By Luc Gougeon
I somehow became a certified udon maker after spending an hour and a half at Udon School in Takamatsu on Shikoku Island. Freshly made Sanuki udon is a real delight and I am happy to share with my fellow JETs this cheaply acquired knowledge. Making udon from scratch is easy and I have done so in two schools in less than two hours (this includes the preparation, cooking time, eating and cleaning). I hope you will have fun trying this almost fool-proof recipe with your students. Ganbatte!
- 2 1/2 cups of wheat flour
- 2/3 of a cup of water
- 1 tsp. salt
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Tough food-graded plastic bag.
- Mix the salt and water. Put the flour in the bowl and slowly add the salted water. Mix by hand.
- Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in a plastic bag and step on it with your feet. This is called ashibumi and it‘s the best way to knead the dough. When it‘s pancake-like, remove it from the bag, fold the dough, put it back in the bag and repeat for about 10 minutes.
- Now you should leave the dough to rest for an hour or two. If you cook at home for your own pleasure, it‘s not an issue, but if you are in school, 10 to 20 minutes is more than enough, and provides you with perfect time to prepare broth for your udon (a basic dashi is soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake, water and a little sugar… or simply buy bottled udon broth).
- Take out the dough from the bag, roll it thin with your broom-like rolling pin, sprinkle some flour, fold the dough like a pamphlet and proceed to cut 0.5 mm strips without putting pressure on the dough. Separate each noodle by hand.
- Cook the noodles for 10 minutes in water and voilà, you have delicious udon!
- The noodles can be eaten either hot or chilled in iced water.
- This recipe will yield about four small portions.