Entomophagy Recipes: Udon Noodles
Feb. 16, 2020
May contain affiliate links.
Udon is a Japanese wheat noodle, typically used in savory dashi broth soups, but also as a main dish. The thick, springy, chewiness is what makes udon fun to eat, but what makes udon fun to make is that it's quite common, even for old Japanese chefs, to knead the dough by putting it in a sealed bag, and then walking on it with their feet. While it may sound unusual, this method is not undignified at all; it's traditional, and some say necessary, to give udon noodles their distinct chewy texture. This recipe was inspired by Kibo Japan, and made with cricket powder from Entomo Farms.
Total: 20 mins; Serves 4
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup cricket powder
- 3/4 cup water
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and cricket powder. Add water slowly, mixing the dough with your hands. It will start out very rough and dry, but as you add the water it will start to blend together. You can add more water if you need to. Keep mixing until the flour is completely incorporated into the dough, and it is no longer loose along the sides of the bowl.
2. Sprinkle flour on a large working surface, and transfer dough to surface. Knead dough firmly until it feels very smooth and uniform; about 5 minutes. Work dough into a tight ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest for 1-2 hours.
3. This is the fun part. Put the dough ball in 1 large Ziplock-style plastic bag, or split it up and put it in several, depending on how big your bags are. Wrap the bag or bags with a towel to protect them, and then walk all over them, twisting your feet a little bit, to really mix the dough forcefully. Walk all over the bags until the dough balls have flattened. Then, take the dough out of the bag, fold them over on themselves like you're folding a small towel, put them back in the bags, and walk all over them again. Repeat 2 or 3 times, then put the dough back together again (if you split it into smaller balls) and let it rest, covered, for another 3-4 hours.
4. Sprinkle fresh flour back on the large working surface, and roll out the dough ball with a rolling pin. Flip and rotate the dough from time to time, to ensure even thickness. When the dough is approximately 1/4 inches thick, lightly fold it over itself in thirds, like you're folding a letter before putting it in an envelope. Using a long and sharp knife, slice your dough-letter horizontally across the shorter side, starting from the bottom, closest to you, and working your way up, to cut the dough folds into noodles. Make each cut approximately 1/8 inches away from the last one. Gently lift and separate the noodles, sprinkling with flour, if necessary.
5. If you are going to eat the noodles now, toss them into salted, boiling, water and cook for 3-10 minutes, until they float. Then drain the noodles and rinse under cold water, to stop the cooking. You can now add the noodles to a soup, or incorporate into a dish, with sauce and vegetables. If you are going to save the noodles for another day, put them in fresh plastic bags (not the ones you used to knead the dough!) and freeze, until you are ready to boil and eat.
This entomophagy recipe is included in Bugs for Beginners, a cookbook which teaches Westerners how to prepare edible insects and safely eat a bug. Text may include affiliate links
I'm Mic. I love reading about, writing about, thinking about, photographing, and especially eating, food. Especially bug food. Enough talk, let's eat!