added more liquid (salted water). It didn't really work too well when I tried to roll it out for cutting the noodles - maybe the process is not quite as "mathematical" as I thought. I'm glad to find out I really just needed to work the dough a little more than normal. I went out and got some "Bread Flour" to have some on hand because when I made homemade Udon for the class, they were really awesome. Chad, really appreciate the advice.
  • Angela M
    Angela M
    How many serves does this make if one serve is four cups
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Angela - This recipe makes about 4 servings, depending on exactly how much you put in each bowl and the level of appetite your guests have. ~Ken
  • Diana  S
    Diana S
    Hello, The dough I prepared didn't necessarily rise is that alright? It expanded, is that ok? is it prepared to be rolled out?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Sounds like it is good to go!
  • Bobbe D
    Bobbe D
    Can I reduce the amount of salt or eliminate for low sodium diet? How would that affect the texture?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Yes, make adjustments to salt, as needed. Salt does have the affect of enhancing the strength of gluten, but the dough will be OK if you omit it.
  • Kerstin K
    Kerstin K
    Hi, do you have any ideas how I can make glutenfree udon? Glutenfree bread flour with 1/2 tsp Xanthan perhaps? What do you think?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    See the following: http://vegetarianandhealth.blogspot.com/2008/11/udon-noodles-from-scratch.html AND http://www.eisforeat.com/2012/02/u-is-for-udon-noodle-soup-guest-post.html
  • Lisa L
    Lisa L
    Do the noodles need to be rolled and cut by hand or can I use my Kitchenaid Pasta attachment to do this?
  • Brian S Rouxbe Staff
    Brian S
    Hello there Lisa, I am sure you could use your Kitchenaid pasta attachment for this recipe. Have fun!
  • Robert M
    Robert M
    Is it possible to make the dough with Whole Wheat or Buckwheat flour? I would prefer to use Whole Wheat flour since enriched flour has synthetic vitamins. Nutrients and fiber is removed from enriched flour. Thanks
  • Brian S Rouxbe Staff
    Brian S
    Hello there Robert, You can certainly use other flours with this recipe. With the two flours, you have listed you will need to add more water to achieve the same results. Enjoy your wonderful noodles.
  • Rae S
    Rae S
    Hi there, I was wondering if I can make the dough ahead of time and let it rest overnight. Will it affect the elasticity of the dough?
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Rae! You can definitely make this dough in advance and refrigerate it. Give the dough a little time out of the fridge before you roll it so that it will be easier to handle. Lauren
  • Justine S
    Justine S
    Hello! because I didnt have bread flour I used for this recipe all purpose flour and added 1 1/2 tsp wheat gluten per each cup of flour. The noodles turned out to be too chewy. I also noticed that the dough was very hard to knead. I also prolonged the resting time of the thou for 2 hours more... I dont know if that has something to do with the texture or it is just because of the flour. Thank you!
  • Lauren L Rouxbe Staff
    Lauren L
    Hi Justine. I like the way you are thinking with this substitution! However, pure gluten is so intensely dense that I would suggest skipping that next time. These would be better with only AP flour if you do not have access to bread flour. The dough should be tough to work with but ultimately it should be workable. Lauren

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