Udon is one of the most typical Japanese cuisines and loved by people of all ages. Japan’s three best udon – Inaniwa udon in Akita, Mizusawa udon in Gunma and Sanuki udon in Kagawa are especially must-try. But most Japanese may think that Sanuki udon is the most famous and standard udon since there are a lot of restaurants offer Sanuki style udon everywhere in Japan, and Kagawa Prefecture even calls itself “Udon Prefecture”.
You should first know the definition of Sanuki udon. It is actually legally set what is Sanuki udon and what is not.
Sanuki udon needs to meet the conditions below:
1. Noodles are hand-made or in hand-made style
2. Water is contained more than 40% of the weight of flour
3. Salt is added more than 3% of the weight of flour
4. Udon dough is rest more than 2 hours
5. The boiling time is no more than 15 minutes
They are the definition of Sanuki udon. Besides, if someone wants to name their udon “the original Sanuki udon” or “the real Sanuki udon”, it needs to be made in Kagawa prefecture, otherwise, it will be illegal.
The greatest characteristic that Sanuki udon has is the texture. The noodles are very thick and chewy, and also have a deep flavour of wheat flour. The chewy texture of udon, as well as other noodles, is called “koshi” in the Japanese language, and many people may agree that the chewier the better. This is the reason why Sanuki udon is loved so much in Japan.
There is one more thing that you should probably know about Sanuki udon. “Sanuki udon” is just a name of noodles, so you need to choose how to season the noodles to taste.
Some examples of common ways
After boiling udon, dashi soup is poured over them. It is generally served hot but there is also a chilled style called hiyashi kake udon.
It is finished a small amount of sauce. The taste of the sauce is similar to kake udon, but it is stronger than kake’s due to the small amount.
It is served udon and boiling water together in a bowl, and a dipping sauce. You can enjoy a softer texture of udon as it is not cooled down.
It is very similar to bukkake udon but used only soy sauce instead of dashi. This can be the simplest way to enjoy the real taste of udon.
Although Sanuki udon is a local cuisine in Kagawa, Sanuki udon restaurants have spread not only in Japan but also overseas. Also, you can easily find frozen Sanuki (style) udon noodles at Japanese supermarkets. Please try to find your best way to enjoy the udon as there are many arranged recipes other than the standards that are listed above, including something inspired by Western cuisine.