Fresh udon noodles are thick, chewy, and delicious. Frozen udon noodles are very nearly as good. But dried udon noodles cooked like spaghetti in boiling water are notoriously sub-par. If dried is all you have access to, don't give up hope! We recently learned of a different kind of cooking technique that might help!
In How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, Mark Bittman describes a way of cooking dried udon that we'd never heard of before. He says to add the dried udon noodles to salted boiling water as we've been doing. But when the water comes back to a boil, you add a cup of cold water to the pot. When the water comes back to a boil again, you add another cup of cold water, and so on until the noodles are cooked.
He doesn't describe what this process does that makes the noodles better than straight boiling. We're guessing that constantly lowering the temperature of the water allows the noodles to absorb more water without becoming gummy or over-cooked. We're very curious to give it a try and see if it helps improve the texture of the noodles.
Have any of you tried this method? Or do you do something else?