Homemade Udon Or Soba Noodles
|All purpose flour/4 cups buckwheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour, soba||5 Cup (80 tbs) (Udon)|
|Salt||4 Teaspoon, dissolved in 1 cup water|
|Water||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
To make noodles
1. To flour in a large bowl, add salted water a little at a time and knead by hand until dough sticks together. (If making soba noodles, dissolve salt in 1/2 cup hot water, add to buckwheat flour, knead with plastic spatula, add 1/2 cup cold water little by little while kneading, and add remaining flour.) Dough will not be completely smooth. Wrap dough in plastic bags, place dough on the floor, and knead with bare feet by stepping back and forth on dough. When dough has been flattened to about 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter, remove from plastic, fold into quarters (wedge-shaped), rewrap in plastic, and resume kneading by foot. Repeat 5 or 6 times until dough is smooth and well mixed. Remove from plastic and wrap dough in a damp cloth for at least 1 hour; it is best, however, to let it stand 3 hours in summer or 6 hours in winter. Do not refrigerate. (If making soba noodles, proceed to step 2 without letting dough stand.)
2. Fold dough into a rectangle approximately 6x10 inches (15x25 cm). Lightly sprinkle a large work surface with flour to prevent sticking. Roll out dough in all directions, turning over occasionally, and sprinkle with a small amount of flour when necessary to prevent sticking. In order to spread out dough it may be necessary to occasionally fold dough in thirds (use a little flour to prevent sticking) and press down crosswise with rolling pin to "stretch" dough, starting from the center and working your way towards one end, then returning to center and working your way towards other end.
When dough is about 1/8 inch (1/2 cm) thick (thinner for soba noodles) and about 1 1/2 x 2 1/2 feet (45 x 75 cm), sprinkle with flour, and fold into thirds. The result should be 6 inches x 2 1/2 feet (15x75 cm). Cut across the folds into strips 1/8 inch (V2 cm) thick. (If making soba noodles, slice into thinner strips.) Gently lift and shake noodles to separate. Sprinkle with flour. Noodles should be elastic, not sticky.
To cook homemade or store-bought noodles
1. Drop noodles little by little into a large pot containing a generous amount of boiling water. (Use enough water so noodles will separate and boil freely.) Stir to prevent noodles from sticking. Bring to a rolling boil. In a wide circular motion pour 1 cup cold water over noodles. Bring again to a rolling boil. Repeat 3 or 4 times until noodles are tender throughout but still firm. Taste frequently. (If using fresh cooked noodles, just reheat.)
2. When noodles are done, turn off heat and cover pan for 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Rinse homemade udon noodles in cold running water and stir by hand to remove surface starch. (For store-bought udon noodles rinse in cold running water until noodles are cool, then rub vigorously by hand to remove surface starch.) Drain. Rinse soba noodles in very cold water, if possible, and treat gently. After rinsing noodles to remove excess surface starch, set aside until ready to serve.
4. To serve: To reheat cooled noodles, put noodles in a colander and set colander in a pot of boiling water (use fresh water) for 1 to 3 minutes. Drain. Noodles should be served al dente, that is, tender but slightly firm at the center. Overcooked noodles go limp and break apart easily.