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!
Gather all the ingredients. If you are making white udon, skip to Step 5.
Combine 90 g (90 ml) water and 2 ¼ tsp salt and mix until it’s completely dissolved.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
Dust the working surface with potato/corn starch and take out the dough. Form a nice round ball and then flattern with your hand.
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.
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.
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.
Dust the potato/corn starch on top of the dough and fold the dough like an accordion.
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.
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.
Divide them into small portions (150 grams per person) and freeze in an airtight container/bag for up to 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 the frozen udon in a large pot of water for 12-13 minutes without defrosting.
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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