WHAT IS IT?
Udon noodles originate from Japan and are noodles made from wheat flour. They are most prized for it's thickness & chewy texture and most commonly used in Japanese stir fried dishes and noodle broths.
HOW IS IT USED?
Udon noodles can be used in many ways and can be eaten both hot and cold. They are most popular stir fried (yaki udon) with vegetables and some meat but are also eaten in a broth noodle soup as well.
In the summer time, they can be made as a cold zaru udon and eaten cold with a side of dipping sauce for a refreshing light meal.
But in all honesty, it is a very versatile noodle and the sky is the limit with how you can use them.
Although these recipes do not use udon, they can be swapped in easily!
Here are some recipes ideas that use udon noodles:
WHERE DO I FIND IT?
It will be most commonly found at an Asian grocery store. I have seen these at my local grocery store as well - but it may be harder to find depending on where you live.
If it is difficult to find locally, you can find it in dried form online:
Note: Dried udon do not have the same thickness and chew as the frozen ones do. They do have a slight chew but nothing compared to the frozen ones. Its texture is similar to an al dente fettuccine.
Udon doesn't have much flavour, but what makes this a wonderful noodle is that it absorbs the flavours of the sauces it's made in - so it's essentially a chewy flavour transporter of sauces.
Depending on the type of udon, the texture will vary.
- Frozen Sanuki Udon - These have the traditional thickness and a wonderful chewiness to them. I highly recommend buying the frozen type over any other type of udon. It doesn't matter what brand, they are all chewy! 🙂
- Vacuum Plastic Packed "Fresh" Udon - These types of udon have the traditional thickness of udon, however they have almost no chew. (It varies with brand, I have had chewy packaged ones in the past but it is rare.) It will not be as chewy as the frozen type.
- Dried Udon - When cooked, these turn out slightly thinner than fresh/frozen udon and have less of a chewiness to them. When they are not overcooked, they almost resemble an al dente fettuccine.
This will depend on the type of udon you have.
- Frozen Sanuki Udon - These need to stay frozen until you are ready to use them. Store these in the freezer.
- Vacuum Plastic Packed "Fresh" Udon - These do not need to be stored in the fridge and can be stored in room temperature. However, when I used to buy these I still kept them in the fridge. (Partially because I had no room to store them, but mostly because I was paranoid).
- Dried Udon - You can store these on the shelf in a cool area.
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