“Hand-pulled” noodles are one of the major pasta types in China.
Hand-pulled noodles originate from Shandong and Shanxi Provinces in the North of China.
The name comes from the process of using your hands to stretch the noodles their full length, instead of a pasta machine.
It is a completely unique technique for making noodles. The Hand-pulled noodle was later evolved into a variety of famous foods such as Lanzhou Hand-Pulled Noodles. And in China, everyone knows that Hand-pulled noodles are delicious.
I remember when I was a child in Guangzhou, I ran up and went to a small restaurant across the road to eat a big bowl. I wiped my mouth and rubbed my stomach with a sigh of satisfaction.
I always wanted to make the kind of Hand-pulled noodles I had there. Unfortunately, many experiments have been unsuccessful.
Some people made so-called ‘Hand-Pulled Noodles,’ but they used low-gluten flour and added a lot of water to make a very soft dough. The noodles were stretched, but they would break when they were put in the pan.
After many attempts, I finally succeeded in making authentic Hand-Pulled Noodles.
There is no need for any ambiguity that can only be conveyed without knowing what to say. Instead of those Hand-Pulled noodles with unknown ingredients, as long as flour is combined with salt and water, with a little patience, and formulas and procedures are followed, it will always succeed.
First, let’s talk about the flour for Hand-Pulled noodles:
In theory, high-gluten flour will be stronger, but we still prefer to use ordinary medium-gluten flour.
There are two reasons for this. First, the medium-gluten flour is relatively easy to pull, the required resting time is shorter, and it is more suitable for homemade. Secondly, the unique taste of the Hand-Pulled noodles mainly comes from the pulling process.
Next, let’s talk about the ratio of water to flour:
In fact, this is a relatively broad subject. If the dough is tough, it will be more difficult to pull, it takes longer to let the dough rest. However, the tougher dough will be easier to cook with and taste better. If the dough is soft, it is easier to pull, but it is not as tasty and is more prone to sticking together. Therefore, there is a problem that needs to be weighed. It is suggested that everyone can start from the ratio of 1:0.55, that is 1 part of flour and 0.55 parts of water (weight ratio), and it can be appropriately increased or decreased according to their own preferences.
What I want to do today is Hand-Pulled noodles for 4 people.
- 1) 600 grams of flour
- 2) 330 grams of water
- 3) 4 grams of salt
Step 1: Measure 330 grams of water, add salt, stir for a few minutes until the salt to dissolve.
Step 2: Put 600 grams of flour in a large bowl, and slowly pour it into the flour whilst stirring with chopsticks.
Step 3: Once the water has been absorbed into the flour, put the dough on the counter, knead for about 15 minutes until the dough is even, and smooth. Wrap with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then unwrap and knead it for 5 more minutes. Then wrap again and let it rest for 10 minutes. After repeating this process three times, the dough becomes very smooth and delicate. This process requires some patience and strength. If the dough is not kneaded properly, it will easily be broken when it is pulled.
Step 4: Roll the dough into strips and evenly cut it into 4 segments. Each segment is a serving of people. What we will do next is to pull each segment into a long noodle. This process sounds a bit challenging, but it is not complicated as long as you follow the procedure step by step. Now I am going to show you the step by step guide to confirm that everyone can succeed in making it.
Step 5: Brush the surface with a layer of oil to ensure that the surface does not dry out. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow them to relax for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Whilst waiting for the dough to rest, take two deep dishes with a diameter of at least 24 cm and apply a layer of oil to the dish to prevent sticking.
Step 7: At the end of 30 minutes, apply some vegetable oil on the palm of the hand and on the cutting board. Roll each of these bars of dough little by little into strips. Make sure to keep the thickness even, otherwise the dough will break when you reach the next stage.
Step 8: Wrap the dough around in the oiled pan. In order to prevent sticking, apply another layer of oil to each strip. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. The time waiting you can start preparing the ingredients for rest of the dish. (as the noodles must be cooked immediately after stretching, it is best to prepare this now and set aside. See step 11)
Step 9: After 30 minutes, roll the dough out the same way as in step 7. This time it should be about 0.5cm in diameter. Then, wrap in a spiral again on a larger greased, round baking tray (as the dough will now be much longer). To prevent sticking and drying out, apply a layer of oil on the noodles. Finally, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for a final 15 minutes. During this time of waiting, you can boil water to prepare the noodles.
Step 10: After 15 minutes, use two hands to continue to lengthen the noodles(see picture below). Because the elongated noodles rely on inertia, the faster the action, the more they stretch. After stretching the piece of dough, it is directly dropped into boiling water. The time for cooking is related to the thickness of the noodles and personal preference. The best way to find your preference is to grab a piece and taste it. However, in general, because they are fresh noodles, the cooking time should be within 60 seconds.
Step 11: The boiled noodles can be pulled from the boiling water or strained, paired with the side dish, and it is ready to enjoy!
Step 12: Making the rest of this dish
- 1) 150g of Lamb
- 2) 2 Tomatoes
- 3) 1 Onion
- 4) 2 Jalapenos
- 5) 1g of Salt for lamb and 3g of salt at the end
- 6) 25g of Vegetable Oil
Step 1: Cut lamb into 1-1.5 cm size cubes, add 1 gram of salt
Step 2: Take a thick-bottomed, non-stick pan, preheat for 2 minutes. Add 25 grams of vegetable oil, add the lamb and stir-fry.
Step 3: When the lamb starts to turn slightly brown, remove and set aside.
Step 4: Cut 2 tomatoes and 1 onion into large pieces, cut 2 jalapenos into thin slices. Add them to the pan and stir-fry.
Step 5: When the vegetables are softened, the lamb is added back into the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute. Finally, 3 grams of salt is added and stirred in. Our side dish is finished!
Finally, stir the cooked noodles in with the rest of this enjoy the hard-won delicacy!