Jump to content
  • 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 a free account.

Making Hand-Pulled Noodles


Recommended Posts

I watched that and the dough he took out of the bowl had already been worked. It was stretchy and sticky. I don't think they are telling the whole story. He just said the dough is made of flour, salt and water. I know that in China the noodle masters also add an alkaline substance which makes it more stretchy and less elastic. I believe they use the same in the UK too. I brought some of this alkaline with me back to the UK when I returned from China because I wanted to get hold of some and maybe import it. But there's a substance in there which isn't allowed for consumption under EU law. So that was the end of that. What I'd like to know is what was that dish in the middle of the table containing a yellow substance? Although the compound used in China is greenish in colour and added in very small quantities.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As me dcarch? There are guys in China who make scores if not hundreds of hand made noodle dishes a day. It's not feasible to do it without a kind of 'conditioner' or 'relaxer'. I watched a guy make hand pulled noodles withought using this agent called Peng Hui. He took a long time to be able to get the dought to the required consistency and I'm telling you he was a master and one time chef if the Chinese military. I saw him twisting dought which must have been enough to make 30 or 40 dishes and like a lare python in length and thickness. That's how good he was. I have him on video somewhere on my HDD. He said, that if you don't use Peng Hui or similar, the noodles would disintigrate in boiling water. He also said that if they have La Mian restaurants in the UK, then they have Peng Hui. So, they are either importing it, or using a substitute. And it was obvious from that dough that it had been 'treated' somehow. I watched a programme once with a London La Mian chef on a tv show making a competition amongst tv chefs I think. The wonderful Ching He Huang won. But to the point, the dough was almost like heated chewing gum if you know what I mean. It almost 'flows'. There is no elasticity.

When in China, I was tempted to go and do this couple of hours course in Beijing on noodle pulling to see how they were doing it. I telephoned them and asked what did they use.....high gluten flour, salt and water was the reply. Oh good I said, it will be interesting to prepare the dough I mentioned. Oh no......I was told that we wouln't be preparing the dough but the La Mian master would be doing this at his home before-hand. Needless, to say, I didn't bother attending that course.

Edited by Ader1 (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever they do add from my understanding and believe me I've tried and read a lot about it.......the added chemical needs to be alkaline which adds and al-dente texture to the noodles and also gives it a yellowish colour. Japanese ramen have this colour and quality and also need alkalinity in their production from what I understand. I read somewhere that 'ramen' comes from 'la mian'. Is this true? I believe it (the alkalinithy) also stops the thin noodles from disintegrating in boiling water. The second important quality is for it to be able to relax the dough. I will pick up the quest again at some point.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that 'ramen' comes from 'la mian'. Is this true?

I think the best answer is "probably". Most linguists say so, but a few have it going in the other direction, despite archaeological evidence suggesting China had noodles earlier.

The Oxford English Dictionary goes with it being "Jap., prob. f. Chinese pull, stretch, lengthen + miàn noodle."

The dishes have, of course, evolved into separate entities.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I've uploaded few minutes of a documentary with Ken Hom on youtube

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Q6YvVgU9ms8

And from these pictures

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kattebelletje/4850654428/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kattebelletje/4850655110/

It appears you don't even need to mix flours, only skills :rolleyes:

T55 it's an all purpose cheap french flour.

Edited by sub (log)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere that 'ramen' comes from 'la mian'. Is this true?

They certainly share the exact same characters (at least when written in Kanji - which I admit is not as common as in Katakana). The different versions of chinese la mian are all alcaline as far as I can tell and so are the Japanese ramen. I've never seen anyone hand stretch noodles in a ramen shop though.

