Udon 101: a definitive guide on Udon Noodles and Udon Dishes
If ramen has firmly established itself on the plates and grocery shelves of many countries, udon is still often considered an exotic novelty with some people being completely unfamiliar with what this type of noodles looks like and how it tastes.
This in part can be explained by the fact that this type of noodles is indigenous to Japan, and so far did not have a chance to enjoy as much international exposure as ramen.
But when thought from a different angle, the very fact that udon is still largely unknown to the general public in many countries makes it a perfect instrument for food business entrepreneurs to achieve a breakthrough in the field by offering customers something they may not have had an experience with, and where there is little to none competition.
Of course, the success of such an enterprise would solely depend on research: starting from exploring what is udon, what does it take to make good udon noodles and prepare authentic udon noodle dishes, to marketing research of potential customers’ preferences – whether udon cuisine would suit their palates, or how it can be modified or customized to make it more appealing to them.
Thus, in as much as udon’s obscurity is a drawback, it may present an opportunity to become a pioneer in udon noodle business.
So, what is udon? Similarly to ramen it is, of course, a type of noodles and a noodle cuisine with it own traditions, variations, as well as opportunities for customization and development.
The most famous udon variety is Sanuki udon – eponymous to the region called Sanuki in Japan where it was developed. Aside from Hokkaido, Sanuki, encompassing the northern part of Shikoku island is one of the best places in Japan for wheat cultivation – which contributed to the relative popularity of wheat-based products in the region.
As a manufacturer of noodle making equipment the history of Yamato itself started from designing and selling machines to make udon noodles. This required not only engineering ingenuity but an enormous marketing effort as well – to convince people who have been eating and selling hand-made udon noodles throughout all their lives that machine-made udon was not only on par but even better than noodles made by hand.
On April 1, 2021, join Yamato for a free online class aiming to give a definitive guide on all things Udon.
The content largely echoes with the curriculum of Yamato Udon School, but even without delving into particular and intricate details of udon cooking techniques, certain basic things may not necessarily be obvious for people eager to have a clear understanding of the subject – either for general education or as a starting point in their journeys for success in udon business.
So what questions you may have about udon noodles? Could those questions be similar to the ones below?
– Is there anything that makes udon noodles different from other types of noodles like pasta?
– Are udon noodles ‘healthy’?
– Should you make udon noodles by hand, or factory-made dry udon noodles is the only option?
– What is craft udon, and what is needed to make it?
– Is there only one variety of udon noodles? And, if there are many, what makes them different?
– What are udon machines, and how they are different from pasta machines or machines for other types of noodles?
– Can you use an udon machine to produce dry udon noodles for sale?
– Are udon noodles Chinese or Japanese?
– What is the difference between udon noodles and ramen noodles?
– Do udon noodles contain MSG?
– Is udon the same thing as wok?
– Do udon noodles contain eggs?
– Are udon dishes strictly vegetarian?
– What is the difference between hand-made and machine-made udon noodles?
– Who decides what is udon?
– Should udon noodles always be served in / with soup?
– Are udon recipes fixed, or have they changed with time?
– Is it possible to develop one’s own original udon recipe?
– Can udon be gluten free?
– Can udon be used as a fine-dining food?
– Do you need to dedicate many years on training and learning to become an udon master?
– What does it take to open an udon shop?
– “Kakiage”, “Zaru”, “Kamaage”, “Nikomi” – what do all these terms mean, and are they mutually exclusive?
– Can you use local ingredients to make udon?
For those ‘in the know’ all these things may appear to be a common sense stuff hardly deserving spending much time on explaining. However, it is obvious that especially outside Japan, even professional chefs and food business owners may lack a clear picture, which the class on April 1, 2021 is meant to provide.
NOTE: although the class will try to give as much information about udon in general as possible, we will nevertheless focus more on its most famous (including outside Japan) Sanuki variety.
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.
(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|
|4:05 ~ 4:15||Brief lecture on Udon: history, noodles, dishes|
|4:15 ~ 4:35||Practical demo session: making fresh craft Udon noodles|
|4:35 ~5:05||Practical examples of preparation and cooking techniques for Udon dishes|
|5:05 ~ 5:15||Q&A session|
*April 1, 4:00 P.M. Japanese time will be:
March 31, 11:00 P.M. in Los Angeles;
April 1, 1:00 A.M. in Dallas;
April 1, 2:00 A.M. in New York;
April 1, 9:00 A.M. in Helsinki;
8:00 A.M. in Berlin;
7:00 A.M. in Lisbon
*Schedule and timetable may be subject to change
*The class will be conducted in English
—Start your Noodle business journey with this free online noodle class brought to you by the most experienced and qualified noodle professionals from Japan.
—Get a free chance to explore and experience the world of professional noodle making, including commercial noodle making equipment and professional culinary noodle schools
—The class will feature the best commercial noodle making equipment for restaurants, restaurant chains, mini factories, and other types of small/medium scale noodle businesses:
tested by time, endorsed by professionals
Learn about Yamato Noodle School!
How to register for the class
You will receive an email with instructions for how to log in to the Class 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.
If you are interested in watching a recording of the class, please contact us to request a playback link.