On New Year’s Eve, I tried my hand at making noodles from scratch. I was inspired by a post from JustHungry.com about year-end soba. Noodles are lucky to eat around the new year in Asian culture because it brings good fortune.
I started with 3 cups of bread flour. I used this high gluten flour because I figured the gluten will give the noodles more chewiness. I mixed in about a teaspoon of salt, but in retrospect, I probably could have put in about a tablespoon. I put the flour and salt mixture in a bowl under our KitchenAid mixer and turned it on while I slowly poured in 1/2 cup of water. Then, as it mixed on medium, I kept adding water until most of the flour clumped up.
By then, I was mostly doing it by feel anyway, so I took the mixing bowl from under the mixer and kneaded the dough by hand, adding a tablespoon more of water and kneading until I got a pretty firm dough that was right past the crumbly stage and before the sticky stage. I then put that in a container and stuck it in the fridge for an hour to rest.
After resting, I put the dough on a floured surface, floured the top, and flattened it with a rolling pin until it was as thin as I could get it without my arms falling off. That was about 1/4 of an inch. I guess I could have gone thinner, but I didn’t want to risk the dough getting too sticky. I then floured it some more and folded it into thirds envelope-style so I could cut it into 1/4 inch strips. After cutting, I unfolded the noodles and separated them from each other
I put the noodles into a big pot of boiling water and it took longer than I thought for them to cook. As soon as they got to al dente, I took them out and ran them under cold water to wash off the extra starch.
I had another pot of soup broth going with just kombu, soy sauce, mirin, fried tofu pockets, and the whites of some Japanese green onion. I dumped the rinsed and strained noodles in and let it simmer for another minute or so just to warm the noodles back up.
I then topped the noodles with a poached egg, some sliced green onion, and for me, some slices of naruto (fish cake). Not counting noodle resting time and water boiling time, this all took less than an hour to make, so it’s definitely do-able. The chewiness of the fresh noodles is completely worth it.