Dining In 1 minute 04 April 2019

Recipe: Handmade Naoshichi Noodles

These hand-cut noodles are coloured with precious saffron and lifted with a citrusy zing from naoshichi, a rare lime-like fruit from Japan.

Japan Noodles recipe

Also known as the “phantom citrus fruit”, naoshichi are a rare sight even in Japan, with only 100 tonnes produced annually in the prefecture of Kochi. The flavour of naoshichi is most comparable to lime with its unique sour flavour, high acidity, mild bitterness and touch of sweetness. In Japan, naoshichi is typically used for its juice, which is mixed into rice in chirashi zushi and used in vinegared dishes.
Janice in Naoshichi farm 2.jpg
Pastry maestro Janice Wong has been working with this rare Japanese citrus since 2013, infusing its bitter and sour notes in the desserts at the Janice Wong Dessert Bar in Shinjuku, Tokyo. It is one of her favourite citrus fruit to work with. “Every time I use it, I understand its versatility and flavours more. It is very sour and not as sweet as yuzu and has its own unique flavour compared to lemons,” she says.

In savoury dishes, the acidity of naoshichi cuts through fattiness and works well with fish dishes. Wong says: “Naoshichi adds a sharp brightness to the dish and allows a sweet or oily fish to achieve a good balance of flavour.”
Although naoshichi is currently not imported to Singapore, you can easily replicate Wong’s recipe for handmade naoshichi noodles with lime as a substitute. These bright and chewy handmade noodles work well in both hot and cold dishes, adding a citrusy zing to hot soups or cold noodle salads.

Handmade Naoshichi Noodles

For the saffron water:
1g dried saffron
100ml water

For the noodle dough:
300g wheat flour
3g table Salt
Zest of 1 naoshichi
Juice of 1 naoshichi

Method:
1. Soak the dried saffron in 100ml warm water till the water turns honey yellow. Strain out the saffron threads and reserve.
2. In a kneading bowl, mix the wheat flour, table salt and naoshichi zest together and form a hole in the centre.
3. Combine the saffron water and naoshichi juice together, pour 110ml into the dry ingredients and mix it well till it forms a crumbly texture
4. Add the remaining liquid if necessary and knead dough until shiny. Cover dough and allow it to rest for 1 hour.
5. Roll out the dough and cut to desired thickness.

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