Thanks to eveyone here, I'm getting inspired to try my luck at stretching noodles again. My best past attemps did not produce better than udon-like noodles.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I've uploaded few minutes of a documentary with Ken Hom on youtube

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Q6YvVgU9ms8

Thank you for posting that video. If you look at it the talk about alkalinity of the water to make the noodles. I didn't understand it but it was obvious from their use of a ph scale. And then at around 5.51 minutes you can see they guy with the packet of Peng Hui powder which he mixes with water and massages it into the dough. But Ken Hom is wrong, it doesn't allow the dough to become elastic but the opposite; it just stretches.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct me if I'm wrong, but from reading this thread, the general conclusion I'm coming to is that any flour can be used, but cake flour is preferred and the higher the gluten content, the more alkaline solution should be added and/or more resting before stretching

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I wanted to share this video of Su filindeu a sardinian pasta made with durum flour

my husband keeps telling me that his grandfather, who was from the North of China, uses to eat a bread very similar to carta da musica and the way cullurgionis are closed is so similar to some chinese dumplings.

Link to post
Share on other sites

my husband keeps telling me that his grandfather, who was from the North of China, uses to eat a bread very similar to carta da musica and the way cullurgionis are closed is so similar to some chinese dumplings.

There are many striking almost eerie similarities between Chinese and Italian cuisine that you almost have to wonder. For instance, in taiwan they dry and salt mullet roe similar to bottarga. Ham making in China (ala jinhua and nuodeng) is also very similar to Italian hams.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Some clues from books, unfortunately those recipes are designed for pasta machines.



Momofuku by david chang and Peter Meehan:

Because they’re based on harder wheats, southern yellow noodles have a firmer texture than white salted noodles, and alkalinity (pH 9–11, the equivalent of old egg whites)

increases this firmness. The alkaline salts (sodium and potassium carbonate at 0.5–1% of noodle weight) also cause the noodles to take longer to cook and absorb more water, and

they contribute a characteristic aroma and taste …


alkaline noodles (aka ramen) MAKES 6 TO 8 PORTIONS OF NOODLES

Using a precise amount of alkaline salts is important when making these noodles, hence the metric measurements. If you’ve got a scale, use it.

800 grams bread flour or “00” pasta flour, plus additional flour for rolling out the noodles

300 grams water, at room temperature, or more if needed

7.2 grams sodium carbonate

0.8 gram potassium carbonate

salt 1.5%



Combine the flour, water, sodium carbonate, and potassium carbonate in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed for 10 minutes; the

dough should come together into a ball after just a couple minutes—if it doesn’t, add additional water by the tablespoon until it does. After 10 minutes of kneading, you should

have fairly elastic, smooth dough on your hands. Wrap the dough in plastic and put it in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes.

Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted water at a rolling boil for about 5 minutes, until tender but still toothsome (slightly longer if they were frozen). Drain well and

deploy as directed.



Ivan Ramen by Ivan Orkin

I’m personally obsessed with the kaori, or aroma, of the noodles. Most shops use one type of flour that is specifically designed for ramen, with a protein level of 10 to 11percent.

These flours are inexpensive, but they don’t have the deep, fresh aroma that I’m looking for. At my shop, we combine soft udon flour (7 to 8 percent protein), with high-protein bread flour (14 to 15 percent protein) and a small percentage of rye or other whole grain flour, for a noodle with an irresistible aroma of fresh wheat. It’s a circuitous route to get to the 10 to 11 percent protein content that works for noodles, but we get much more interesting textures and complex flavors, and even a deeper color, with pretty little speckles of whole grain. Toasting the flour brings out more aromatic nuances, while removing some of the liquid in the flour and making for an even chewier noodle.

Powdered kansui adds the alkaline component of these noodles. As noted in numerous places by Harold McGee, the oracle of culinary science, a simple substitute for kansui powderis baked baking soda. Spread baking soda in a thin layer on a foil-lined sheet tray and bake for one hour at 275°F (135°C). Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid for up to a couple of months.

