What makes Udon - ingredients? recipes? equipment?
When it comes to complex foods that do not exist in nature, and need to be prepared, there is first and foremost a question of definitions, that is what those foods are. This question can be broken down into 3 constituent elements:
- what they are made of/from (ingredients)
- how they are made (recipes)
- what they are made with (equipment, utensils, etc.)
Take for example wine. What makes it?
Is it the ingredients (can wine be made from anything other than grapes?).
Is it the process (can you make it without fermentation)?
Is it the implements and tools (do you need a press, barrels, etc?).
So, what about Udon? What can and cannot be called Udon? What exactly gives grounds to call a certain type of noodles Udon?
As a manufacturer of noodle making equipment in general, and specialized Udon machines in particular we are oftentimes asked by prospective customers to explain the differences between various types of equipment, and whether it could, for example, be possible to make Udon not on “Udon machines” but on “Ramen machines” instead.
Although this generalization may not always be correct, but it can be said that the starting point is always ingredients – with Udon mainly made from wheat flour, water, salt, and – depending on its variety – vinegar. The recipe part includes concrete proportions/ratios of the ingredients and timing to make a product with desired properties (for the Sanuki variety of Udon that would be relatively thick noodles that are firm and bouncy but not too hard, and chewy and elastic but not too sticky). These properties would in their turn dictate what kind of production instruments are most appropriate to use.
To answer the question of whether you need an “Udon machine” to make Udon noodles we first need to step back, and say that – paradoxically as it may sound – in a strict sense there are no such things as “Udon machines”.
What we do have are machines that are more suited for mixing, thinning and cutting dough to make noodles with properties we think Udon should have.
The name “Udon machine” is used for purely conventional reasons, to signify a type of equipment that more often than not is used to make Udon noodles, and was originally designed for such (but not exclusively!) purposes in mind.
To better understand the differences between various types of equipment refer to the >article< in our Noodle Master Labs blog.
But if you are interested to know why special Udon machines exist, what else other than Udon they can make, and whether it is possible to make Udon on other types of noodle making equipment, please join our free online class scheduled for September 16, 2022, where will explore these topics in depth.
The class is Free, and its live broadcast is accessible by the link that will be sent to your email address after you sign up.
a link to the class’s livestream will be sent to your email address 30 minutes before the start
(NOTE: we are looking forward for, and would definitely welcome your watching the live broadcast, but should that be difficult, you would still be able to watch a recording of the class using the same link)
|Time (Japanese time)||Contents|
|4:35 ~ 4:50||A lecture on Udon noodles (history, ingredients, production methods), and structural features of equipment used for production of authentic Japanese Udon noodles|
|4:50 ~ 5:20||Practical demonstration of making Udon and other types of high-hydration noodles|
|5:20 ~ 5:30||Practical Udon cooking session|
|5:30 ~ 5:35||Q&A|
*September 16, 4:30 P.M. Japanese time will be:
September 16, 00:30 A.M. in Los Angeles;
September 16, 2:30 A.M. in Dallas;
September 16, 3:30 A.M. in New York;
September 16, 10:30 A.M. in Helsinki;
9:30 A.M. in Berlin;
8:30 A.M. in Lisbon
*Schedule and timetable may be subject to change
*The workshop will be conducted in English
How to register for the class
You will receive an email with instructions for how to log in to the class’s livestream.
Please feel free to tell us about what kind of noodles you would want to see featured or any particular topic covered during the class.