Homemade Noodles: a Surprisingly Delicious and Versatile Frugal Food

Frugaltroph: Frugal, Fun and Easy Recipes for Families of All Sizes

Cook from Baby Nightcaps by Frances Elizabeth Barrow

We have always loved noodles: Asian noodles, pasta noodles, rice noodles, egg noodles, noodles in soup, fried noodles, noodles in sauces, and so forth. Growing up, rice was a staple, but noodles were always a treat. And they are usually inexpensive at about a dollar a pack and cook in a few minutes.

But even if something is already affordable, it never hurts to make it cost less. With wheat flour priced at $0.25 per pound at our local grocery store, the cost of making a serving of noodles is incalculably small. Not only is it easy and inexpensive to make our own noodles, but they are so good that we can eat them every day for weeks at a time.

To make your your own noodles, you don’t even need to have a pasta maker or other machine (unless you are feeding an unusually large group of people). You can simply roll out dough with a rolling pin and chop it into strips with a knife (we prefer a cleaver for this job). Not only is it cheaper to make your own noodles, but fresh noodles take less time to cook than dried noodles and so cuts utility costs. Homemade noodles are also less fattening than ramen and many store-bought kinds of noodles.

How to Make Homemade Noodles

Here’s how to make homemade noodles. It is not an exact science, you sort of get a feel for what you like after you make it once or twice.

1. Warm some water in the microwave until almost hot (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup for a medium to large batch)

2. In a bowl, mix a few cups of flour with a dash of salt

3. Stir in the warm water

4. Stir in additional flour one cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to side of bowl

5. Divide dough into manageable sections, place one ball on a well-floured cutting board, sprinkle flour on top, and roll it to the thickness of a pie crust.

Noodles on the Cutting Board

6. Using a knife, slice dough into strips

7. Cook in boiling water. These noodles cook really fast (about a minute or less), so don’t wander away.

8. Drain, rinse, and serve.

Noodles Cookedand Drained

More Ways to Make Noodles

  • You can make them thick or flat, wide or narrow, like udon, or soba, or linguine
  • Beat in an egg or two for egg noodles
  • Add sugar or other spices and herbs
  • Experiment with different kinds of flour such as whole wheat, rice flour or other.
  • A dough with more water and less flour will make softer noodles with fewer calories
  • Cook several meals worth of noodles and refrigerate
  • Uncooked noodles can be tossed in flour and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. If your uncooked noodles stick together in the refrigerator, you need to make a dryer dough or cook them before storing.
  • You can also store lumps of dough in the refrigerator and cut out noodles as you need them.

Don’t be discouraged if your noodles are crooked or weird in the beginning. Our first homemade noodles looked so bad that we referred to them as tapeworms. But we love to eat these noodles so much that we are now expert noodle wranglers.

We plan to share the many ways in which we eat noodles at Frugaltroph, including cold noodle recipes for summertime, so check back soon.

Happy noodle making!

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