Ah, Food Wars! recipes! I feel like I always end the experience in a love-hate relationship. I love the final product, but the process to get there. Holy cow. And this particular dish is no exception. Soma and friends whip it up in order to pass the second stage of their exam. They ingeniously realize how to use their remaining supplies to craft together a delicious dish that will impress the examiner… but is it even possible to cook this particular dish in the time frame allotted?
Maybe. The dish, special Gousetsu Udon, requires a few moving parts. The soup base, thickened with potato shavings, comes together in a snap. The potato mochi too is brilliant in its simplicity; it comes together without a fuss. It’s the udon noodles that are the issue. Having never made udon before, I needed to learn two things: a recipe, and the technique. I was unsure where to start, but I found this guide to be invaluable when it came to forming the noodles. However, finding a recipe was nearly impossible. At least in English, this is a recipe that simply doesn’t exist. Luckily, my slight knowledge of Japanese helped me search, but even there I found only one recipe. I’m sure there’s more out there, but this is where my search capabilities ended.
So, I had a technique guide and a recipe… but I still needed to cobble together something that would work for this variety of noodle. The recipe below is based on a combination of the technique guide as well as the Japanese recipe. The thing with udon, though, is that it’s quite difficult to knead (requiring the use of feet) and require resting time – more time than Soma and friends had in the challenge. You can get away with resting the udon only a few hours, as opposed to overnight, but even so that’s cutting it a bit close for the time limit. Theoretically, it’s possible… if everything goes perfectly. And the team did waste time in the beginning attempting to go out to look for other ingredients.
A note on the potatoes- in the anime, they use Irish Cobbler potatoes, which are high in starch content. I couldn’t get the same potato in any of my local stores, so I settled for Russett potatoes, which are also high in starch. However, I’d love to try this recipe with the Irish Cobbler, if I could get my hands on some! It might change some of the proportions of the flour and potato starch, but it would be more authentic. In any case, this is a good base recipe to start with- if you’re able to experiement, let me know how it turns out!
In any case, is this dish even worth making? Well, yes. I was pleasantly surprised! My own noodles were nothing to write home about (honestly, unless you’re a master noodle maker, it’s always easier to buy pre-made noodles), but the broth was fantastic, as was the potato mochi. For me the mochi was actually the stand-out topping. It was creamy in the middle, yet crunchy on the outside; my favorite part of the whole dish!
If you make this at home, I’d advise buying pre-made fresh udon noodles (the potato flavor of the Gousetsu udon is really fun, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the trouble). Everything else I’d make from scratch – you won’t be disappointed! Watch the video below to get more pointers on how exactly to make this dish!
Ingredients for Gousetsu Udon
-8 Cups Dashi
-1 Cup Soy Sauce
-1 Cup Mirin
-1 Russet Potato, peeled and finely grated
-1 Russet Potato, peeled and cubed
-1 Tbsp Butter
-1 Splash of Milk
-1 tsp Potato Starch
-2 Tbsp Butter for Pan
-Green onion, chopped
-Lightly Fried Green Shiso Leaf
To Make Gousetsu Udon
1. If buying pre-made noodles, skip to step 3. Otherwise, start with the noodles. Steam the potato, and then slip the skin off. Mash very finely, and then add in the salt, potato starch, flour, and water. Knead until it roughly comes together into a ball (this could take awhile).
2. Put dough into a plastic bag and continue kneading with your feet. Place it on the ground, cover with a towel, and step on the protected dough. Step on it until it reaches the edges of the bag, then re-position the dough away from edges, and step again. I did this three times. You want it to be firm but soft, and pliable. Place the ball of dough in a fresh plastic bag, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove from the fridge and let come to room temperature.
3. While waiting on dough to come to room temperature, create the broth. Make dashi, and then add in soy sauce, mirin, and grated potato. Bring to a low simmer, and keep on back burner until ready to use.
4. Make the potato mochi. Boil potato until soft, drain water, and mash. Add in milk, butter, potato starch, and salt. Stir to combine until mixture is smooth. Create small patties out of the mixture and set aside until ready to fry.
5. Bring a frying pan, preferably non-stick, to medium high heat. Melt butter in the bottom of the pan, and then place patties in the pan. Fry on each side, about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.
6. Clear a space on your counter to roll out the dough. Cover with potato starch to avoid sticking, and roll out dough to a 1/8th inch thickness. You want to try to get it into a square shape if you can. Fold the dough like an accordion, and cut slices with a very sharp knife. The end goal is for the noodle to be approximately square shaped, so slices should be about 1/8th of an inch thick as well. Dust cut noodles well with cornstarch to avoid sticking.
7. Boil noodles in well salted water, 10-12 minutes (more time if noodles are thicker).
8. Chop green parts of green onion. Quickly batter and fry Shiso leaf to make it crispy.
9. Rinse noodles under cool water when tender and ready to eat, and place in serving bowl. Ladle broth over the top. Garnish with potato mochi, shiso leaf, and green onion. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Check in next week for another recipe. To check out more anime food recipes, visit my blog. If you have any questions or comments, leave them below! I recently got a Twitter, so you can follow me at @yumpenguinsnack if you would like, and DEFINITELY feel free to send me food requests! My Tumblr is yumpenguinsnacks.tumblr.com. Find me on Youtube for more video tutorials! Enjoy the food, and if you decide to recreate this dish, show me pics! 😀