Paddock to plate experience

Cally DupeCountryman
Mukinbudin farmer Kim Graham with CBH planning manager Sam Gliddon.
Camera IconMukinbudin farmer Kim Graham with CBH planning manager Sam Gliddon. Credit: Cally Dupe

One of Japan’s self-proclaimed “udon masters” has labelled WA farmers’ udon-making techniques “nearly perfect” after guiding them through a noodle-making workshop in the udon epicentre of Japan.

It was the ultimate paddock-to-plate experience for the farmers, who were likely to have provided the majority of the Australian wheat used to make the noodles they kneaded, chopped and cooked at the Japanese cooking school Sanuki Mengyo.

Sanuki Mengyo udon making experience owner Masaaki Kagawa and Lake Camm farmer Rob Hetherington.
Camera IconSanuki Mengyo udon making experience owner Masaaki Kagawa and Lake Camm farmer Rob Hetherington. Credit: Cally Dupe/Countryman, Cally Dupe

After cooking the noodles, the farmers were able to sit down and enjoy the fruits of their labour for lunch.

Speaking through a translator, Sanuki Mengyo owner Masaaki Kagawa said the WA farmers had done “very well” at creating the noodles.

He said he would like to visit Australian farms to see where noodle wheat was produced.

Cunderdin farmer Karen Smith with her udon noodle dough.
Camera IconCunderdin farmer Karen Smith with her udon noodle dough. Credit: Cally Dupe
CBH director and Dalwallinu farmer Brian McAlpine.
Camera IconCBH director and Dalwallinu farmer Brian McAlpine. Credit: Cally Dupe

“Japanese udon noodles would not be available without ASW, and for udon noodles it is the best ... chewy, taste, acidity, the quality is good,” Mr Kagawa said.

“Growers and users have to be synchronised ... I hope the growers think a bit after making the noodles.

“They could try to make udon noodles in Australia.”

Cunderdin farmer Amanda Godfrey makes udon noodles in Japan.
Camera IconCunderdin farmer Amanda Godfrey makes udon noodles in Japan. Credit: Cally Dupe
Sanuki Mengyo udon making experience owner Masaaki Kagawa shows WA grain growers what their udon dough should look like.
Camera IconSanuki Mengyo udon making experience owner Masaaki Kagawa shows WA grain growers what their udon dough should look like. Credit: Cally Dupe

It was all systems go during the workshop, with many confused faces in the room as Mr Kagawa talked loudly at the participants in Japanese.

The farmers took part in the tour on the fourth day of this year’s CBH Grower Study Tour.

Wagin farmer Howie Ward makes udon noodle dough.
Camera IconWagin farmer Howie Ward makes udon noodle dough. Credit: Cally Dupe
Geraldton farmer Wayne Boyes makes udon noodles.
Camera IconGeraldton farmer Wayne Boyes makes udon noodles. Credit: Cally Dupe

The school was located in the Kagawa prefecture, located on Shikoku Island between Osaka and Hiroshima, and hosts dozens of workshops each year. Kagawa is known for its local variety of udon, the sanuki udon, which is characterised by its flat shape and chewy texture.

Unlike most of Japan, which is renown for rice, Kagawa’s relatively low rainfall means the area is better suited for wheat farming.

Geraldton farmer Wayne Boyes and Sanuki Mengyo owner Masaaki Kagawa.
Camera IconGeraldton farmer Wayne Boyes and Sanuki Mengyo owner Masaaki Kagawa. Credit: Countryman, Cally Dupe
Udon noodles.
Camera IconUdon noodles. Credit: Cally Dupe
CBH planning manager Sam Gliddon.
Camera IconCBH planning manager Sam Gliddon. Credit: Cally Dupe

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