Cooking with Alison

Udon Noodles, Broth and Panko Crusted Chicken

In Meat and Eggs, Rice and Noodle Dishes on March 2, 2010 at pm

Udon noodles: This was my first time making any sort of pasta from scratch and it was surprisingly easy.  Since Japanese udon noodles are supposed to be thick (4 – 8 mm) and chewy, no machinery was required to make this.  I plan to eventually buy the pasta making attachments for my stand mixer, so one day I’ll make italian pasta from scratch too.

Udon broth: My favourite way to eat udon noodles is in Japanese broth.  However, I am often disappointed with the unauthentic broth variations served at most restaurants and I don’t like using powdered soup mixes because of the MSG, excess sodium and preservatives.  So I was Very excited to see an authentic dashi recipe on the Rasa Malaysia food blog provided by a Japanese guest writer.  Dashi is a type of Japanese stock that is usually seafood based, using ingredients such as shaved bonito (a type of fish) flakes and kombu (kelp).  Unlike chicken or beef stocks, dashi takes only minutes to make.  It is a basic soup recipe to which you can add whatever ingredients you like (see variation suggestions in the recipe below).

Panko: For my udon noodle soup bowl, I blanched some chinese broccoli and made panko crusted chicken breasts (recipe below).  Panko are Japanese bread crumbs.  I’ve also used these to make onion rings (recipe here) and for crispy spicy salmon rolls (sushi).

Udon Noodles Recipe

from My Kitchen food blog

2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 tsp salt

Dissolve salt in the water and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, bring together bread flour, all-purpose flour and starch.  Make a small well in the center and add in water.  Mix with fingers from the well, and slowly form into a lumpy ball. Don’t worry if the dough is a bit on the dry or hard side.  Rest dough for 15 minutes or longer, then it will be easier or softer to work with. Knead it on the lightly floured surface until smooth. Keep dough in an air-tight container or plastic bag, rest for a few hours or overnight if possible at room temperature.  Knead again. If you are making a large quantity, you may want to wrap dough with heavy duty plastic sheets, place it on the floor and have a little dance on it.  Roll out the dough into ½ cm thickness and cut into strips (Note: 4 – 8 mm wide).

Drop udon into a pot of boiling water and cook until half done.  Then add a cup of cold water, return to a boil and the udon are done when they are floating on the surface.  Ready to serve in hot broth (Note:  see udon broth recipe below).

Uncooked udon can be frozen loosely packed.  Defrost (Note:  doesn’t have to be 100% defrosted) before boiling.

Udon Broth Recipe

makes broth for 2 bowls, adapted from a guest writer on Rasa Malaysia food blog

for dashi:

4 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup loosely packed shaved bonito (kezurikatsuoor or katsuo-bushi)
3″ x 3″ piece of dried dashi kombu or knobu (dried kelp)

for udon:

300 g fresh udon noodles (recipe above)
4 cups dashi
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
2 scallions cut on a diagonal
Variations:  you could add panko crusted chicken (recipe below), chicken teriyaki, deep fried tofu puffs and fish cakes or fish balls, various tempura, seafood combinations, etc.

For the dashi, bring the water to a boil in a pot.  Once it boils, turn the heat down to maintain a gentle simmer (boiling makes the stock cloudy).  Put the kezurikatsuo into a disposable tea bag, or wrap it in cheese cloth and tie the top.  Drop the satchel in the water along with the kombu. You can also just put the kezurikatsuo straight into the water and strain it when the stock is done.  Let this steep for about 15 minutes, then discard the tea bag, or strain the stock into another pot and discard the solids.

Boil a large pot of water and boil the udon for the required length of time (see instructions from the udon noodles recipe above). Make sure the noodles are al dente as they will be sitting in a bowl of hot broth and you don’t want them to go soggy before you’re done eating them. When they’re done, rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking.

To finish it all off, put the dashi, soy sauce, mirin and sugar into a pot and heat until it comes to a simmer.  Taste it and add soy sauce or salt if you feel it needs more.  Add the noodles to heat through, then divide them into two bowls. Top with the variations that you’ve chosen, scallions and then pour the broth over everything.  For a little extra color and kick, you can serve this with shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7 spice chili flakes).

Panko Crusted Chicken Recipe

2 chicken breasts, halved to yield 4 thin chicken breasts

3 cups Japanese panko crumbs

1 egg

2 teaspoons milk

pinch of garlic powder

large pinch of salt and pepper

vegetable oil

In a wide mouthed bowl, combine the panko crumbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Beat the egg and milk in a separate wide mouthed bowl.  Work with one chicken piece at a time.  Drench each side of the chicken in the egg wash, let the excess drip off and then coat well with the panko crumbs.  You may have to gently press some of the crumbs onto the chicken.  Set aside on a plate until the oil is hot enough.

In a large, deep skillet, preheat the oil over medium heat.  The oil should be deep enough to submerge more than half of the chicken.  Once the oil is hot, cook the chicken 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken, turning once using long tongs.  Do not overcook the chicken.  When cooked, remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with clean brown paper bags until ready to serve.  (I use paper bags that I buy from the dollar store because I find that using paper towel makes the food soggy.)

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  1. Not sure if she’s still around, but there used to be a food blog called “Just Hungry” about a Japanese-American living in Switzerland.
    She had a couple articles on making Japanese basics, including dashi stock, in case you wanted an alternative recipe to try out : )
    Umm… here: http://www.justhungry.com/2003/11/japanese_basics.html

    • Thank you for sending me that link! I was Very happy to see that she and I make dashi the same way, haha 🙂 I will definitely browse through the rest of her blog soon. Thanks again!

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