Cooking udon by adding cold water to the boiling noodles in several stages ensures that they cook all they way through yet stay pleasingly firm on the outside.
- 8 oz. dried, 10 oz. semifresh, or 16 oz. <a href="http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Fresh-Udon">Fresh Udon</a>
- Scallions, finely sliced
- Shichimi togarashi (seven-spice blend)
- Freshly grated ginger
- Soy sauce
- Bring 2 gallons unsalted water to a boil in a large pot. Add noodles and stir. When water comes to a boil, add 1 cup cold water. Let the water return to a boil and add 1 more cup cold water. When water returns to a boil for the third time, cook the noodles, stirring them occasionally, until tender, about 4–5 minutes for the dried and semifresh, and 6–7 minutes for the fresh.
- Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them well under cold running water to stop them from cooking further and to remove any excess starch. Divide the noodles between bowls and garnish them with scallions, shichimi togarashi, ginger, and soy sauce.