Udon Noodles 手打ちうどん

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  • Learn how to make udon noodles from scratch (with optional pink color using beet juice!). It’s easy & fun and you will be rewarded with delicious homemade noodles that are far more superior than store-bought ones! 

    Homemade pink udon noodles colored with beets.

    One of the easiest Japanese noodles that you can make at home is Udon Noodles (うどん). Today I’ll share with you how to make these popular Japanese noodles from scratch.

    Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, we’ll make udon noodles pink (It’s optional, of course)! How do we do that? We use homemade natural food coloring – beet juice!

    What are Udon Noodles?

    Udon is a type of thick wheat flour noodle commonly used in Japanese cuisines. Enjoyed in many ways, the noodles come with a white, thick, chewy yet soft texture. With a neutral flavor, udon noodles can be served in hot dashi soup (made with kombu and bonito flakes), or eaten cold by dipping in a soy-sauce based sauce or stir-fried with meat and vegetables.

    A dark bowl containing udon noodles in dashi broth topped with deep fried tofu, fish cake, green onion, and sprinkle of shichimi togarashi.

    Some Popular Udon Noodle Recipes on JOC:

    Homemade pink udon noodles colored with beets.

    Why Making Udon Noodles?

    • Tasty and great chewy texture. – The texture of udon noodles sold in Asian markets are usually not of good quality. Not only the noodles break too easily and have a rubbery texture, but they taste floury and doughy. Homemade noodles are smooth and chewy with an elastic toothsome bite. The freshness is simply unbeatable.
    • Just 3 ingredients to make udon noodles. – Flour, water, and salt.  The methods to make udon are very straightforward.
    • No special kitchen gadget required. Unlike making pasta noodles, which require a pasta machine, udon noodles require your hands, your feet (read on to find out why), and a sharp knife to make the noodles from scratch!

    Sounds great, right? Just to be completely honest, here are two things you might want to know before we begin.

    • It takes time. – To be exact, you need at least 4-5 hours including inactive time. Just like making bread, the dough needs to rest to relax the gluten.
    • It requires your feet. – No, I’m not joking. Because the dough is pretty hard to knead with hands, traditionally, the Japanese use our feet to roll out the dough!

    My family enjoys these homemade udon noodles every time I make them. The taste and texture are much better than any store-bought brands, including the best ones. And there are no preservatives used in homemade udon!

    How To Make Homemade Udon Noodles

    Making delicious udon noodles at home requires just water, salt, and flour. Nothing beats the flavor and texture of fresh homemade udon.

    Measuring for Udon Noodle Recipe

    The ingredients and methods for making udon noodles are very simple. I recommend the following measurements for one serving.

    1 serving = 100 grams of all-purpose flour + 50 grams of salted water (5 grams of salt and 45 grams/ml of water)

    So, for two and four servings, it is as simple as:

    2 servings = 200 grams of all-purpose flour + 100 grams of salted water (10 grams of salt + 90 grams of water)

    4 servings = 400 grams of all-purpose flour + 200 grams of salted water (20 grams of salt + 180 grams of water)

    and so on…

    For the best result, please use a kitchen scale. I purposely didn’t include a “cup” measurement (I’m sorry!) as 1 cup of flour varies depending on how you measure it because the flour is compressed while you scoop.

    Homemade pink udon noodles colored with beets.

    5 Tips and Tricks for Making Udon Noodles

    1. Do not skip “resting” time. I know, we are all busy but in order to achieve good chewy udon texture, just hang in there!
    2. Get a 5-gallon Ziploc bag if you are making more than 2 servings. No, those 1-gallon ones are way too small.
    3. Knead with your feet until the dough is as soft as your ear lobes. Otherwise, it’s going to be much harder to roll with your hands later if your dough is not soft enough.
    4. Roll out the dough to a square shape so that the noodles will be of equal length.
    5. Use a sharp knife to cut the noodles. The texture that makes udon unique is its clean edge. If it’s a dull knife, the sides of the noodles will not have a clean cut.

    Homemade pink udon noodles colored with beets.

    Coloring Udon Noodles Pink

    For this recipe, I’m collaborating with other talented YouTubers for Tastemade‘s new “Hero Series“, and the ingredient for this month’s series is beets. At the end of my YouTube video, you will see the playlist of all the beet recipes, so please check them out!

    If you are wondering about the taste of these pink udon noodles, you don’t really taste the beets. The shade of pink and the taste of beet really depend on how much beet juice you use.

    My daughter LOVED these pink udon noodles. Haha! Maybe these pink noodles are fun for some special occasions, like Valentine’s Day or Japanese Gir’s Day.

    Last but not least, if you enjoy making food from scratch, don’t forget to try Homemade Gyoza Wrappers, too! Have fun!