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

ASIAN WHEAT NOODLES AND DUMPLINGS

The most spectacular form of noodle production is that of Shanghai’s hand-pulled noodles, la mian, for which the maker starts with a thick rope of dough, swings, twists, and stretches it to arms’ length, brings the ends together to make the one strand into two—and repeats the stretching and folding as many as eleven times to make up to 4,096 thin noodles! Asian noodles are both elastic and soft, their texture created by both their weak gluten and by amylopectin-rich starch granules. Salt, usually at around 2% of the noodle weight, is an important ingredient in Asian noodles. It tightens the gluten network and stabilizes the starch granules, keeping them intact even as they absorb water and swell.

Chinese Wheat Noodles and Dumplings

The yellowness of the traditional noodles (modern ones are sometimes colored with egg yolks) is caused by phenolic compounds in the flour called flavones, which are normally colorless but become yellow in alkaline conditions. The flavones are especially concentrated in the bran and germ, so less refined flours develop a deeper color. Because they’re based on harder wheats, southern yellow noodles have a firmer texture than white salted noodles, and alkalinity (pH 9–11, the equivalent of old egg whites) increases this firmness. The alkaline salts (sodium and potassium carbonates at 0.5–1% of noodle weight) also cause the noodles to take longer to cook and absorb more water, and they contribute a characteristic aroma and taste.

Japanese Wheat Noodles

The standard thick Japanese noodles (2–4 mm in diameter), called udon, are descendents of the Chinese white salted noodle. They’re white and soft and made from soft wheat flour, water, and salt. Ra-men noodles are light yellow and somewhat stiff, and are made from hard wheat flour, water, and alkaline salts (kansui). Very thin noodles (around 1 mm) are called so-men. Japanese noodles are usually cooked in water of pH 5.5–6, which is often adjusted by adding some acid. After cooking, the noodles are drained and washed and cooled in running water, which causes the surface starch to set into a moist, slippery, nonsticky layer.

Edited by sub (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

This topic will just not die! It keeps on going!

Many thanks CeeCee. The video is very very good. yes, Ader1 the dough had been worked and was ready to go. They say in the video it is 'just flour and water'. However saying 'just flour' is a meaningless comment as flour can be highly processed and can be highly variable. That's why we have strong bread flours and soft flours. You would not want confuse them i.e. use bread flour for cakes or cake flour for bread.

The expert in the video has I believe his own restaurant in London. I looked up his web site and there are recipes on there. the recipes given use more than 'flour and water' though. Kleinebre (see posts above) visited a London restaurant making hand pulled noodles and gave the name of the flour brand they were using. I looked up the brand and found they were a UK flour supplier. they list a flour specifically for hand pulled noodles. I have no further information on it except that it would probably need to be purchased in bulk!

the most important thing I gained from the video and subsequent browsing of the website is that they are advocating the use of stand mixers. If you read my posts, I have a stand mixer but chose to process my dough in a food processor in an attempt to form the gluten in a different way. this was probably not the best option and in future, the stand mixer will be seeing some noodle action!

Keep noodling! If you succeed, don't forget to invite me round for tea!

Edited by Chelseabun (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Takadi: Yes, many US recipes advocate the use of 'cake flour'. However, please note that cake flour has been bleached. Yes, this is as it sounds. For health reasons, it is prohibited in Europe. I did manage to obtain some bleached 'general purpose' flour and it certainly does have very different properties from unbleached flour. Also, the aroma is 'correct'. It smells just like ramen when worked into noodles. However, would you seriously want to eat noodles made from bleached flour? I would advocate using unbleached flour. The same goes for the other additives (please see my posts above). If the additive is normally used for cleaning drains or has been noted as 'highly corrosive', I choose not to add it to my noodles.

Keep on 'noodling' folks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sub: Sodium Carbonate = Washing Soda!

I use Sodium Carbonate in my photography processing. Here is what is says on the packet of washing soda;

"Causes serious eye irritation, wash hands thoroughly after handling. Wear protective gloves / protective clothing / eye protection / face protection".

