• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Soup

Making Hand-Pulled Noodles

219 posts in this topic

The best noodles are made using flower with Protein levels above 12% . I am not at my computer now but I can give you a list of the names of the flours they use or rather believe are the best to use. This comes from information I received from people who emanate from Lanzo.....which is the home of La Mian. I've watched Lukerymarz 'make' 'noodles' and he's nowhere near creating what they should be like. I'm not sure if his recipe is any good. I may take a look at it this week when I've got some Lye.

I'd be interested in seeing that list as well as how you're getting on.

I've cooked for more than a few years but this is by far the most frustrating/difficult thing I've come across until now. If my experience with this is any indication for what others are going through, many of us are stuck not so much at the quality and authenticity of the noodles, but at finding a dough recipe that works well enough in the first place to get past that first pull. Even if my 1 cup flour/1 cup tapioca starch/mix/add 1 cup warm water/knead/rest/knead doesn't result in that ideal "bouncy" chewiness, at least it gave me something that in raw state seems to closely enough resemble the real thing that I can now at least do *some* work on my pulling technique. Perhaps what we noodle noobs need to get started is a recipe for beginners, before we can move up to the next level. If it's low-gluten instead of high-gluten as it should be, so be it. I like to imagine that the Italians ended up with their not-quite-authentic-Asian pasta cuisine because they didn't manage to make la mian ;)

Together we'll crack it!


Edited by kleinebre (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I said, the ideal for making noodles is 12.5 or above but noodles may be made with flour with lower Protein/Gluten levels. In a bowl, put some flour....around 1 kg. Add some salt......less than half a tsp. Add water into a hollowed out middle flour and mix with your hands. You are a chef so you will know to do this equally. No lumps of well watered dough and other dry flour.....as far as possible. Add more water. I read that water should be added 3 times but I don't think that is so important. Water should make up to around 50% of the dough. Put the dough on a flat surface....the bowl should be clean. And knead for a little while. Then add noodle agent. and knead some more. Leave for a while....maybe 20 mins. Knead some more and when the surface is really smooth and shiny.....start spinning.....first clockwise then anti-clockwise. It will take you a long time before you become proficient in 'spinning or is it 'twirling'? You will then reach a point when you can feel the dough will stretch. Then put some oil/four on the table and make your/roll your dough into a tube. Cut it into around 3 equal portions. Cut off both ends of your initial longer tube as they will be where you held the dough or where the dough folded back on itself at the half way mark.. Pull each one othe the smaller tubes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the 'noodle agent', and why isn't it addded in with the water? It seems that would be an more effective way to distribute it evenly throughout the dough.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noodle agent is 'Peng Hui' in China. This guy in the States told me that there they use Lye water but I've been told elsewhere that this isn't very good. I've ordered some to try. Bakins Soda does help but it's not a substitute. Maybe it would be ok if you had one of those commercial food mixers to work with. I'm telling you how this was done by myself in small quantities. I saw it done by a restauranteer in quantities of 25kgs and upwards. He put a little on the dough then left the dough to rest then just before eating time....he would put some more on a fraction of the dough and twirl it. It is a good question. I'm goint to try and get an answer to that question but I'm not in China now so we'll see if I can get the answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kleinebre -- Did you see this video / site / recipe I posted several pages up? He has very detailed instructions, recipes, and videos... His recipe uses some cake flour in the dough, specifically because he says that Chinese flour typically has less protein than ours -- suggesting less rather than more protein is important. And he talks extensively about the kneading process, which, in his words: "You have to knead this noodle dough many times longer than you would a bread of pizza dough. You need to destroy the gluten structure enough such that it doesn't resist when you stretch it."

Perhaps worth a try as an alternative to the recipes you've been using?

http://www.lukerymarz.com/noodles/index.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kleinebre -- Did you see this video / site / recipe I posted several pages up? He has very detailed instructions, recipes, and videos... His recipe uses some cake flour in the dough, specifically because he says that Chinese flour typically has less protein than ours -- suggesting less rather than more protein is important. And he talks extensively about the kneading process, which, in his words: "You have to knead this noodle dough many times longer than you would a bread of pizza dough. You need to destroy the gluten structure enough such that it doesn't resist when you stretch it."

