Kagawa prefecture is famous for its Sanuki udon noodles.
A tour around famous udon noodle restaurants is fine, but if you come all the way to Kagawa how about learning to make udon?
At Nakano Udon School in Takamatsu city and Nakatado district, Kagawa prefecture, professional craftsmen teach how to make authentic Sanuki noodles from the start.
You may wonder if udon-making can really be mastered in one day!
Actually, you don’t even need a day; you can graduate from the Udon School in one hour!
This time we’ll introduce the way udon noodles are made in that class.
The necessary ingredients for making udon are all-purpose flour and water.
By mixing these two ingredients you can make udon dough, but the important thing is the right quantity.
To start off, you make a saline solution with salt and water, but the amount of salt changes according to season (the following amounts are for seasons in Japan):
For summer the portions are water : salt = 9:1
Spring and autumn, water : salt 11:1
For winter, water : salt 15:1
These are the ratios to use when making the solution.
After this you mix the saline solution with the all-purpose flour, but at this stage too, the quantities change according to season. During summer, water will be 42% of the amount the flour. During winter, the amount is 46% and during spring and autumn it will be about midway of these amounts.
As the amount of flour necessary for 1 portion is around 100 g, if you for example
wish to make 5 portions of udon noodles during winter…
You need 500 g of all-purpose flour, and 230 g of the saline solution (made with a 15:1 ratio)
After preparing the correct amounts of ingredients, we can finally start making the dough!
Put the flour in a bowl and add the saline solution evenly while kneading the dough by hand.
When the dough is around the firmness of your earlobe, it is ready for the next stage.
Next, put the dough in a plastic bag and knead it thoroughly with the heel of your foot.
After the dough becomes flat, fold it and tread the dough again (repeat around 3 times).
If you do this with a large amount of dough, it will be quite a lot of exercise, and quite exhausting.
It’s a process that allows you to learn the hardships of udon restaurants.
After the treading process has finished, the dough is stretched out a bit and then rolled out with a rolling pin.
You need to roll it by putting your weight on the pin – rolling stretches the dough out.
After rolling out the dough, it’s turned 90 degrees and rolled out again with the rolling pin.
While doing this, you add some all-purpose flour.
Repeat this 4 times, and the dough is stretched out until it’s around 3 to 4 millimeters thick on average.
The stretched out dough is folded into thirds (layers on top of each other like a folding screen) and then cut into 3 to 4 millimeter slices.
After you finish cutting, any excess flour is brushed off the noodles.
Heat up a pot of water. Drop the noodles into the boiling water making sure they don’t stick together, and stir.
After boiling for around 8 to 12 minutes the surface of the noodles become translucent. You have finished straight-from-the-pot udon!
After experiencing the process above, the udon class is over.
After you receive your graduation certificate along with a rolling pin, you too will be a fine Sanuki udon craftsman!
To finish off, you can eat your self-made udon noodles.
Udon noodles made with your own hard work taste different after all.
Nakano Udon School has seen many celebrity graduates, too!
There is no need for written applications or exams.
How about enrolling?
Nakano Udon School
Takamatsu location: 8 Nariai-cho, Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture
Kotohira location: 720 Kotohira, Nakatado District, Kagawa Prefecture
Telephone: (Takamatsu) 087-885-3200, (Kotohira) 0877-75-0001
Teaching hours: 9:00~15:00 (reservations required)
Fees: For groups of 2 to 14 people, JPY1500 (+tax) per person. For groups bigger than 15, JPY1300 (+tax) per person
* Up to 500 students possible
Homepage: http://www.nakanoya.net/ (Japanese)
Setouchi Finder photo-writer: Daisuke Chiba
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Daisuke Chiba / Photo-writer I was born in 1985 in Miyoshi City, Tokushima Prefecture, and now live in Tokushima City. After graduating university, I worked at a publishing company as an editor for various mooks, and in April 2014 I went freelance. I work as a photographer, copy-writer and editor, but also do product development and other stuff as well. If anyone needs me, I can do anything! Except, in spite of my being from Tokushima, dancing - I’m really bad at dancing Awa Odori!
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