Updated: Jul 25
The focus on this recipe is on how to make Udon noodles from scratch. Curry Udon or Kare Udon as known in Japan is a fairly common dish that's focus is on a perfect textured noodle with a slightly spicy fragrant curry broth. These noodles only contain three ingredients, however it's important to use the correct technique to achieve a soft but bouncy noodle. With all that said let's get to it!
to serve 4
300g plain flour
140ml spring water (or filtered)
cornflour for dusting
25g shitake mushrooms
25g oyster mushrooms
1/2 white onion
4 spring onion
1 pear (optional)
2 cloves garlic
2 cups dashi stock (or chicken or veg stock)
1 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp mild curry powder
2 tbsp light soy
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
20g bonito flakes
2 cups water
1. Begin by making the dough, in a small bowl dilute 14g of salt into 140 ml of spring water until the salt has disolved. Next in a large bowl add 300g of plain flour then add the salt water gradually to the flour whilst mixing with your hand. Kneed the dough vigorously until there is no more excess flour left in the bowl. The dough should be quite dry but still formed, when ready place into a zip lock bag and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
2. After half an hour of resting the dough, remove from the zip lock bag and place onto a work surface. With a rolling pin flatten out the dough into a large rectangle roughly 1/2 cm thick. When rolled, fold the dough into 3 parts to create a small square of dough.
3. Repeat this process three times, roll the dough in the opposite direction each time to create shorter gluten strands in the noodle. This process will give the noodles more of a bouncy texture when cooked. When the dough has been rolled three times, add the dough back into a ziplock bag and place into the fridge and allow to rest for 2-3 hours.
4. Whilst the dough is resting we can prepare the curry broth. Start by making dashi, add 20g of kombu to a pan with 2 cups of water. Allow to sit in cold water for 15 minutes then add to a medium heat. Slowly bring the stock up to just before boiling point then immediatly remove from the heat and add 20g of bonito flakes. Allow the stock to steep in the bonito flakes and kombu for a further 20 minutes then drain the stock into a bowl.
5. Now to prepare the vegetables for the curry, slice the mushrooms into bite sized pieces, slice the carrot and onion into a julienne, finely slice garlic and ginger and finely slice spring onion to garnish. Add the mushrooms, carrot, onion, garlic and ginger to a hot pan with a drizzle of oil. Fry for 5 minutes until fragrant, then turn the heat down to low and add 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp miso paste and 2 tbsp of mirin. Fry on a low heat for a further 5 minutes then add the dashi stock. Simmer the curry for around 30 minutes on a low heat.
6. To finish the curry add 2 tbsp of soy, 2 tbsp of sugar and peel and grate one pear and add to the curry. To thicken the curry dilute 1 tsp of corn flour with 2 tbsp of warm water then add gradually to the curry until it becomes thicker. When at the right consistency remove from the heat and set to one side.
7. Now back to the dough, after 2-3 hours the dough should be much easier to work with. Remove the dough from the fridge and place onto a work surface lightly dusted with corn flour. Roll the dough into a large rectangle roughly an 1/8 of an inch thick.
8. Next, fold the dough so that it overlaps itself to make it easier to cut.
9. Cut the dough into strips roughly 1/8 of an inch thick. When the noodles are cut dust lightly with corn flour and place in batches onto a tray.
10. To cook the noodles place into a large pan of boiling water and boil for 16 - 18 minutes. This may seem a long time but fresh udon takes a bit longer to cook than regular noodles due to its firm texture. When cooked drain from the boiling water and shock the udon under cold running water.
11. Now to finally serve, reheat the curry broth on a medium heat then divide the chilled udon equally into 4 serving bowls. Ladle the curry over the top and add finely sliced spring onion on the side. Hope you enjoy making udon!
You can eat fresh udon either warm or cold, there are many classic Japanese dishes that contain udon. These noodles are also great to make in large amounts and freeze just after cutting. Udon may be simple in terms of ingredients though I cant stress how important it is to keep focusing on the texture when making. Hope you enjoy this recipe!