Perhaps worth a try as an alternative to the recipes you've been using?

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

Maybe you could point out where in his video he actually manages to 'pull noodles'? I havn't been able to see him manage anything resemble this process./art....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand Ader -- the second video on his Instructions page shows him pulling the dough into noodles -- from around minute 1 to minute 1:19...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand Ader -- the second video on his Instructions page shows him pulling the dough into noodles -- from around minute 1 to minute 1:19...

Have you seen how thick they are after his final pull? Have you seen Chinese hand pulled noodle practitioners pull noodles? Luke doesn't (in his videos) show how to pull noodles which would be pleasant to eat.....in my impinion at least. I bet youv'e never eatern noodles as thick as the ones he produces....?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody here know the chemical composition of Peng Hui?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ader -- I was offering that recipe and video to present a clear alternative to high protein recipes. Although he doesn't continue to pull the noodles, that dough certainly does not look prone to breaking, and I see no reason it could not have been pulled more. But now I see that in threads above you have already laughed off the very idea that this video / recipe could be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you notice Emily.....it does break with him and he says that it's ok and to just grab the broken end and continue.....and the dough isn't at all thin. It is also uneven in thickness. That is no good. Have you seen real La Mian practitioners peform? They can pull noodles so thinly that you can thread several of the noodles through the eye of a needle. Ok....who needs to do that? But what this guy does in the video would certainly (in my opinion) not be pleasant to eat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody here know the chemical composition of Peng Hui?

It's mugwort potash, so I assume potassium hydroxide (basically, the older form of lye, which these days is more often sodium hydroxide from what I understand).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potash

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've spent a couple days working on pulling noodles. I still need to work on my technique to even out the noodles. From what I understand, this is an issue of pulling the noodles at the ideal timing and technique, hopefully I'll get there. At the same time, I am slowly adjusting the recipe to better fit my goals. That said, these were delicious.

Not the most best shot, but it shows the noodles well.

A0ofgQCCYAAjleV.jpg


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

Host, eG Forums

avaserfirer@egstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of them noodles are quite thin. Well done. Are you lifting the noodles off the table completely? I've seen some noodle pulling where the puller allows gravity to do it's work to some degree. This is not correct. Noodles should be made by pulling alone and kept on the table.....bench.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody here know the chemical composition of Peng Hui?

It's mugwort potash, so I assume potassium hydroxide (basically, the older form of lye, which these days is more often sodium hydroxide from what I understand).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potash

Please do a lot of research. Sodium hydroxide is very very VERY corrosive.

Is your stomach made of stainless steel?

dcarch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anybody here know the chemical composition of Peng Hui?

It's mugwort potash, so I assume potassium hydroxide (basically, the older form of lye, which these days is more often sodium hydroxide from what I understand).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potash

Please do a lot of research. Sodium hydroxide is very very VERY corrosive.

Is your stomach made of stainless steel?

dcarch

Noodle recipes contain about 0.1% NaOH which is well below a lethal dose.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe these are made with potassium hydroxide but rather with potassium carbonate.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is what I found regarding the composition of Peng Hui....The chemical composition of instant Peng ash is Sodium: 8% ~ 40%, and potassium: 0% ~ 18%, and chloride: 6% ~ 50%, and sulfur: 0.08% ~ 2%. This cam from a Chinese book written about La Mian 'Hand pulled noodles'. I can't tell you how accurate that is but the translation is correct. A friend of mine telephoned the company which makes Peng Hui and they wouldn't tell her what was in it. I wanted to find out if I could take some to Europe with me. They didn't seem interested and said that it would not be possible because it's a white powder and rather difficult to do these days with the tightened security of the last few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of them noodles are quite thin. Well done. Are you lifting the noodles off the table completely? I've seen some noodle pulling where the puller allows gravity to do it's work to some degree. This is not correct. Noodles should be made by pulling alone and kept on the table.....bench.

