How To Make Udon Noodles Like Masaharu Morimoto

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Ever wonder how to make udon noodles at home? Leave it to Masaharu Morimoto to teach you the definitive way. Morimoto's follow-up to his 2007 best-seller The New Art of Japanese Cooking is packed with essential wisdom on rice cookery, the science of furikake, the importance of bonito and the dexterity-heavy art of the sweet rolled omelet. If there's a classic Japanese home-cooking technique you've been wanting to learn, whether it's perfect tempura, flawlessly folded shumai or a simple bowl of noodles, this is the book to buy.

Dried udon noodles are fine. Store-bought precooked udon work well. But there's nothing like homemade udon, and believe it or not, you really can make the irresistibly slick, chewy, springy noodles at home. Udon take no great skill. Just flour, water, a rolling pin, and a little patience. If kneading the dough, which activates the gluten in the flour and gives the noodles their texture, makes your arms tired, do what home cooks in Japan do: Put the dough in a resealable plastic bag, wrap it in a towel, and knead with your feet!

Reprinted with permission from Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking

How To Make Udon Noodles Like Masaharu Morimoto
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There's nothing like homemade udon, and you really can make these irresistibly slick, chewy, springy noodles. Here's how to make udon noodles at home.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pounds (4 portions)
  • Rolling pin
  • About 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water
  1. :::dough:::
  2. Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, stir, then add 1¼ cups of the water. Use your hands to mix until the dough starts to come together in a few large lumps. Start to firmly press and knead the dough, incorporating the loose flour until there’s none left. If necessary, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you can incorporate all of the flour.
  3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour, add the dough, and knead (folding and firmly pressing with your palm, folding and pressing) until the dough looks and feels fairly smooth, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. On a lightly floured surface with ample room, knead it again for about 2 minutes. Lightly dust both sides with flour, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough, occasionally rotating the dough 90 degrees and lightly dusting with flour if it threatens to stick to the pin, into a rough, approximately 17-inch circle with an even thickness (slightly less than ¼ inch).  If you are having difficulty rolling, allow the dough to rest for 5 to 10 minutes as needed. This allows the glutens to relax and make it easier to roll out.
  5. Fold the dough into thirds, then slice widthwise into approximately ⅛-inch-thick noodles.  Gently separate the noodles and toss them with a little bit of flour, just so they don’t stick together. Cook right away.
  6. :::udon:::
  7. The way you cook homemade noodles is slightly different from the way you cook purchased noodles. Follow these instructions whether you’re planning to serve the noodles hot or cold.
  8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prepare a large bowl of icy water. Add the noodles to the boiling water, stirring frequently and adding ¼ cup of fresh water if the water threatens to bubble over, until they’re fully cooked but not mushy, 10 to 12 minutes. (Unlike Italian pasta, they shouldn’t be al dente, but don’t let them get mushy.)
  9. Drain them, then transfer them to the icy water. Briefly and gently rub them with your hands to remove some of the starch. Drain very well.
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