    Homemade pink udon noodles colored with beets.
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    4.37 from 19 votes
    Homemade pink udon noodles colored with beets.
    Udon Noodles
    Prep Time
    20 mins
    Cook Time
    10 mins
    Total Time
    2 hrs 45 mins

    Learn how to make udon noodles from scratch (with optional pink color using beet juice!). It’s easy & fun and you will be rewarded with delicious homemade noodles that are far more superior than store-bought ones! 

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: homemade noodle, udon
    Servings: 2
    Author: Nami
    For regular white udon
    • 200 g all-purpose flour (7 oz)
    • 90 g water (90 ml)
    • 10 g kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt) (about 2 ¼ tsp)
    • potato starch/cornstarch (or flour for rolling and dusting)
    For pink udon
    • 200 g all-purpose flour (7 oz)
    • 80 g water (80 ml)
    • 10 g kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt) (about 2 ¼ tsp)
    • potato starch/cornstarch (or flour for rolling and dusting)
    • 10 g beet juice (10 ml; or about 2 tsp)
    For Beet Juice
    • 1 beet
    • 1 cup water
    1. Gather all the ingredients. If you are making white udon, skip to Step 5.

      Beet Udon Noodles Ingredients
    To Make Regular Udon Noodles
    1. Combine 90 g (90 ml) water and 2 ¼ tsp salt and mix until it’s completely dissolved.

    To Make Pink Udon Noodles
    1. Peel and slice the beet root into ½” (1.3 cm) thickness.
      Beet Udon Noodles 1
    2. Put sliced beets and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and cook for about 20 minutes until the beet juice is reduced to about 2 Tbsp.

      Beet Udon Noodles 2
    3. Save the beet juice in a small bowl. Combine 80 g (80 ml) water and 2 tsp of beet juice. Add the 2 ¼ tsp salt and mix until it’s completely dissolved.

      Beet Udon Noodles 3
    To Make the Udon Dough
    1. Place the flour in a large bowl and gradually add the salted water (for regular udon) or salted beet juice (for pink udon) while mixing with hands.

      Beet Udon Noodles 4
    2. Combine the dough until there is no dry flour left and form into a ball. If there is some flour left, add a tiny bit of water. Then place the dough in the large durable plastic bag (such as a 5-gallon Ziploc bag). Close the bag leaving a small air gap and leave it for 20-30 minutes to relax the gluten.

      Beet Udon Noodles 5
    3. Just in case the plastic bag breaks, place the bag between 2 kitchen cloths on the floor. Step on the dough with your feet (heels) using your weight. Turn around and press from the inward to outward. You can do this step with your hands, but it will take more effort and time. Stepping udon dough with your feet is a common practice in Japan! Step on the dough until the dough is completely flattened.

      Beet Udon Noodles 6
    4. Take out the dough and fold it into a ball again. Place it in the bag and close the bag leaving a small air gap.

      Beet Udon Noodles 7
    5. Step again until the dough is stretched and flattened. Take out the dough and fold into a ball again. Repeat this process one more time (total 3 times), or until the dough is soft just like ear lobe (that’s how we say in Japan).

      Beet Udon Noodles 8
    6. After the 3rd round of stepping the dough, fold it into a ball and place in the plastic bag. Seal tight and rest the dough for 2 hours (3 hours or overnight in winter).

      Beet Udon Noodles 9
    7. Dust the working surface with potato/corn starch and take out the dough. Form a nice round ball and then flattern with your hand.

      Beet Udon Noodles 10
    8. Using a rolling pin, stretch the dough into a rectangular shape. Dust the dough with potato starch or cornstarch in between to make sure the dough is not sticky. Turn the dough 180 degree and stretch it evenly.

      Beet Udon Noodles 11
    9. Once it’s a nice rectangular shape, turn 90 degrees and stretch to make it into a square. If the dough is square, all the noodles will have the same length when you cut them.

      Beet Udon Noodles 12
    10. When the dough is a square shape, roll the dough into a rolling pin and stretch to let the rounded corner into a more pointed tip. Make the dough into 3 mm (1/8”) thickness.

      Beet Udon Noodles 13
    11. Dust the potato/corn starch on top of the dough and fold the dough like an accordion.

      Beet Udon Noodles 14
    12. Put more potato/corn starch on top and then cut noodles into 3 mm (1/8”) thickness. Pick up some noodles and fluff the noodles to make sure the noodles are covered with the potato/corn starch to prevent sticking to each other.

      Beet Udon Noodles 15
    To Cook Udon Noodles Immediately
    1. Boil a big pot of water (do not add salt) and cook for 10-12 minutes (depending on the thickness of your noodles). Stir the noodles so they don’t stick to each other. Drain and rinse well with cold water to remove the starch. Drain and they are ready to use for your favorite udon recipe.

    To Save Udon Noodles for Later
    1. Divide them into small portions (100-150 grams per person) and freeze in an airtight container/bag for a month. You can refrigerate for a few days but it tastes better when you freeze the fresh udon right away. To cook frozen udon, boil for 12-13 minutes without defrosting.

    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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