The noodles were stretched by my pulling motion alone, not gravity.


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

Host, eG Forums

avaserfirer@egstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kleinebre -- Did you see this video / site / recipe I posted several pages up?

Yes, I have seen those videos and the site as well. The main problem is that that the specific kinds of flour that Luke uses aren't for sale here, so ultimately it was down to coming up with a recipe of my own.

Will: With regards to sodium hydroxide / potassium hydroxide mentioned above... Those will be neutralized nicely into salt and water by stomach acid (NaOH+HCl -> NaCl + H2O and likewise KOH+HCl -> KCl+H2O), so in small enough doses nothing at all to worry about.

DCarch: Notice that the fellow with the red kitchenaid in the video above (okay, I've got to be more specific... The one with the glasses. I mean, not the Oriental guy) uses Luke R's noodle dough recipe.

Andrew: Looking good! The most successful try I had so far was definitely pulling alone as well - just on a tabletop. Less chance of breaking that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the 'noodle agent', and why isn't it addded in with the water? It seems that would be an more effective way to distribute it evenly throughout the dough.

I asked my friend in China this who asked this guy running a noodle restaurant. This is what he said in reply:

"Penghui has very strong corrosivity,if add Peng Hui to the water when making the dough at the beginning,it a long time between finish making the dough and use dough to make noodle ,Penghui's corrosion can take gluten cut very short,the dough will become very soft,you know,then soft dough is very difficult to make noodle,so when the customer come in, do noodles add Penghui is right time. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will: With regards to sodium hydroxide / potassium hydroxide mentioned above... Those will be neutralized nicely into salt and water by stomach acid (NaOH+HCl -> NaCl + H2O and likewise KOH+HCl -> KCl+H2O), so in small enough doses nothing at all to worry about.

I think you mean dcarch? I never expressed any worry about consuming small amounts of lye in food - strong alkaline solutions have been used in making noodles and pretzels for ages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just look at the dough in this video. It just shows you what effect Peng Hui or whatever they are using has on the dough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the 'noodle agent', and why isn't it addded in with the water? It seems that would be an more effective way to distribute it evenly throughout the dough.

I asked my friend in China this who asked this guy running a noodle restaurant. This is what he said in reply:

"Penghui has very strong corrosivity,if add Peng Hui to the water when making the dough at the beginning,it a long time between finish making the dough and use dough to make noodle ,Penghui's corrosion can take gluten cut very short,the dough will become very soft,you know,then soft dough is very difficult to make noodle,so when the customer come in, do noodles add Penghui is right time. "

Okay, I almost understood that.

I'm starting to feel some proper scientific experimenting or at the very least a systematic approach is in order. Preparing dough with varying amounts of alkali and measuring what stretches best; Preparing dough with equal amounts of alkali, and see which amount of time yields the best result after different amounts of time; Trying different kinds of flour to see what gluten starting percentage gives the best results. If I'm bored during the holidays, I might spend a few days just to draw up a small table with the results.

Will: Yes, I did mean dcarch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Introduction
       
      I spent the weekend in western Hunan reuniting with 36 people I worked with for two years starting 20 years ago. All but one, 龙丽花 lóng lì huā, I hadn’t seen for 17 years.  I last saw her ten years ago. One other, 舒晶 shū jīng, with whom I have kept constant contact but not actually seen, helped me organise the visit in secret. No one else knew I was coming. In fact, I had told Long Lihua that I couldn’t come. Most didn’t even know I am still in China.
       
      I arrived at my local station around 00:20 in order to catch the 1:00 train northwards travelling overnight to Hunan, with an advertised arrival time of 9:15 am. Shu Jing was to meet me.
       
      When I arrived at the station, armed with my sleeper ticket, I found that the train was running 5 hours late! Station staff advised that I change my ticket for a different train, which I did. The problem was that there were no sleeper tickets available on the new train. All I could get was a seat. I had no choice, really. They refunded the difference and gave me my new ticket.
       
