Noodles are one of the most important staples of Chinese food culture. Handmade noodles might be a rarity and even a pricey proposition outside of China. However, in the domestic market, they are everyday cheap comfort food. No matter whether ordering a hot bowl of noodles in a restaurant or purchasing freshly made noodles to cook at home, it is one of the most affordable, fast, fulfilling, and hearty one-dish meals.
Why make noodles at home
Despite the low cost of noodles at restaurants, a lot of people still enjoy making them from scratch at home. The reason? Because:
- It’s just so easy to make hand-pulled noodles once you’ve learned the trick
- The homemade kind doesn’t contain any additives. Restaurants’ fresh noodles usually have additives for a better mouthfeel. Additives also allow the noodles to be easily produced in big batches and to have a longer shelf life.
- The finished dish is tailored to your taste. You can season it with whatever ingredients you prefer and add as many toppings as you like.
There are countless types of noodles in China and we will introduce you to the hand-pulled (拉面; la mian) variety first. It might sound daunting to make this type of noodle at home, especially if you’ve ever watched a noodle dance in China. But the truth is, hand-pulled noodles are one of the easiest handmade noodles for a beginner to make.
Noodle Dough Ingredients (serves 2):
250g high gluten wheat flour
130ml room temperature of water
- Mix all the ingredients together and knead to form a very smooth dough. If you feel this process is hard to finish one time, rest the dough for 15 minutes and then re-knead for 2-3 minutes until the dough becomes very smooth on the surface. (picture1,2,3)
Cut the noodle dough into 4 portions. Brush oil around. Cover with plastic wrapper and let the noodle rest for 1 hour. (picture 4)
100g bok choy
50g bean sprouts
2-4 cloves of garlic
2 stalks of spring onion
1-2 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add bok choy and green bean sprouts to blanch for 30 seconds. Take them out and immerse them in room temperature water for one minute. Take them out and drain water.
Slice spring onion into small pieces. Mince garlic for later use.
Prepare for Dressing
1-1.5 tablespoon light soy sauce
0.5-1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1-1.5 tablespoon black rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt. Or salt according to taste
1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Prepare two bowls, in each bowl mix light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vinegar and salt. Adjust taste according to the personal preference.
Pulling the Noodles:
Take one portion of the dough out, press the centre with a chopstick to separate the dough for the noodles later. Hold the two ends of the noodle strip and smash it against the board. Do not hurry; slow down so that you will not break the noodle strip. At last, separate the noodles along the chopstick trace.
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt. Pull noodles. Put noodles in boiling water. Boil until the noodles float. Taste for the preferred texture and drain the noodles.
Putting the Dish Together:
- Put the cooked noodles in the bowl.
Top the noodles with blanched bok choy and bean sprouts. Place the sliced spring onion, garlic, chili powder and Sichuan pepper powder in the centre of vegetables.
- Heat vegetable oil in a wok till smoky hot. Pour hot oil on top of spring onion, garlic and chili and pepper powder. Mix well and enjoy.
Last Picture from internet
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