Lounging in a cool tatami room with a gentle breeze carrying the billows of mosquito incense and dreaming of downing several plates of freshly handmade udon noodles, one could easily waste away the sixth and seventh moons of summer. The Japanese east of Nagoya have their soba (buckwheat noodles), but those of us in western Japan enjoy nothing better than our plump, energy-giving udon (and the udon variation from Nagoya, kishi-men).

There is only one thing as satisfying as finding that elusive, amazingly cheap little udon shop in Kyoto -- rolling up your shirt sleeves and pant legs and kneading up your own batch of these wonderful wheat noodles. Try it once and then play with the recipe.

In the summer you might want to add 2-3 grams more salt, and, in the winter, when eating udon with hot broth, you might want to cut back the salt by several grams. If the stomping part seems to be holding you back, why not have some friends over and play udon Twister?