This does not sound like a very good food additive does it? Same goes for Potassium Carbonate. Furthermore, when I have used them, the dough has a 'chemical' feel and aroma to it. It was not 'appetising'.

I realise it is tempting to use highly processed flour and food additives such as sodium carbonate (which is a very common additive). Bleached flour is not available in the UK and I have been merely trying to find a way to make lamien hand pulled noodles without it because I can not regularly buy it. However, seeing that I am not using bleached flour, it makes sense not to use the other additive ingredients too.

Edited by Chelseabun (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ader1 post 178:

I agree. As stated above, Kleinaber visited a London restaurant making hand pulled noodles and found out the brand name of the flour. I looked it up and found it was from a UK flour supplier. However, it was specifically labelled as being for making hand pulled noodles. I don't know if this means it had additives or was otherwise processed to give suitable qualities.

Keep Calm and carry on making noodles!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sub: Many thanks for posting the 'on food and cooking' extract. I do not have a copy and many people believe this book to be excellent. There may be a clue in this extract. For Asian wheat noodles it says they use flour which is (develops) weak in gluten (low protein?) and amylopectin rich.

I am not able to do any 'noodling' for a while but will try out some new things when I eventually get back to it and I will keep you all posted. Many thanks to everybody who has contributed to this topic. One request though please, can we have some videos of you all making hand pulled noodles?

Best Regards and keep noodling!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Two things:

1. the act of folding is very important based on the law of the "weakest link" theory to even out weakness in any strand of noodle. You want to end up with noodles with identical strength, end-to-end.

2. Protein may not be a factor. Considering the "Dragon's Beard" candy, which has zero protein.

dcarch

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dcarch,

Agree totally. If you remember, I posted some videos of my technique. it was poor to say the least but I was improving. Agree with the protein comment as well. I tried the high protein flour approach but didn't particularly have a lot of success. As above I will be trying again but later in the year. Next time I will use lower protein flour and try some new ideas as well.

Remember, practice makes perfect (noodles)!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sub: Sodium Carbonate = Washing Soda! Are you trying to clean the inside of your body as well as your clothes?

I use Sodium Carbonate in my photography processing. Here is what is says on the packet of washing soda;

"Causes serious eye irritation, wash hands thoroughly after handling. Wear protective gloves / protective clothing / eye protection / face protection".

This does not sound like a very good food additive does it? Same goes for Potassium Carbonate. Furthermore, when I have used them, the dough has a 'chemical' feel and aroma to it. It was not 'appetising'.

I realise it is tempting to use highly processed flour and food additives such as sodium carbonate (which is a very common additive). Bleached flour is not available in the UK and I have been merely trying to find a way to make lamien hand pulled noodles without it because I can not regularly buy it. However, seeing that I am not using bleached flour, it makes sense not to use the other additive ingredients too.

Hi Chelseabun,

Don't worry, I'm well aware.

I've asked Meechun directly about the dosage and they replied this

We are delighted to learn that you are supporter for our Mee Chun product.

Our Lye Water is commonly use in the product for making hand pull noodle. The amount of usage would be different for everyone depending on each recipe. Therefore we do not usually provide the using instruction or recommended amount.

For your kind reference, please refer to the below link which provide a tip for using our Lye Water,

http://everydaynoodle.blogspot.hk/2012/11/diy-noodle-secret-ingredient-lye-water.html

I saw this video on youtube with Andrew Wong

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSSVON91NwE

After some search I found his blog: Pulling noodles, very interessing read, no need for chemicals, just knead over the point of dough and do a long rest ( 6 hours )

From all the videos I saw the dough was always very hydrated !

