First of all I’d like to thank and congratulate Penny for coming up with such an innovative way for us to all share the joy of a noodle party, without having to eat them all ourselves, or leave out own homes, for that matter!
So for this party, I came up with this idea that I could infuse miso into udon noodles, and that I could teach myself to hand-pull sad udon noodles. Here is my FAILWHALE tale.
So it all started pretty well. I came across a hand-pulled noodle recipe, which wasn’t udon, but looked pretty good. The ingredients were pretty much:
- 500gm plain flour
- 300ml water
The dough came together looking like this:
Following the video, I rested it for 20 minutes, kneaded it until smooth, rested it for another five minutes and kneaded it again. Before the final kneading, I added about 2 tablespoons of white miso, and the same quantity of mashed pumpkin. In retrospect, the pumpkin was a big mistake. Far too watery, so I had to keep adding flour to compensate for the excess moisture. This was the beginning of the FAIL.
To cut a long, arduous, knead-y story short, the resulting dough was far too tight to be stretched, and I resorted to pulling out the pasta machine and super-laminating the dough with ever-increasing amounts of flour.
Not wanting to make ramen/spaghetti sized noodles, I continued on my lazy option, and went for fettucine-shaped noodles. If I had an obaasan (Japanese grandmother) she would have been rather upset. Although if I had an obaasan this travesty of noodle FAIL would never have happened! Seeing as I don’t, I persevered.
And boiled the noodles for about 3 minutes.
In the meantime, I had been simmering shiitake mushrooms and ginger for about two hours, to make a dashi broth.
It was lacking in flavour, so I added about 2 teaspoons of salt. Oh, by the way, that’s a quail egg I’m poaching in the soup ladle there.
My friend Mr R came around to help evaluate my Japanese experiment, which made me a little nervous because he is something of a Nihon-ophile, and had recently returned from Japan with tales of tonkotsu ramen and tonkatsu made from pork ribs, but I had caveated the exercise as experimentation, so he was quite gracious in his reception.
Time to plate up. Add noodles to broth (to keep them from sticking together as you assemble the other ingredients).
For my toppings, I included some silken tofu, shiitake mushrooms from the broth, grilled eggplant and snow peas. Mr R didn’t like quail’s eggs, so I had a poached one on mine, but omitted it from his.
Even though it was a strange fusion of fettucine and Japanese flavours, it all came together rather well.
Though next time, I’ll omit the pumpkin from the noodle, and add more miso. While the noodle had some flavour, it wasn’t nearly enough, considering I had left the broth quite simple (read bland) to compensate for flavoursome noodles.
I’m going to play around with putting other things in my noodles – the next candidate will be harissa!
You can find everyone links to everyone else’s noodles at Jeroxie.com!