       

       

       
      The second train was only 1½ hours late, then I had a miserable night, unable to sleep and very uncomfortable. Somehow the train managed to make up for the late start and we arrived on time. I was met as planned and we hopped into a taxi to the hotel where I was to stay and where the reunion was to take place.
       
      They had set up a reception desk in the hotel lobby and around half of the people I had come to see were there. When I walked in there was this moment of confusion, stunned silence, then the friend I had lied to about not coming ran towards me and threw herself into my arms with tears running down her face and across her smile. It was the best welcome I’ve ever had. Then the others also welcomed me less physically, but no less warmly. They were around 20 years old when I met them; now they are verging on, or already are, 40, though few of them look it. Long Lihua is the one on the far right.
       

       
      Throughout the morning people arrived in trickles as their trains or buses got in from all over China. One woman had come all the way from the USA. We sat around chatting, reminiscing and eating water melon until finally it was time for lunch.
       

       
      Lunch we had in the hotel dining room. By that time, the group had swelled to enough to require three banqueting tables.
       
      Western Hunan, known as 湘西 xiāng xī, where I was and where I lived for two years - twenty years ago, is a wild mountainous area full of rivers. It was one of the last areas “liberated” by Mao’s communists and was largely lawless until relatively recently. It has spectacular scenery.
       
      Hunan is known for its spicy food, but Xiangxi is the hottest. I always know when I am back in Hunan. I just look out the train window and see every flat surface covered in chilis drying in the sun. Station platforms, school playgrounds, the main road from the village to the nearest town are all strewn with chillis.
       

       

       
      The people there consider Sichuan to be full of chilli wimps. I love it. When I left Hunan I missed the food so much. So I was looking forward to this. It did not disappoint.
       
      So Saturday lunch in next post.
    • By liuzhou
      I was recently asked by a friend to give a talk to a group of around 30 first-year students in a local college - all girls. The students were allowed to present me with a range of topics to choose from. To my joy, No. 1 was food! They wanted to know what is different between western and Chinese food. Big topic!
       
      Anyway I did my best to explain, illustrate etc. I even gave each student a home made Scotch egg! Which amused them immensely.

      Later, my friend asked each of them to write out (in English) a recipe for their favourite Chinese dish. She has passed these on to me with permission to use them as I wish. I will post a few of the better / more interesting ones over the next few days.

      I have not edited their language, so please be tolerant and remember that for many of these students, English is their third or fourth language. Chinese isn't even their first!

      I have obscured some personal details.

      First up:

      Tomato, egg noodles.

      Time: 10 minutes
       
      Yield: 1 serving

      For the noodle:

      1 tomato
      2 egg
      5 spring onions

      For the sauce:
       
      1 teaspoon sesame oil
      1 tablespoon sugar
      ½ teaspoon salt

      Method:

      1. The pot boil water. At that same time you can do something else.

      2. Diced tomato. Egg into the bowl. add salt and sugar mixed. Onion cut section.

      3. Boiled noodles with water and cook for about 5 minutes.

      4. Heat wok put oil, add eggs, stir fry until cooked. Another pot, garlic stir fry the tomato.

      5. add some water to boil, add salt, soy sauce, add egg
       
      6. The tomato and egg sauce over noodle, spring onion sprinkled even better.
       


      More soon.
    • By zend
      I just bought these greens from the neighborhood Asian grocery. Had them once in China as a salad, and they tasted exceptional - a bit peppery like arugula, yet much more subtle and fresh, with hints of lemon.
      Store lady (non-Chinese) could not name them for me other than "Chinese greens".
      Any help identifying them is greatly appreciated
       

    • By liuzhou
      China's plan to cut meat consumption by 50%
       
      I wish them well, but can't see it happening. Meat eating is very much seen as a status symbol and, although most Chinese still follow a largely vegetable diet out of economic necessity, meat is still highly desirable among the new middle classes. The chances of them willingly giving it up, even by 50%, seems remote to me.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.