C246: UDON AND TEMPURA
I feel like eating udon.
Come to think of it, I haven’t had it in a while.
Now that we have bonito flakes, we have no other ingredient missing.
That’s why we’re making udon today.
First, we need to make the noodles.
Mix flour with salt water and knead.
“Oh, looks like Master is making something again.”
“I wonder what he’ll make this time”
Veil and Platy have evolved into being able to sniff out food before it’s even ready.
Well, it’s a pre-established harmony, so I guess it doesn’t matter.
“I’m so looking forward to his next new dish.
It seems he’s kneading the flour with wheat.”
I feel like we’ve seen this before.
What was it again Hm… Oh, yeah!”
Veil makes a weird face as she jogs her memory after seeing me knead the dough.
“I remember now! This is to make bread, isn’t it”
“You know, the thing you bake! And here I thought you were making something new, Master.
Turns out, it’s just bread!”
Was I giving off that kind of vibe
“Hey, let me help make bread too! Kneading the dough is so much fun!” says Veil as she joins me to knead.
“Knead the dough♪ Knead the dough♪ Mix flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast to make bread, ♪” she sings gleefully.
I, on the other hand, knead the udon dough quietly.
“Let’s mix in some butter and knead some more, then let it rise.
After letting the dough rest for a while, I spread it evenly with a rolling pin then cut it into noodle strips.
“Once it’s done proofing, we knead it again and cut them into pieces.
Then I boil the finished noodles and make the dipping sauce at the same time.
This is where the bonito flakes play their part.
I throw the boiled udon noodles into the hot dipping sauce and sprinkle it with chopped green onions, then…
“Put the dough in the oven to bake it through and through.
The finished noodles and bread are side-by-side.
A double carbohydrate combo.
“I thought we were baking bread, Master! You made something else!”
“But it’s not like I mentioned anything about making bread! And how did you not notice me making something different midway!”
That aside, I’m slightly impressed that Veil managed to make bread on her own.
I took a bite from it.
Given that it’s freshly baked, it’s delicious!
…Hm But doesn’t this taste a little salty
Oh, it’s the taste of my tears.
“Pish, let’s taste your new dish instead, Dear.”
Platy is not impressed.
Then, without asking, she grabs my udon bowl.
“Is this some kind of soup The bowl is mostly broth, but with some kind of long weird thing in it…”
“Do you eat it with chopsticks I’m not very good at using them, though…”
Veil also shifts her interest toward the udon.
Despite what she said, she uses the chopsticks well and slurps the udon…
“What is this long, chewy thing! I thought it’d be fluffy since it has the same ingredients as bread, but I was wrong!”
“The sauce is also delicious.
Is this flavor from the bonito flakes you recently made I see.
You were able to make this because of it!”
I’m glad to see their satisfied reactions.
“I’m going to try dipping my bread into the sauce… Mm! Yum!”
“Manners, Veil… But you’re right.
It is delicious.”
They’ve turned into flavor researchers and are trying all sorts of combinations!
I don’t really approve of the way they’re eating it, but I’ll give it a try later for curiosity’s sake.
Just once, maybe…
All right, I’ll add one slight touch.
It’s not just bonito (or otherworldly fish that looks like one) that we caught during our fishing trip.
Among them was a shrimp-like fish.
I cover it with batter and fry it in oil…
I put the shrimp tempura into their bowls of udon.
They both instinctively raise their voices in delight.
“This is incredible! I can tell it’s incredible! Two foods that are incredible on their own merge into one! It’s not just twice as incredible, but thrice!!!”
“The shrimp’s coating is soaked in the udon soup, synergizing its taste! The golden color of this batter is luxurious! It’s perfect for a dragon like me!”
They’re so delighted.
Meanwhile, I’m making kakiage.
I wonder what else goes well with udon
Meat, tanuki, kitsune, wakame, tsukimi, wild vegetables, burdock tempura…
I can’t think of anything else anymore.
Wait, there must be more to it.
I could’ve sworn most stand-up soba and udon stalls at train stations had a menu full of various toppings.
No, that would be too strange.
The contents of the croquette would dissolve into the sauce and ruin the dish…
Hmm, I wonder if that’s a good idea Maybe it isn’t
But isn’t that a separate dish It’s not part of the repertoire.
Besides, my farm isn’t ready to make curry, so I’m putting this idea on hold.
There are also zaru udon and bukkake udon if we don’t want to limit ourselves to individual ingredients.
I don’t need to get new ingredients for these, too, so I can make them right away…
Oh, wait, I have to make a bamboo mat for zaru udon!
What a hassle, there are so many things I need to prepare.
And then there’s the forbidden…
When I returned to reality, the situation in the kitchen had changed drastically.
“This natto udon is pretty good.”
Natto udon has been realized!
Of course, its executor is none other than our Natto Angel Horkosfon!
She has imitated something typically served in Mito’s udon shops!!!
“Natto and udon together is one fine combination.
I will add this to my natto repertoire.”
Wait, it’s not just Horkosfon, but the kitchen is now bustling with the other farm residents.
Orcs and goblins are boiling the rest of my udon and putting it into bowls one after another, along with the dipping sauce.
They actually did it themselves without asking me…
“Oh, apologies, we boiled them without asking you.”
“Why don’t you try some yourself, My Lord It’s really delicious!”
But I made that myself…
It’s not just Veil who learned how to cook without my help!
“Let’s try this tempura thingy too!”
“Let’s deep-fry some pumpkin and eggplant! How about tomatoes and cucumbers, too, while we’re at it”
They aren’t even hesitant in experimenting with things!
“After frying, put them into the udon bowl!”
“Brilliant! We can taste all kinds of udon!”
“This udon with sweet potato tempura is pretty good!”
“So is this udon with chopped burdock root!!!”
“Ice cream tempura!”
“Would Japanese sake make a fine pairing with the udon!”
“Udon noodles with seaweed is also delicious!”
“These wild vegetables too!”
I guess my passion for food and cooking must have transferred to everyone on the farm.
I felt time moving forward when I found out Platy was carrying my baby, but that wasn’t all.
Everyone is growing up, little by little!
Every single one of us!
And I’m sure this growth is going to continue.
Then, there’s Horkosfon…
“Next, let’s try natto tempura.”
“Please don’t! I fear the outcome!!!”
quick geo check: mito is the capital city of ibaraki prefecture in japan.
it seems they’re most famous for their natto.