Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Udon noodles

The other day I showed you pictures of different Ramen noodles that we can get in Japan. I don't know how Ramen noodles are made but I think they must have egg and oil or something in them. They are usually thin noodles that slurp up easily. (Did you know that proper manners require noisy slurping when eating noodles in Japan? Yep! Splash noodle soup all around you!)

Another type of noodle in Japan is Udon noodles. These are much thicker and have a different texture. I think (but am not sure) that these are traditionally Japanese noodles. I once went to a Udon noodle making class where we kneaded noodle dough and let it set for an hour or so and kneaded it again and then walked up and down for ten minutes on the noodle dough which was inside a plastic bag. The stomping of the noodle dough was supposed to make it strong and chewy. All I remember is that it was a lot of work and that I will probably never make Udon noodles from scratch again. I'd prefer to eat my Udon here!

This is a Udon shop near us where you can get steaming bowls of noodles (or cold if you prefer) and either eat them direct in soup or dip them into your own dipping sauce.

At the first counter the customers order what type of noodles they want and as you go down the line you can pick up tempura of your choice for about a dollar a piece. I had cold noodles in sesame sauce and a tempura pumpkin slice and squid tempura. Tetsu had direct from the pot Udon with dipping sauce and mixed tempura and also chicken tempura (and also a rice ball). (Tempura picture from the Internet.)

This was our 1988 New year's card. Same park. Tetsu's wearing another hand made sweater. I guess we were late that year getting a photo taken and it had already snowed. For a few years I went back to glasses after years of contacts but somewhere along the line (the next year?) vanity won out and I returned to contact usage...

The little illustration in the corner is depicting a traditional bamboo New Year's ornament.

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