Hand Sliced Udon with Herbs and Sweet Soy
Fresh udon noodles are one of the easier kinds of pasta to make, it just takes patience. This is a guide for the udon itself and it can be customized to an udon soup, a cold salad or a wok-fried noodle dish. Get creative, add proteins, and make it yours!
600 grams (~3-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for dusting
22 grams (4 teaspoons) kosher salt
300-340 grams (1-¼ to 1-½ cups) water
Suggested Garnishes (optional)
¼ cup chives or scallions, chopped on a bias
½ cup cilantro leaves
2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
⅓ cup sweet soy sauce
Gochugaru (chili flake) to taste
Cooked tofu, chicken, or beef
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Add 300 grams (1-¼ cups water). Use hands to mix until the dough starts to come together in a few large lumps. Firmly press and knead the dough, incorporating any flour until none remains. If necessary, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until all of the flour is incorporated.
Lightly dust work surface with flour. Knead dough by folding and firmly pressing with the palm, folding again and repeating until dough looks and feels fairly smooth, about 5 minutes. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap or a plastic bag and let rest at room temperature for 1-5 hours.
On a lightly floured surface, knead it a few times to activate the gluten. Divide dough into 4 balls. Dust each ball with flour and cover with plastic wrap until ready to roll out.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, occasionally rotating the dough 90 degrees and lightly dusting with flour if it starts to stick to the pin or the rolling surface. Roll until just between 1/8" to 1/4" thick. (NOTE: If the dough is too difficult to roll out, cover with plastic wrap, let rest for 10 minutes, and then resume.)
Dust sheet of dough with flour, fold into thirds, and using your sharpest Forge to Table knife slice widthwise into approximately 1/8" thick noodles (the noodles will expand as they cook). Liberally dust with flour and separate the noodles, making sure none are stuck to each other. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring a large pot of water to boil (1 gallon for a full batch). Shake excess flour from noodles and add to boiling water, stirring frequently until they are fully cooked, 7-12 minutes (depending on the thickness of the noodles).
Drain noodles and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Rub the noodles to remove some of the starch. Drain from cold water.
Prepare garnishes and toss with fresh cooked noodles. Noodles can also be used in an udon noodle soup or a hot noodle dish. Enjoy!