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Udon noodles: meet ramen’s quieter sibling | Financial Times
Buckwheat soba had been the predominant cheap noodle for the working class since the Edo period (1603-1868) so the younger generation saw wheat-based ramen (thin round noodles made firm and yellowish by the addition of alkaline salts) and udon (fat, soft white noodles) as exciting “foreign” food, in much the same way that postwar Europeans were attracted to the glamour of the American hamburger. More importantly, ramen cooking — still retaining a certain Chinese cultural “otherness” — was free of the rigid rules of traditional Japanese cuisine. Young cooks felt able to open noodle bars, to play fast and loose with new combinations and flavours and, in doing so, participated in a national wave of culinary creativity.

as in most Asian cuisines, texture is as vital a component of flavour as smell is to westerners. The ideal udon noodle must have koshi. There is no completely satisfactory translation into English, but it means something like “strength” or “firmness”. The noodle must have bounce, resilience, it must bite back.
explained  japanese  cuisine  udon  restaurant  london 
july 2018 by aries1988

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