Chapter 17

Godan no Bu (後段乃部)
Noodles, etc.

The title literally means “later food”: Savory foods that would be eaten after the main meal with rice, usually indicating pasta or similarly starchy foods. In this case, they appear to be noodles, savory mochi, and other products made from dough. Although udon are specifically described, it is intriguing that sōmen are only described in variation, either because basic sōmen were well enough known, or it was just a generic term for long, thin noodles that there was no “basic” recipe. Though sometimes served long, long noodles being seen as an auspicious wish for long life, it was also common practice to cut them, making them easier to consume.

The verbs “to beat” and “to knead” are both used in the recipes; kneading appears to refer to a more gentle motion, whereas beating would seem to indicate a more violent method. The best suggestion is to look up various videos of handmade noodles to understand how they are made. It is important to understand that flour will react differently after being worked for a long period of time, and understanding what the dough and noodles should feel like is an important part of the process. Alternatively, many of these noodles can still be found in stores, today. Modern cooks may also benefit from the fact that excess noodles or dough may be frozen or kept refrigerated for later use, a luxury not available in the Edo period.

Other recipes in this section include keiran, which are little "eggs" of flour and brown sugar, and dango, which are commonly found at festivals, today, served on skewers. Kinton appears to refer to an orange-colored dumpling, though it could refer to something more noodle-like, given the description of suiton, just above it. Readers can make their own assumptions based on the recipes given, which is why we’ve tried to stay as true as we can to the overall text. Finally, satsuni almost appears to be out of place, and it is curious it is not found in Chapter 12. It looks almost like a recipe for an early version of oden, a popular festival food served at temples, shrines, and, today, at most convenience stores as a quick bite.

1. Udon うどん (Wheat noodles)

Beat the flour as much as is necessary. For salt seasoning, put 1 shō of salt in 3 shō of water in summer, and 1 shō of salt in 5 shō of water in winter. Using this saltwater, mix in to season just right. Affix the dough on a millstone, and carefully and without vibration roll it up to roughly ball shaped and put it in a box. Wet a cloth, cover, and put it in a place where the wind doesn’t blow. Take out one at a time and beat it. Boil and season to taste. The broth is ninuki, or possibly taremiso. Garnish with black pepper and ume.

2. Keiran けいらん (Eggs)

Take 4 fun glutinous rice and 6 fun non-glutinous rice, and to make flour put it in a sieve of cloth. Shake many times over. Knead in water for a good period. Fold brown sugar into the middle of that. Roll it up no bigger than a kumquat and simmer. The broth is the same as the type of broth for udon. As for how to soak it, leave it in the water for a short period of time. Then take it out and put it in a bucket. It is good to evenly press it and put it aside. Too quickly, and the flour will still be rough. If the weight is left on for a long time, they will stick together, and won't shake apart.

3. Kiri mugi 切麦 (Cut barley)

The seasoning, method of beating, and way to make them is the same way as udon, before. The broth is ninuki, or possibly taremiso with karashi, tade, and yuzu.

4. Kuzu sōmen 葛素麺 (Arrowroot noodles)

Dissolve kuzu in a little water, and heat over a fire. Heat it to about the warmth of the water leftover from making rice and transfer it to a pot to cool. Then mix in some [kuzu] flour. As for kneading, try to pull it up and then drop, till it becomes a string, and keeping it uncut. It is not good to let it fall fast or to cut it. Open a funnel hole approximately as big as a finger. An oyawan is good. The thickness of the noodles is determined by the height of the funnel. It is good to simmer well in hot water in a pot. When it turns the color of cooked sōmen, scoop out the noodles in a filter bag and put them in water to cool them. Rub and wash them well. If you change the water often, it will gradually whiten. The broth is made the same as in kiri mugi. If it is Yoshino kuzu then there isn’t anything more to say. There are various oral traditions.

5. Joyomen しよよめん (Japanese yam noodles)

Grate yamaimo into small pieces. Knead together six 6 fun glutinous rice flour and 4 fun non-glutinous rice. At a good time, mix it well with the yamaimo. Make small balls and beat it just like kiri mugi. Boil, and for seasoning, it is good to do it when it has simmered and is floating on top. For this, too, the broth is the same as kiri mugi.

6. Suisen 水繊 (Water threads)

Dissolve kuzu flour in water. It should be firm enough to be placed on a fingernail and remain there. When the heat is to a good point, put it in a strainer. If it rests above the water, then when the color changes and it hardens, put it into hot water together with the pot. When it simmers, pull it out. Transfer it to water to cool. Cut as appropriate. This broth is also the same as kiri mugi. It is not good to put it into hot water too quickly.

7. Suiton 水飩 (Water noodles)

Mix kuzu flour in water. Knead together well. Strike it to stretch it out with either bamboo or wood. Cut it to only about 2~3 fun wide and 3 sun long. Add dashi to miso and simmer. Nira, or anything else is good as uwaoki. However, it is good to put it in boiling water. Pile up keiran in a net. Serve, after also putting some poppyseed or sanshō pepper an on a plate with udon broth.

8. Kinton きんとん (Orange dumplings)

Mix kuzu flour with a broth of miso that has been boiled and left to cool. Into the middle of that, grind such things as sanshō and poppyseeds. Quickly roll it round. This is also prepared in miso shiru. Furthermore, this has oral traditions.

9. Soba kiri 蕎麦きり (Cut buckwheat)

Mix with hot water from cooking rice. Alternatively, there are also recipes to mix it with tepid water, or water from pressing tōfu. It is good to make little balls. Boil it; it isn’t good to have too little hot water. Simmer, and scoop it out with a sieve. Put it in tepid water. Wash it gently. Then, put it in the sieve. Pour boiling water on top and cover so that it doesn’t cool down. Alternatively, it is good to serve it dry. The broth is the same as with udon, previously. Beyond that, you can also add daikon broth. Add hanagatsuo, grated daikon, a type of asatsuki, and also karashi and wasabi.

10. Mugi kiri 麦きり (Cut barley)

Make this from barley flour. To knead the dough, strike it like kiri mugi and cut it short. For broth and uwaoki, prepare it the same as soba kiri.

11. Nyūmen にうめん (Simmered noodles)

To start with, cut short pieces of sōmen, boil, gently dry and put it aside. Add dashi to taremiso, and when it is steaming, put in the noodles. Add such things as young mustard greens, nebuka, and aubergines. It is also served with usumiso [thin miso]. Add black pepper and sanshō powder.

12. Suzuri dango すゞりだんご (Inkstone dumplings)

Gently mix 6 fun of glutinous rice flour and 4 fun of non-glutinous rice flour in water. Roll up into the size of mukuroji seeds. Simmer well in strained azuki beans, and season with salt to taste. It is good to pour on white sugar and serve.

13. Satsuni 雑煮 (Various simmered food)

Serve with nakamiso [middle-grade miso] or a clear broth. Put in such things as mochi, tōfu, imo, daikon, iriko, skewered abalone, hiragatsuo, and kukitachi.


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