Weekly Column Kanda This and That 323
Thank you for coming back.
I made hand-made udon noodles. Recently, I have been eating only frozen udon noodles, but fresh ones are surely more delicious. I believe udon is Japanese people’s soul food. My home prefecture, Gunma, is a big producer of wheat. At my parents’, who used to be farmers, I ate lots of udon. Udon making was my grandmother’s job. After lunch and a short break, she started making dough with udon flour which was made by grinding home-grown wheat. The dough was left siting until the evening. It was then shaped into noodles and cooked in boiling water for about 10 minutes. The noodles are then transferred into cold water and rolled up into serving portions onto a large flat strainer! This way, when my parents came back home from the field, they could eat right away. In the process of making udon, I loved the step of making the udon nice and chewy, where the dough is wrapped in a sheet of plastic and stepped on. Now, I make udon noodles with a recipe from CookPad. The scale of the recipe is so small compared to the one my grandmother used that it looks like child’s play, but it tastes the same as the udon I used to eat back then! (Well, my grandmother’s udon is probably better than mine.) Putting kimpira (simmered burdock root and carrot) and ohitashi (cooked leafy vegetables) on top, I served my hand-made noodles in the Joshu (Gunma) style. It tasted wonderful! As it is said “the leopard cannot change his spots,” I cannot change my taste!
*The information herein is as of June 2019.