Nama-ste Udon

In food on 11/19/2009 at 10:09 am

Ah the elusive udon, so QQ when cooked properly, the king of all noodle. I’d always thought the recipe was a super secret national treasure of Japan, impossible to make in real life without high level ninja skills (like pulled noodles). Not according to The Manga Cookbook. In fact, it’s so easy kids can do it!

This cookbook was one of the few English language tomes available at the Mitsuwa bookstore. We didn’t buy it though because the other half had coincidentally found it at our local public library the night before. I initially scoffed at it, because it was a children’s book for udonsakes. Joke’s on me!

1.5 cup bread flour
1.5 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 tsp salt

The key to this recipe is developing the gluten. Bread flour gives the extra punch with its malted barley flour, vit C or potassium bromate (kansui-type pow). The barley flour helps yeast work in cakes (none in this recipe). The latter increases the elasticity of the gluten and its ability to retain gas as the dough rises and bakes. For udon, the elasticity is the key element since it is not given a workout by being pulled.

Since this is manga, I include the pics via Photobooth (I was too lazy to make it look nice).

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl (except water).

2. Add water slowly and knead in between. Once dough firms up, knead for 8 minutes. Put it into a ziploc bag.

3/4. Then put that bag into another ziploc bag. Press extra air out.

5. I Love Lucy Step: Stomp on the bag softly for 15 minutes.

6. Refrigerate dough in ziploc bag at least 3 hours, or overnight.

7. Remove dough from fridge and cut in half.

8. Coat the dough, surface and rolling pin in bread flour so dough won’t stick.

9. Roll out dought to 1/16″ thick, rotate as you flatten so it maintains a rectangular shape.

10. Fold the dough into thirds (like folding a letter). Repeat with other half of dough.

11. Coat knife with flour. Cut the dough into thin strips, unfold and cook up! Make sure you rinse the noodles in the colander after boiling so your soup or stir-fry isn’t coated in extraneous gluey gluten goo.

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