Udon noodles are a staple of Japanese cuisine, but you can actually make yourself from scratch. Most people will recognize udon noodles from the soup they are usually made in, but there are so many more uses for these noodles.
Once you know how to make udon noodles, you’ll be able to make a variety of dishes with them. You can make them however you like, using ingredients that are gluten free or otherwise fit to your diet and preferences.
They differ from soba noodles in that they are thicker and heavier. These noodles tend to be flat like a pressed down spaghetti noodle.
They share a similar texture and design with fettuccine noodles, but they tend to be thicker and heavier. You can use them in a variety of ways and don’t have to reserve them simply for Asian cuisine.
I’m going to cover how to make udon noodles from scratch so that you can make them whenever you want. With homemade noodles, you get a sense of accomplishment and pride in what you’ve made, since very few people actually make their own noodles from scratch.
I prefer making mine for myself and knowing how to make homemade udon noodles because I can ensure there are no preservatives or additives. I can make certain that they are completely natural and safe for me and my family.
How to Make Udon Noodles Recipe
- 5 cups of flour
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in one and 1/4 Cup of water. Mix by hand until the dough starts to lump together.
- Work and even go until all flour is incorporated into the dough. You may need to add more water at this step, adding in just one tablespoon at a time. Add as much water as necessary to ensure all the flour is incorporated into the dough.
- Dust a flat surface with flour and keep kneading the dough until it becomes smooth. This should take about 5 minutes of meeting. Make the dough into a ball and then cover in plastic wrap. Allow it to rest at room temperature for anywhere from one to five hours.
- After dough has rested, knead it for a few more minutes. You may need to lightly flour the surface you knead it on. Separate the dough into 4 balls of equal size. Use flour to dust each of the balls and then cover them with plastic until you’re ready to roll them.
- Roll out the dough one bowl at a time with a rolling pin. You should rotate the dough about 90 degrees every so often and dust it with flour lightly if it starts to stick to the rolling pin. Roll it out until it is about 1/4 of an inch thick. It can be slightly thinner than that, however.
- If you discover that the dough is tough when you attempt to roll it out, then wrap it up in plastic and let it rest for an additional 10 minutes. What you’re doing when you allow the dough to rest is letting the gluten relax, which makes the dough easier to roll out.
- Take a sheet of dough and fold it into thirds, similar to the way you would fold a piece of paper to place it into an envelope. Slice the dough into noodles. These should be about 1/8-1/4 of an inch thick.
- Separate the noodles and dust them lightly with flour. Cook them as soon as they are dusted.
- To cook the noodles, boil a pot of water and have a bowl of icy water prepared to the side. Add in your noodles to the water once it is boiling, and stir your noodles often. If the water looks like it will boil over, add in 1/4 cup of water.
- Keep cooking the noodles until they are soft but not until they become mushy. This should take around 8 to 10 minutes. How long it takes is based on how thick your noodles are.
- Drain the noodles out and move them to the icy water. Rub them down quickly but gently to get rid of the excess starch. Then, drain them and they will be ready to serve.
This method for udon noodles, how to make them from scratch, may take some trial and error. Once you’ve made your noodles, there are a number of different dishes you can use them in.
How to Make Udon Noodles Soup
Let’s talk about how to make that classic dish- udon noodle soup. You know how to make fresh udon noodles, and now let’s put them into a dish so you can see just how good they are and how versatile they can be.
My method for how to make Japanese udon noodles only takes about 15 minutes. Once your udon noodles are cooked, make sure they have been drained.
Boil a pot of water, and once it is boiling, lower the heat and add in carrots. Sliced carrots will take one or two minutes to cook. You can add in sliced mushrooms and whole snow peas. Cook peas until the snow peas become tender. This should take about a minute and they should still be bright green.
Next, you’re going to need miso paste. Put some of the miso paste into a separate bowl and add one large spoonful of hot broth from your soup. Mix that around with a whisk until the miso has dissolved completely. Then, pour your miso mixture into the soup pot.
Note: The soup should not be boiled once the miso is added. This will make the miso become gritty.
Once you have mixed the miso into the soup, stir in your green onions and noodles.
How to Make Udon Noodles Stir Fry
Udon noodles are often used in stir fry as well. If you want to know how to make fried food udon noodles, just make up stir fry without the rest of the stir fry ingredients.
I like to keep the amount of oil in my stir fry mixture very light, so I only use a couple of tablespoons for even a large stir fry dish. Udon stir fry usually includes beef or chicken as well as snow peas, and perhaps bell peppers. There is always soy sauce in this kind of stir fry, and mirin is sometimes used as well. You can substitute rice vinegar in for mirin, if you like.
The noodle stir fry like this can be made with all sorts of different vegetables. You can use water crest, broccoli, peas and carrots, corn, and many other veggies. The meat used in your stir fry is up to you as well.
Since the noodles are already cooked, you won’t need to cook this dish for long. You can use precooked ingredients or start with veggies that are frozen, and then thaw them out ahead of time. Warm them up on medium heat in your stir fry dish for a few minutes. You basically just want to warm and soften everything.
This is a good way for how to make chewy udon noodles, because the soy sauce and oil will give your noodles a slightly more rubbery texture.
I would recommend cooking your meat ahead of time rather than putting it raw into your stir fried mixture to cook with the noodles and veggies. The only exception to that would be something that cooks very quickly, like shrimp.