Edited by sub (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sub,

Many thanks. Cee Cee also posted a link to this video (post 175). It is very very good. I read mr Wong's blog too. That is why i will be using a stand mixer next time (as above). I spoke to my local Miller (we have a working windmill nearby) and he said to rest the dough. This concurs with mr Wong's blog. Klienebre (previous posts) deleloped the dough by resting too. if you read the previous posts, he put quite a lot of effort into it and obtained edible hand pulled noodles! Some of my attempts received rests (sometimes very long rests unintentionally!). I would say it makes a difference too. In his blog, mr wong also says they use a different recipe. I cant remember what it was exactly but i remember it was more than just flour and water - i think he could have been advocating using some semolina in the recipe but to be honest cant quite remember so i stand to be corrected.

Keep calm and make more Noodles!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh sorry, I forgot I saw it.

I've managed to get a strechable dough with Caputo Pizzeria flour (12.75% protein W280-310) and some lye water

25 minutes of kneading in my Bosch MUM, few hours of rest, but I suck at pulling noodles, It's very hard to get them the same size I look so easy on the videos. . .

Maybe you can try to found pizza flour in Uk. (Caputo, 5stagioni,Spadoni, divella, san felice)

Next time I try without the lye and tell you if they where stretchable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Chinese food must be among the most famous in the world. Yet, at the same time, the most misunderstood.

      I feel sure (hope) that most people here know that American-Chinese cuisine, British-Chinese cuisine, Indian-Chinese cuisine etc are, in huge ways, very different from Chinese-Chinese cuisine and each other. That's not what I want to discuss.

      Yet, every day I still come across utter nonsense on YouTube videos and Facebook about the "real" Chinese cuisine, even from ethnically Chinese people (who have often never been in China). Sorry YouTube "influencers", but sprinkling soy sauce or 5-spice powder on your cornflakes does not make them Chinese!
       
      So what is the "authentic" Chinese food? Well, like any question about China, there are several answers. It is not surprising that a country larger than western Europe should have more than one typical culinary style. Then, we must distinguish between what you may be served in a large hotel dining room, a small local restaurant, a street market stall or in a Chinese family's home.

      That said, in this topic, I want to attempt to debunk some of the more prevalent myths. Not trying to start World War III.

      When I moved to China from the UK 25 years ago, I had my preconceptions. They were all wrong. Sweet and sour pork with egg fried rice was reported to be the second favourite dish in Britain, and had, of course, to be preceded by a plate of prawn/shrimp crackers. All washed down with a lager or three.

      Yet, in that quarter of a century, I've seldom seen a prawn cracker. And egg fried rice is usually eaten as a quick dish on its own, not usually as an accompaniment to main courses. Every menu featured a starter of prawn/shrimp toast which I have never seen in mainland China - just once in Hong Kong.

      But first, one myth needs to be dispelled. The starving Chinese! When I was a child I was encouraged to eat the particularly nasty bits on the plate by being told that the starving Chinese would lap them up. My suggestion that we could post it to them never went down too well. At that time (the late fifties) there was indeed a terrible famine in China (almost entirely manmade (Maomade)).

      When I first arrived in China, it was after having lived in Soviet Russia and I expected to see the same long lines of people queuing up to buy nothing very much in particular. Instead, on my first visit to a market (in Hunan Province), I was confronted with a wider range of vegetables, seafood, meat and assorted unidentified frying objects than I have ever seen anywhere else. And it was so cheap I couldn't convert to UK pounds or any other useful currency.
       
      I'm going to start with some of the simpler issues - later it may get ugly!

      1. Chinese people eat everything with chopsticks.
       

       
      No, they don't! Most things, yes, but spoons are also commonly used in informal situations. I recently had lunch in a university canteen. It has various stations selling different items. I found myself by the fried rice stall and ordered some Yangzhou fried rice. Nearly all the students and faculty sitting near me were having the same.

      I was using my chopsticks to shovel the food in, when I noticed that I was the only one doing so. Everyone else was using spoons. On investigating, I was told that the lunch break is so short at only two-and-a-half hours that everyone wants to eat quickly and rush off for their compulsory siesta.
       
