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Making Hand-Pulled Noodles

Chinese

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213 replies to this topic

#31 sazji

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 03:22 PM

I made handcut ones lately too - They came out pretty well, but definitely different. I can't say if I like one particularly more than the other. But I can say that pulling them (even if it takes more prepartion of the dough and practice doing it) is definitely more fun than cuttin them! Cutting them exactly should be some sort of zen exercise in patience and mindfulness... Last time I did them, I had a big pile of quite reasonably even noodles, dusted with flour. I was reaching up to get some garlic out of my three-tiered hanging metal baskets, and I knocked a lemon, which knocked an orange out of the next basket, which fell and dislodged a potato out of the lower basket, which, in perfect Rube Goldberg fasion (but much faster) landed right on the edge of a pot with some daphne cuttings in it (that window is perfect for them...but I should have moved it), overturning it and flipping about 3/4 cup of peat moss and perlite squarely into the middle of my freshly cut noodles. Stoopid....
"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."
-Lea de Laria

#32 trillium

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:26 AM

I guess we're not so into zen exercises, we use our pasta machine to cut them, works great and you can do different widths! Also, if you dust with cornstarch or rice flour, it knocks off the noodles easier and ends up being less gummy when you boil them. Sorry about the peat moss and perlite, what a bummer!

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#33 _john

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 04:59 AM

check out this video of hand pulling noodles shot by out very own egullet member zenkimchi:



#34 slkinsey

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 07:15 AM

That's pretty incredible. It's a lot more forceful than I thought it would be.
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#35 JasonZ

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 11:16 AM

that's what I remember seeing in Vancouver so many years ago ... and have never been able to find a place to teach me how ... now, with visuals from Korea and dough directions from Turkey, maybe I can hand throw noodles in Philadelphia!!!
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#36 sazji

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Posted 23 June 2006 - 12:00 AM

Wow, that was pretty amazing! I found that the kneading at the beginning was helpful too, but the slapping was interesting - reminded me of friends who made strudel dough. But the technique is great, especially the way he gets the loop spinning to keep the end open so he can reach in and double it. Once it starts stretching though you do have to work fast, otherwise it will get away from you! Thanks for posting the video!

Edited by sazji, 23 June 2006 - 12:00 AM.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."
-Lea de Laria

#37 jumanggy

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 06:46 AM

I realize this is a relatively old thread, but it's got me excited. I don't even know why I suddenly felt a hankering for hand-pulled noodle but maybe I'm drawn to the spectacle. What's even more astonishing is that I've seen some youtube videos where young pullers are very nonchalantly doing their work.

I'd like to try one day because the ingredients are comparatively cheaper than that other magical feat of culinary multiplication, puff pastry, and if I fail, which would probably be the case, I can always just roll it out and make my lame old noodles.

(By the way, how many more dishes use geometric progression?)
Mark
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#38 Ce'nedra

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 01:17 AM

From Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey's new-ish book "Beyond the Great Wall", there's a recipe for hand pulled noodles that's supposed to be very easy.
Here's the recipe link for the noodles and laghman sauce to go with it:
http://www.washingto...8060303060.html

There's also a step by step pictorial of Jeffrey making the noodles himself (click on gallery)!
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#39 sazji

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Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:38 AM

There's also a step by step pictorial of Jeffrey making the noodles himself (click on gallery)!

View Post


The onese he makes are easy - but they are only "hand pulled" in the sense that he's cut up pieces of rolled-out dough and then stretched them out once. that sort of noodles (and some requiring more work as well) are made in homes all over China. It's a very different thing than starting with a thick piece and using pulling as the only way of thinning them down - for that, not only must the consistency of the dough be right, but you also need to get a definite skill down and do it without missing a beat. Like learning to flip a pancake just by tossing it and not having half of it land on the floor. :)

Of course like many skills with a learning curve, it's not impossible by any means; it's just that most people won't take the time to master such skills, either because the preparation necessary isn't worth it for small amounts of final product, or because along with the skill you need large/expensive equipment to pull it off. (Tissue-thin baklava phyllo rolled thirteen sheets at a time comes to mind, or kadayif, which requires both skill and a huge honkin' griddle!) So a specialization is born, and people who do it all the time refine their skills even further.

