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Artisanal Hand-Pulled Noodles

5 minutes. Cook
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Introduction:
Artisanal hand-pulled noodles, a culinary treasure hailing from the heart of China, have captured the imaginations of food lovers worldwide. These noodles, also known as “lamian,” boast a rich history that dates back over a thousand years, tracing their origins to the Tang Dynasty. Today, they continue to be a symbol of culinary craftsmanship, known for their unique texture and flavor. In this culinary journey, we will delve into the art of making these mesmerizing noodles, step by step.

Historical Context: The story of hand-pulled noodles begins in the ancient Silk Road city of Lanzhou, located in northwestern China. It was here that this technique of noodle-making was first developed, with its roots dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Initially, these noodles were created to cater to the hungry travelers and traders frequenting the Silk Road. Over time, they evolved into a culinary masterpiece, admired for their incredible elasticity and taste.

Preparation:

1. Prepare the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt.
  • Gradually add the room temperature water while stirring continuously until the mixture forms a shaggy dough.
  • Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can sprinkle a bit of extra flour if it’s too sticky.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with a damp kitchen towel, and let it rest for 30 minutes.

2. Divide and Roll

  • After resting, divide the dough into small, golf ball-sized portions.
  • Take one portion and roll it between your palms to form a small, smooth ball.
  • Using a rolling pin, flatten the ball into a thin oval shape.

3. Begin Pulling

  • Hold the flattened dough with both hands, keeping your palms close together.
  • Gently swing the dough up and down, allowing it to stretch under its weight.
  • As the dough elongates, gradually pull it apart until you have a long, thin strand. This may take some practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts are a bit uneven.

4. Repeated Pulling

  • Repeat the pulling process with each dough portion, one at a time.
  • As you pull the noodles, you can lightly dust them with flour to prevent sticking.

5. Cooking the Noodles

  • In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil.
  • Carefully add the hand-pulled noodles to the boiling water. Stir gently to prevent sticking.
  • Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes or until the noodles are tender but still have a slight chewy texture.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the noodles from the boiling water and transfer them to a fine mesh strainer to drain.

6. Serving Your Hand-Pulled Noodles

  • These hand-pulled noodles are incredibly versatile and can be served in various ways. You can enjoy them in a savory broth, stir-fried with your favorite ingredients, or simply dressed with a flavorful sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, sliced scallions, or sesame seeds for added flavor and visual appeal.

Conclusion: Artisanal hand-pulled noodles, with their centuries-old history and captivating technique, offer a truly unique culinary experience. While mastering the art of hand-pulling may take some practice, the satisfaction of creating these noodles from scratch is well worth the effort. Whether enjoyed in a steaming bowl of soup or as a stir-fry, these noodles are sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the ancient streets of Lanzhou, where their legacy began. So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the artistry, and savor the taste of this culinary masterpiece.

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staffcontributor
prep time
approximately 2 hours.
cooking time
5 minutes.
servings
4
total time
2 hours 5 minutes.

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Rolling pin

  • Bench scraper

  • Fine mesh strainer

  • Large pot

  • Slotted spoon

  • Kitchen towel

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup water (room temperature)

  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

1
Prepare the dough.
2
Divide and roll.
3
Begin pulling.
4
Cooking the noodles.
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