Homemade Udon Noodles

Homemade Udon Noodles

Funny how 12 days in Japan can change your entire culinary outlook, which you’ve probably noticed from the shift in recipes I’ve been posting lately. What can I say, I get inspired by my culinary travels.

For example, before this trip, my ultimate comfort food was pasta with butter and parmesan.

Now? Well, you’re looking at it.

Cold udon noodles served with Mentsuyu, a flavorful soup base used as a dipping sauce for noodles. It’s made from soy sauce, mirin, sugar, and steeped with bonito (dried fish flakes) and kombu (dried kelp), which give it an incredible richness and umami. You can buy pre-made mentsuyu concentrate, or make your own with a few specialty ingredients that you can easily find at an Asian market or online.

How to Make Homemade Udon Noodles - Handcut or roll using a pasta maker

After enjoying some amazing fresh udon noodles in Japan, like, seriously mind blowing, we set out to make our own udon noodles at home. Turns out, it’s really quite easy!

Udon noodles are distinctive in their thickness, their bounce and their chew. Traditional Japanese udon is actually kneaded by foot. That’s right, not by hand, by foot. Trust me on this one: I made multiple batches using just the stand mixer and by hand, and none turned out as well as the one I kneaded with my feet. There’s a reason the Japanese have been doing it this way for centuries.

Simply put the dough in a plastic bag, wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and smush it with your feet until it’s flat. Open up the bag, fold it up into a ball again, and repeat 3-4 times until you have a dough that’s as smooth as your earlobe.

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