Still I do think about noodles often and will probably play with it some more the next time my housemate will be away for a few days and won't be shocked by a kitchen covered with flour and bits of snapped noodle!
"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."
-Lea de Laria

#40 Ce'nedra

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Posted 02 July 2008 - 08:04 AM

Yep, I know the difference but I figured if people wanted the easy route, that's probably one of the few options :P
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#41 v. gautam

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:03 AM

Replying to Mark's query upthread, "how many food use geometric progression?" shall mention one more, using exactly the same principle as hand-pulling noodles seen in Chinatown, Manhattan. This is done for sugar candy and accomplished quite rapidly within the space of a handsbreath, on a tiny trestle table set up as a vending stall.

Makes one wonder if this might not be an alternative [preliminary] path to learning the noodle technique, less messy and strenuous, very little space required?

Could anyone provide the Chinese name for this candy and more details of this process, i.e. how to make the sugar fondant base etc.?

An Indian sweet, sohan papri, made from malted wheat and semi-caramelized sugar and ghee, plus a LOT of muscle power also is pulled in the manner of noodles , but especially like the Chinese candy into very fine 'hairs', the finer denoting higher quality. These are folded over and cut into cubes. Nowadays, Haldiram's sells an acceptable tinned brand in the US. The US made fresh types are still nowhere as satisfactory as the canned Indian ones!!

Edited by v. gautam, 07 July 2008 - 10:08 AM.


#42 sazji

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:19 AM

Another mathematical progression one here is Pişmaniye, also made with sugar syrup that is placed on a broad smooth surface that has a generous coating of pounded (and lightly toasted?) flour. It is pulled and doubled in the flour, and eventually looks like cotton candy. It is a specialty of the city of Izmit, and people who take a bus through there feel obliged to buy some to treat their hosts. It's now commonly found in other areas to had has become sort of a "standard travelers' gift" unless you are going through some other place with a local specialty, say Malatya, in which case you will be expected to bring apricots or something made therefrom. The name, by the way, comes from the word pişman, "regretful." They say you are regretful if you don't eat it, and regretful if you do" (presumably because the thicker strands tend to prick the mouth).
"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."
-Lea de Laria

#43 lukerymarz

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 10:29 AM

Hi all,

I've also been very interested in hand-pulled noodles for quite a while. Isn't it weird that there isn't much info on it on the web? what's the deal with that?

Well, following the posts in this forum and all the other information I could find through Google and YouTube, I've done some experimentation and come up with a couple recipes and instructions on how to make hand pulled noodles. In addition, I've put together a two YouTube videos. You can get to all of this through my website: www.lukerymarz.com. Click on the "Noodles" link.

The two YouTube videos I posted are "kneading" and "pulling". Available at:


and


Has anyone had any recent successes with this? I'm still trying to figure out where to get a proper chinese noodle flour (with low gluten levels) so i don't have to make a mix from cake and all-purpose flour... the experimentation continues.

#44 jo-mel

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 07:21 PM

Years ago, at the Chinese Expo in NYC, I watched an expert demonstrate the whole process. Looked easy. So I went home and tried to do it. HeeHee! New respect for that expert noodle man.

And, in China, there was also an expert who gave us a demonstration. At the very end, when he was twirling on the last pull, with all those strands waving thru the air ----- one strand broke. Disaster! The demonstrator was upset and proceeded to do it all over from the beginning. Success and great applause.

If I ever tried to do it again, it would be the 'easy' version that Florence Lin offers in her Dumpling/Noodle book. But I'm too lazy to try.

#45 Fengyi

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 07:40 PM

f anyone's in Beijing - I've just seen classes advertised for hand-pulling noodles. You can take them with the Chinese Culture Club here (I've never been to any of their events, but they're supposed to be quite good).
Hand pulled noodle class

Just thought it might be useful if anyone was passing through (maybe I'll go!).
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#46 v. gautam

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 08:13 PM

Would someone please educate me on the oat flour noodles of China? The ones I have seen certainly start out as hand-made dough stretched but not pulled in the same sense of the above. They do end up as ribbons conformed into 3 dimensional shapes i find difficult to describe: boxy, honeycomb-like?

