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When I get Udon at a restaurant, they're these massively thick noodles. When I cook them they look like linguine. What am I doing wrong?

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Are you making udon noodles from scratch or are you cooking pre-made noodles? – nixy Mar 15 '11 at 8:48
@nixy: pre-made – Xodarap Mar 15 '11 at 16:56
Udon are pretty easy to make from scratch so that you can cut them as thick as you like. (…) – Didgeridrew Jul 28 '12 at 6:46
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Many of the dried noodles that are marketed as "udon"—at least in my experience in the USA—are actually mislabeled, thinner noodles like Hiyamugi or even Sōmen. I would suggest buying the semi-dried variety that are usually packaged in vacuum sealed plastic. This variety is shelf stable, but it can often be found in the refrigerated section of Asian mega-marts. The noodles will already be almost full size before cooking.

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Udon noodles can be anywhere between 4 and 8mm thick. They shouldn't shrink in cooking; if anything, they should expand as they absorb the water. I'd suggest that if you want super-thick noodles, make sure you buy super-thick noodles!

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