      I've also seen claims that people eat soup with chopsticks. Nonsense. While people use chopsticks to pick out choice morsels from the broth, they will drink the soup by lifting their bowl to their mouths like cups. They ain't dumb!

      Anyway, with that very mild beginning, I'll head off and think which on my long list will be next.

      Thanks to @KennethT for advice re American-Chinese food.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Wowotou buns ( 窝窝头 wō wō tóu), also known more simply as wō tóu are originally from northern China. The name means "nest" and they come in many forms. These are the ones I use. As you can see, they are usually stuffed with whatever the cook decides. These are stuffed with spicy pork and pickled greens, but I've also served them with a seafood stuffing.
       

       
      This is the recipe I usually use.
       
       窝窝头
       
      350 grams all-purpose/plain flour
      150 grams black soya bean flour
      3 grams instant yeast
      260 grams  milk
       
      Mix the flours well, dissolve the yeast in the milk and stir into the flour until a dough forms. Knead the dough until smooth. Cover with plastic
      wrap and leave in a warm place until double in size.
       
      Sprinkle flour on the chopping board, knead the dough, adding more flour if too wet. until all air is expelled and the dough has a smooth surface.
       
      Form the dough into six even-sized balls and rub between the palms until smooth and round. Flatten slightly, then use your thumb to press the dough into a nest shape.
       
      Steam covered for 30-35 minutes.
       
      Note: The flours used vary a lot. Corn or sorghum flours are very popular, but I don't like corn and sorghum isn't the easiest to find here in southern China. Use what you like, but the overall quantity for this recipe should be 500 grams. It has been suggested that pure corn flour is too sticky, so probably best to mix it with regular wheat flour.
       
      They freeze well.
       
      Recipe adapted from 念念不忘的面食  by 刘哲菲 (Unforgettable Wheat Foods by Liu Zhefei). This isn't a direct translation, but retelling of the gist. Any errors are mine. Not Ms. Liu's.
    • By liuzhou
      Beef with Bitter Melon - 牛肉苦瓜
       

       
      The name may be off-putting to many people, but Chinese people do have an appreciation for bitter tastes and anyway, modern cultivars of this gourd are less bitter than in the past. Also, depending on how it's cooked, the bitterness can be mitigated.
       
      I'll admit that I wasn't sure at first, but have grown to love it.

      Note: "Beef with Bitter Melon (牛肉苦瓜 )" or "Bitter Melon with Beef (苦瓜牛肉)"? One Liuzhou restaurant I know has both on its menu! In Chinese, the ingredient listed first is the one there is most of, so, "beef with bitter melon" is mainly beef, whereas "bitter melon with beef" is much more a vegetable dish with just a little beef. This recipe is for the beefier version. To make the other version, just half the amount of beef and double the amount of melon.

      Ingredients

      Beef. One pound. Flank steak works best. Slice thinly against the grain.

      Bitter Melon. Half a melon. You can use the other half in a soup or other dish. Often available in Indian markets or supermarkets.
       

       
      Salted Black Beans. One tablespoon. Available in packets from Asian markets and supermarkets, these are salted, fermented black soy beans. They are used as the basis for 'black bean sauce', but we are going to be making our own sauce!

      Garlic. 6 cloves

      Cooking oil. Any vegetable oil except olive oil

      Shaoxing wine. See method

      Light soy sauce. One tablespoon

      Dark soy sauce. One teaspoon

      White pepper. See method

      Sesame oil. See method

      Method

      Marinate the beef in a 1/2 tablespoon of light soy sauce with a splash of Shaoxing wine along with a teaspoon or so of cornstarch or similar (I use potato starch). Stir well and leave for 15-30 minutes.

      Cut the melon(s) in half lengthwise and, using a teaspoon, scrape out all the seeds and pith. The more pith you remove, the less bitter the dish will be. Cut the melon into crescents about 1/8th inch wide.