Are these steamed and with what are they eaten? What sorts of oats and other flours are used to make them? I would be very interested to learn of other whole grain flours used in traditional Chinese noodles. uckwheat is one, there must be others. It would seem that white flour would have been the preserve of the rich until the advent of power machinery and steel roller mills, just as in the West, with whole grain flours being cheaper than the refined sorts. So, would there not have been a whole class of noodles based on these types of flours?

Thanks.

#47 Shiewie

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 04:46 AM

I'm not sure what flours (apart from oat flour I would assume :raz:) are used in it but they are steamed and eaten with a selection of dipping sauces. We chose vinegar and egg with tomato. Here are some pictures of the noodle chefs at Noodle Loft in Beijing in action and the final product.

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#48 v. gautam

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 06:12 PM

Thank you so much for those beautiful photos, that prompt only more questions, if you please!!!

1. Although the chef's hands are moving very fast, would it be correct to say that these are basically thin cylinders? How are the bottoms closed?

2. When you eat it (it looks like a calla lilly!) how do you dip it? Do you want the cavity to become full, like a manicotti, or merely just moistened with the sauce? Or do you just grasp the pocket around its middle with the chopsticks and enjoy the texture in several bites?

3. Its Chinese name, and any cultural history, please.

Thanks much.

#49 Fengyi

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:49 PM

Thank you so much for those beautiful photos, that prompt only more questions, if you please!!!

1. Although the chef's hands are moving very fast, would it be correct to say that these are basically thin cylinders? How are the bottoms closed?

2. When you eat it (it looks like a calla lilly!) how do you dip it? Do you want the cavity to become full, like a manicotti, or merely just moistened with the sauce? Or do you just grasp the pocket around its middle with the chopsticks and enjoy the texture in several bites?

3. Its Chinese name, and any cultural history, please.

Thanks much.

View Post


1. Thin cylinders pressed onto the bottom of the basket - shouldn't be closed, but many times they are.
2. pull them out and dip them greedily. The vinegar is too liquid to fill the hole - it's just to coat.
3. Kaolaolao (A student intern has just changed the Chinese input on my office computer so I can't figure out how to put in the characters - but I have posted about these noodles before). It's a very cool name - I will try and look up the etymology.

I ate a magnificent basket of these after a day touring the wonderous Chang family compound in Shanxi. The texture is lovely when done well and the memory is great!

Unfortunately, before I went to Shanxi, I used to like going to Loft. Now that I've tasted how good things are in Shanxi.....I haven't been back to Loft :sad: and can't seem to find Shanxi noodles like they make them in Shanxi. . . . .

Those are GREAT photos, Shiewie!!!! They really capture the Loft guys art in motion!
Do post more Beijing photos if you have them - I am miserably bad at photography and would love to see them.

Edited by Fengyi, 16 July 2008 - 08:51 PM.

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#50 Fengyi

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Posted 16 July 2008 - 08:53 PM

BTW, there's tons more types of noodles in Shanxi - they have more than you can shake a very large stick at!! The buckwheat ones are awesome too - great texture!
Totally different from Lamian but just as tasty (I'm a daoshao mian fan myself though!)
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#51 Shiewie

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 01:12 AM

Here are more pics of noodle making in action and other items we ate at Noodle Loft for Fengyi.

This doesn't look like noodles but it is - Fengyi, do you know what it's called?
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The texture of this was wonderfully chewy but sauce we chose a tad salty, especialy since we dumped the whole bowl on
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Knife-cut noodles with beef brisket
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Sorghum dumplings stuffed with preserved vegetable (xian chai/harm choy)
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My friends whom I stayed with were hankering for a taste of home so we had some 'roti canai' substitute :raz:
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Sorghum dumpling chef in action
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Making knife-cut noodles - he was so fast I just couldn't capture the noodles flying in the air in any of the many, many pictures I took
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#52 jo-mel

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 07:45 PM

Those noodles in the pictures from Noodle Loft looked like empty "4-happiness shao mai" to me. That was my first thought. There is no filling? Are they just the noodles formed in a special way? Why?

