In the cold winter days, besides a steaming hot soup that can comfort my stomach, I also crave for the hand-pulled noodles! Not any kind of noodles, Hand-Pulled noodles it is!!!
Why is that?!
First it is, using an Italian word that I learned after living in Italy, artigianale. When I chew them, I can feel the craft bouncy texture. And as all the craft noodles, its unevenness in the thickness and width make each bite different. Second I can make it into the length I want. Personally I prefer long noodles. The longer they are, the more interesting when I eat them. As many Asian people, I enjoy sucking the noodles loudly. It makes the bowl of noodle lively. Unfortunately that noise is not considered polite/ good manner, so I do not do it neither in a restaurant, nor eating at home with my family. BUT while I am alone, oh yes I do it a lot!!! And the hand-pulled noodles are meant to be eaten loudly! Third you can taste the flavor of the flour much better from home-made noodles than the industrial packed ones.
The recipe I am sharing here is Biangbiang noodle, a traditional hand-pulled noodle from Shaanxi (陕西) province of China. Apart from the fact that it tastes great, hand-pull noodle is easy to make. It requests long time (3 hours in total) for resting the dough though. But trust me, when you chew those noodles in your mouth, your brain will tell you: all the waiting is worth!
- Flour 300g
- A pinch of salt
- Water 150-180ml
- Vegetable oil
- Put the flour and salt in a big bowl. Add in 100ml water, and mix the flour.
- Feel and see how much dry flour left in the bowl, then add in another 30 – 50ml water and mix.
- Use your hand to knead all the flour together into a dough. Unless there is still dry flour left, add in small amount of water.
TIP: Only add in small amount of water each time so as to avoid getting a wet and sticky dough. In case there is too much water, add a bit more flour to adjust.
- After kneading the dough for 3 minutes, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 1 hour.
- (after 1 hour) Knead the dough until it gets a smooth surface. Use your thumb and forefinger to divide the dough into small pieces. Rub each one into a ball.
- Roll each ball into long flat paste. Then dip it into vegetable oil so as to fix its shape.
- Rest all the paste for 2 hours.
- Boil water in a pot. Meanwhile start hand-pulling the noodles.
- Press a chopstick on the surface of the flat paste. Then hold each end of the paste and stretch them away. Then split it along the pressed mark to get a long circle noodle.
TIP: Don’t worry if it breaks at the end when you pulling the noodles. It happens to me as well. Just try to pull it a bit longer to get a thinner noodles. Practice more and we will manage to get a perfect form one day!
- Throw the noodle immediately into the boiling water. Then start pulling another noodle. Once all noodles are in the water (3-4 pastes each person), cook for 1 more minute before taking them out.
- Put some soy sauce at the bottom of a bowl, then lay the noodles. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 – 1 tsp of chili flakes on top.
- Heat up some vegetable oil. When it starts to have smoke coming out, take it off the heat and spread it onto the chili flakes.
- Mix the noodles and flavorings together. Sprinkle some chopped green onion.