Fresh homemade udon noodles are surprisingly easy to make – all you need are 4 simple ingredients and a lazy weekend afternoon. They freeze really well, so you can always have them on hand for fast and easy weeknight dinners!
If you’ve been reading Healthy Delicious for a while, you probably already know that I love udon noodles. Imagine my excitement when one of my most recent culinary school assignments was to make them from scratch!
These fresh noodles are a million times more delicious than the dried noodles that I usually buy at the grocery store. They have an amazing texture – they’re firm, but also nice and chewy. Plus, I can’t get over how easy fresh udon is to make!
There are a few steps involved, but each only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Since the dough needs to rest between each stage, it’s best to spread the process out over an afternoon. Luckily, the noodles keep really well and can even be frozen. I made a batch on Sunday afternoon, then used them to make an easy stir-fry on Monday night.
If you have a stand mixer, you’ll definitely want to pull it out for the kneading portion of this recipe. The dough is very thick and dry, so it’s difficult to knead by hand. (Traditionally, udon is actually kneaded with your feet!)
Once it’s smooth and has rested though, it’s incredibly easy to roll out and cut into strands. You can cook it right away (just boil the noodles for about 3 minutes) or freeze it for another night.
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup corn or tapioca starch
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the warm water. Sift the flour and starch into a second bowl.
- Make a well in the flour bowl and pour about 1/2 of the water into the well. Mix with your hands scraping the bottom of the bowl as you mix until the water is incorporated – use a swift upward motion to "toss" the water into the dough, creating a sandlike mixture.
- 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. The dough will not be smooth at this point. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.
- Knead the dough until very smooth and shiny, either by hand or using a stand mixer. This will take 8 to 10 minutes. Once the dough is smooth, form it into a tight ball and rub with a little olive oil. Place the dough ball into a clean bowl, cover with a cloth and allow to rest for 3 to 4 hours.
- Sprinkle your counter with flour and place the dough onto it. Roll to a 1/4–inch thickness.
- Sprinkle the dough with starch, then fold the dough in half. Sprinkle with more starch and fold in half again. Let the dough rest 30 minutes.
- With a sharp knife, cut the dough crosswise into noodles about 1/4–inch wide. Separate the noodles to prevent them sticking together
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until they float, about 3 minutes.
- Place small portions of noodles on a plate or sheet pan and place in the freezer. Once noodles are frozen, transfer them to ziptop freezer bags. To cook, add frozen noodles directly to hot water