My fond memories of hand cut noodles (Dao Mian 刀面) are from a 'food street' in Beijing near the UIBE. The chef stood near the street and his pot of boiling water. Some of the noodles fell onto the sidewalk, most hit the pot. I have to say that those were the best noodles and the best broth I can remember. I have had 'dow mian' since, but none can compare to those in my memory.

#53 Joelruns

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 07:40 PM

I got it here is a video tutorial on how to do hand pulled noodles:



1. There is no special dough recipe, just flour and water is needed.

2. Stretchiness comes from kneeding.

3. Be patient, you'll find yourself kneeding in a circle, meaning your dough isn't progressing.

4. Good luck!

#54 Ce'nedra

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 05:36 AM

The texture of this was wonderfully chewy but sauce we chose a tad salty, especialy since we dumped the whole bowl on
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What's the name of these noodles? Where do they get their green? And oh yes, they DO look chewy -just the way I like my noodles.

Thanks for the informative photos btw.
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#55 Fengyi

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Posted 27 December 2009 - 09:17 PM

Hi! Those aren't 'noodles' that's one LONG noodle. Just one... It's usually green from spinach/spinach-like green.
Very cool to watch them doing it. BTW, if you're ever in Beijing - there's a lovely private Kitchen, Black Sesame which will give you noodle pulling lessons. The chef there used to work in a noodle shop - he's very nice!
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#56 Emily_R

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 09:07 AM

Hey folks --

I've been wanting to try this, and found a fantastic set of step-by-step videos on how to hand-pull noodles...

Here are links to two videos, and the guy's website with descriptions, recipes, FAQ's, etc,

(Part 1 -- kneading dough)
(Part 2 -- pulling dough)

http://www.lukerymar...dles/index.html

Emily

Edited by Emily_R, 28 December 2009 - 09:08 AM.


#57 sunflower

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 08:36 AM

A bit of info re tube noodles posted on message #47 by shewie. A bit late hope you find this useful.

These tubular noodles or pasta is a speciality of Shanxi, normally eaten with a spicy dipping sauce and lamb stew.

There are two names all the same referring to the same noodles.

莜面窝窝 you mein war war
莜面拷栳栳 you mein kao lao lao

Here are the definitions:

莜面 (you mein) is flour/noodles made with a type of oat called avena nuda or naked oat, This flour has a greyish colour. I have never seen it in the far east, UK or LA. I think you can only get this in China.

窝窝 (war war) refers to the honeycombed shape

拷栳栳 (kao lao lao) this is a local dialet, not many people really sure what this means. Some said 拷栳 was a farmer's tool and others said 拷栳栳 refers to a tubular colander.

Here is a video how to shape this noodles http://v.youku.com/v...c0MDg5MjA=.html

#58 milgwimper

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:11 AM

Replying to Mark's query upthread, "how many food use geometric progression?" shall mention one more, using exactly the same principle as hand-pulling noodles seen in Chinatown, Manhattan. This is done for sugar candy and accomplished quite rapidly within the space of a handsbreath, on a tiny trestle table set up as a vending stall.

Makes one wonder if this might not be an alternative [preliminary] path to learning the noodle technique, less messy and strenuous, very little space required?

Could anyone provide the Chinese name for this candy and more details of this process, i.e. how to make the sugar fondant base etc.?

An Indian sweet, sohan papri, made from malted wheat and semi-caramelized sugar and ghee, plus a LOT of muscle power also is pulled in the manner of noodles , but especially like the Chinese candy into very fine 'hairs', the finer denoting higher quality. These are folded over and cut into cubes. Nowadays, Haldiram's sells an acceptable tinned brand in the US. The US made fresh types are still nowhere as satisfactory as the canned Indian ones!!



I think it korean it is called the kings candy or Dragon's beard candy. Here is a video on making the "beard".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTFg0b62vKM

#59 eternal

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

Does anybody know how to do this? I tried this recipe http://www.cheftomm....pulled-noodles/ and ended up breaking my kitchenaid (i have the slightly smaller one than Chef Tom uses) and the noodles didn't come out anyway.

#60 Emily_R

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Posted 03 January 2012 - 12:54 PM

Here are two good videos on making hand pulled noodles that I've been meaning to try for ages...

[Video 1, on making and kneading the dough]
[Video 2, on pulling the noodles]





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