These chewy Japanese wheat-based noodles are often served with hot broth in a soup or stir-fried. Or, simply cook and serve with soy sauce and mirin, and garnish with chopped scallions and shaved nori. The noodles are made using four basic ingredients. Thanx Chad Sarno at Rouxbe for sharing the recipe for these tasty udon noodles.
Homemade noodles taste infinitely better than store bought, however if you don’t have the time then purchased udon noodles work just as well with the recipe for Udon Noodles in Shiitake Broth. There is no substitute for the shiitake broth – there is nothing that compares so you’ll have to make it from scratch!
2 – 3/4 cups bread flour (Berliners you can use anything higher than 505 flour)
1/3 cup corn or tapioca starch
3/4 cup warm water
1- 1/2 tsp sea salt
To prepare the dough, in a bowl, dissolve the sea salt in warm water. In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour and starch.
Next, make a well in the flour bowl and pour about 1/2 of the water into the well. Mix with both hands and all fingers, scraping the bottom of the bowl as you mix until the water is incorporated.
At this point, add about 1/2 of the remaining water and continue to mix until the dough begins to separate into strands. Finally, add the rest of the water and mix and squeeze the dough together until it binds into a ball. Alternately for those using a TMX mix the ingredients until it pulls away from the side of the bowl. The dough will not be smooth at this point but will begin to show elasticity. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.
To knead the dough, on the countertop, sprinkle on a bit of corn or tapioca starch, just enough to prevent the dough from sticking. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on the lightly–dusted counter. Knead until very smooth and shiny, about 8 to 10 minutes. For all you TMX users, knead 1-½ minutes using the grain setting. At this point, form the dough into a tight ball and rub with a bit of oil. Place the dough ball into a clean bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 3 to 4 hours before rolling.
To roll out the dough, sprinkle some corn or tapioca starch on the counter and roll out until the dough is very thin (about 1/4 – 1/8 –inch thickness).
Before cutting the noodles, sprinkle the dough lightly again with corn or tapioca starch and spread over the entire dough surface. Grasp the far edge of the dough and fold it in half toward you to meet the close edge. Sprinkle and spread some more corn starch and bring the far edge toward you again, folding in half a second time. Spread some more corn or tapioca starch on the top and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.
Once the dough has rested, apply a slightly heavier amount of corn or tapioca starch on top and some additional starch on the counter. This will help make sure the noodles do not stick together when cutting.
With a sharp chef’s or similar knife, begin cutting the dough crosswise into noodles about 1/4–inch wide. After cutting the noodles, separate to prevent them sticking together, using a bit more starch if needed. Set the noodles aside on a dusted counter or tray until ready to cook. Note: These noodles are excellent as leftovers and frozen. To freeze, before cooking, form small piles on a plate or sheet pan (portion size), and place in freezer. Once piles are frozen, place then in ziplock bags and add frozen noodles directly to hot water or soup to cook for a quick meal.
To prepare the broth, in a stock pot on medium–high heat add the shitake mushrooms, onion, garlic and ginger. Stir continuously to ensure it does not stick. When it begins to stick, scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring, adding a splash of water occasionally to deglaze the bottom. Continue to cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.
Add the rest of the water and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer and reduce for approximately 30 minutes. Next, add the mirin and tamari and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes. Lastly, add the soaked kombu and continue to cook for 15 to 30 minutes.
Cool slightly, strain and use as a broth. This broth has an incredible flavour – absolutely delicious!!
To prepare the dish, simmer the lotus root and shitake mushrooms until tender in the shiitake broth.
Next, place the cooked udon noodles and the tofu into warm serving bowls. Ladle in the broth, evenly distributing the shitake and lotus root/white radish.
Garnish each bowl with watercress, ripped shiso leaves and a drizzle of chili oil and serve.