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Did you know you could make udon noodles with your breadmaker? It makes sense, considering you can make pizza dough and pasta dough with it; udon is nothing more than Japanese pasta. But the great thing about udon is that it can be eaten hot in a broth during chilly weather, or cold with dipping sauce during the summer. Our recipes this month will show you how to use your breadmaker to make real teuchi, or homemade udon, and the all important soup broth that goes with it.
Yes, you may say to yourself, I can simply buy a packet of udon noodles at the supermarket; there are many kinds to choose from if you happen to live near an Asian store. But that wouldn't be any fun, would it? And believe us, it's not going to taste as good or have the chewy texture that you can get from homemade.
Use your breadmaker to make the dough required to prepare real homemade udon. Simply let your machine do the tough work, then slice your dough into strips for that chewy teuchi noodle texture you'll love.
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This cold noodle classic is a favorite anytime of the year; a refreshing way to slurp udon and enjoy the real flavor of your noodles and tangy dipping sauce, without any extra ingredients to distract your taste buds.
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Nothing beats a hot bowl of udon on a cold day. Combine homemade broth, udon noodles and tempura for this classic dish. The tempura can be served on top of your udon, or placed off to the side as you enjoy.
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Without the soup broth, this pan-fried udon is less filling in some ways, which is probably why it appears on many appetizer and tapas menus. The crunchy vegetables and tasty bits of meat make it an excellent udon alternative.
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Soba, or buckwheat noodles, is considered to be the healthiest kind of noodles, prized for its vitamins, minerals, and gluten-free benefits. Combine the refreshing ingredients of a garden salad and this recipe becomes unbeatable!  
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Here's a short primer on the most popular Japanese noodles that we eat regularly. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of kinds that are the basis for other Asian cuisines, like the flat egg noodles in Chinese cooking, the rice vermicelli in Vietnamese pho, the clear cellophane noodles used to make Korean japchae, etc.
Udon: With thick noodles like udon, it all comes down to texture, chewiness and bite; which is why homemade is so good. These wheat-based noodles are versatile in hot broth or cold dipping sauce, so they're year-round. Udon in any of its various forms makes a very hearty meal by itself, but if you want to try something really filling, go for the Curry Udon the next time you're at a restaurant. Whoo!
Soba: Popular for its whole grain goodness, soba is made 100% of buckwheat, which is minimally processed and full of fiber, protein, magnesium and other nutrients. Like udon, soba is also served deliciously hot in broth or cold with dipping sauce. In Japan there are dedicated fans of both noodles; to the point that many strongly prefer to be a "soba person" or an "udon person".
Ramen: Although originally imported from China during the 19th Century, these curly wheat-based noodles have become so entrenched in Japanese culture that they have their own identity here. So many varieties of ramen, so many movies based on ramen (Tampopo, Ramen Girl), so many anime and manga characters where ramen is part of their name or character (Naruto), so many new and inventive ways to use ramen (ramen burger, dried ramen snacks), it's no wonder ramen restaurants stay open the latest in Japan, and even here in the U.S.!
Somen: A summer favorite, this very thin and white wheat noodle is almost like the opposite of udon. Somen is light, slippery and extremely slurpable in cold dipping sauce during the hot and humid Japanese summers, when the heavy heat brings appetites down and energy low. Somen is often served over ice, which visually cools you down and invites you to eat, even as you're tolerating the sweltering weather!
Shirataki: These translucent noodles are very popular for their low-carb, low calorie and beneficial fiber content. Made from konnyaku, or the konjac yam, they don't have much flavor on their own, but it's a popular addition to sukiyaki and oden, used to add texture and another dimension to both hotpot type meals. It's also gluten-free, so it really is a healthy alternative that deserves all the accolades it gets.
Yakisoba: Even though this dish usually uses the same kind of noodles as ramen, it seems to deserve its own mention, just because yakisoba is prepared in a totally different way than ramen. It is not made with soba (buckwheat noodles) in spite of its name. More like a pan-fried Japanese style chow mein, yakisoba is a popular street food that can be found in road side food carts, festival food stands and at most teppanyaki restaurants, sizzling on the open griddle. The fruity, spicy sauce that coats the noodles is the key ingredient, and the various chopped veggies and meat make for the various regional styles of yakisoba.
2-1/2” wide opening makes it easy to fill and clean, and allows to eat directly out of the jar Removable plastic cover around the mouth for eating and drinking comfort
Vacuum insulated stainless steel food jar keeps foods hot or cold for hours Durable and sanitary SlickSteel® polished stainless steel interior makes cleaning easy
The air between two thin layers of stainless steel that make up the body of the outer container is removed to create a vacuum. Because there is no air, the temperature on the other side of the wall does not transfer over, keeping contents hot or cold for hours. This technology is superior to foam insulation or the use of double walls to maintain temperature.
Zojirushi America Corporation warrants only the thermal insulation of certain vacuum insulated products against defects for a period of five years from the date of original retail purchase.
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Holiday season is here. Are you having a hard time choosing party menus or holiday gifts? Let us help you choose the perfect gifts for your family and friends in next month's issue full of Zojirushi's fun holiday ideas.

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