Udon is one of my favorite Japanese noodles. (It's a tie between udon and cold somen on a hot summer day.) But good udon is almost impossible to find outside...
Udon is one of my favorite Japanese noodles. (It's a tie between udon and cold somen on a hot summer day.) But good udon is almost impossible to find outside of Japan so here's some udon from Japan for you to try! It's from Gunma prefecture, a region that's known for its wheat fields and udon, as well as mountains, hot springs, and ski resorts. Most commercial udon is made from wheat that's grown outside of Japan, but Akagi has made a commitment to its community and only uses home-grown wheat to make their udon. That and pristine water from local mountain springs! This line of udon showcases beautiful Hokkaido flour.
Good udon noodles should be slippery and silky. If you think of udon as that jumbo udon (chewy and brittle and found in the freezer section at an Asian market), this is not at all the same! This is a flat noodle, and though it's not as wide as kishimen (my favorite type of udon), the width is somewhere between fettuccine and linguine. When you cook udon noodles, bring water to a boil, DON'T ADD SALT, add the udon, and lower the heat to med-high so the noodles aren't violently boiling in your pot. Make sure to give them a stir when they first go in or else they'll clump together.
Please enjoy udon noodles in a warm kakejiru. I use the Ninben Tsuyu (just dilute it one part tsuyu to 7 parts water and warm it up). For garnish, I'd recommend green onions, kamaboko fish cake, fried tofu, fried tempura bits, grilled mochi, or leftover curry (my faaaavorite). And don't forget the togarashi! It's not udon without togarashi!!
When people think of Japanese noodles, they usually think of ramen but ramen isn't actually Japanese. It's Chinese! That's why in Japan you often see ramen shops selling gyoza; they're basically Chinese restaurants. Japanese noodles are udon, somen, and soba and I love them so much. (Caveat: the noodle-making techniques all came from China)
From Ota City, Gunma, Japan
Cooking time: 10 minutes, rinse with cold water
** Do not add salt to the boiling water! Just drop the noodles in boiling plain water. Make sure to give them a gentle stir when you first drop them in, and lower the heat to Medium High while you boil them. If you are going to slip the noodles in hot soup and enjoy them right away, you don't have to rinse them in cold water. Otherwise it's best to arrest their cooking since they will become overcooked very quickly.
Contains 3 portions.
Vegan, Soy-free. Contains wheat.