      Rinse the black beans and drain. Crush them with the blade of your knife, then chop finely. Finely chop the garlic.

      Stir fry the meat in a tablespoon of oil over a high heat until done. This should take less than a minute. Remove and set aside.

      Add another tablespoon of oil and reduce heat to medium. fry the garlic and black beans until fragrant then add the bitter melon. Continue frying until the melon softens. then add a tablespoon of Shaoxing wine and soy sauces. Finally sprinkle on white pepper to taste along with a splash of sesame oil. Return the meat to the pan and mix everything well.

      Note: If you prefer the dish more saucy, you can add a tablespoon or so of water with the soy sauces.

      Serve with plained rice and a stir-fried green vegetable of choice.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Stir-fried Squid with Snow Peas - 荷兰豆鱿鱼
       

       
      Another popular restaurant dish that can easily be made at home. The only difficult part (and it's really not that difficult) is preparing the squid. However, your seafood purveyor should be able to do that for you. I have given details below.

      Ingredients

      Fresh squid. I tend to prefer the smaller squid in which case I allow one or two squid per person, depending on what other dishes I'm serving. You could use whole frozen squid if fresh is unavailable. Certainly not dried squid.

      Snow peas aka Mange Tout. Sugar snap peas can also be used. The final dish should be around 50% squid and 50% peas, so an amount roughly equivalent to the squid in bulk is what you are looking for. De-string if necessary and cut in half width-wise.

      Cooking oil. I use rice bran oil, but any vegetable cooking oil is fine. Not olive oil, though.

      Garlic.  I prefer this dish to be rather garlicky so I use one clove or more per squid. Adjust to your preference.

      Ginger. An amount equivalent to that of garlic.

      Red Chile. One or two small hot red chiles.

      Shaoxing wine. See method. Note: Unlike elsewhere, Shaoxing wine sold in N. America is salted. So, cut back on adding salt if using American sourced Shaoxing.

      Oyster sauce

      Sesame oil (optional)

      Salt

      Preparing the squid

      The squid should be cleaned and the tentacles and innards pulled out and set aside while you deal with the tubular body. Remove the internal cartilage / bone along with any remaining innards. With a sharp knife remove the "wings" then slit open the tube by sliding your knife inside and cutting down one side. Open out the now butterflied body. Remove the reddish skin (It is edible, but removing it makes for a nicer presentation. It peels off easily.) Again, using the sharp knife cut score marks on the inside at 1/8th of an inch intervals being careful not to cut all the way through. Then repeat at right angles to the original scoring, to give a cross-hatch effect. Do the same to the squid wings. Cut the body into rectangles roughly the size of a large postage stamp.
       

       
      Separate the tentacles from the innards by feeling for the beak, a hard growth just above the tentacles and at the start of the animal's digestive tract. Dispose of all but the tentacles. If they are long, half them.

      Wash all the squid meat again.

      Method

      There are only two ways to cook squid and have it remain edible. Long slow cooking (an hour or more) or very rapid (a few seconds) then served immediately. Anything else and you'll be chewing on rubber. So that is why I am stir frying it. Few restaurants get this right, so I mainly eat it at home.

      Heat your wok and add oil. Have a cup of water to the side. Add the garlic, ginger and chile. Should you think it's about to burn, throw in a little of that water. It will evaporate almost immediately but slow down some of the heat.
       
      As soon as you can smell the fragrance of the garlic and ginger, add the peas and salt and toss until the peas are nearly cooked (Try a piece to see!). Almost finally, add the squid with a tablespoon of the Shaoxing and about the same of oyster sauce. Do not attempt to add the oyster sauce straight from the bottle. The chances of the whole bottle emptying into your dinner is high! Believe me. I've been there!

      The squid will curl up and turn opaque in seconds. It's cooked. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of so of sesame oil (if used) and serve immediately!
       
    • By liuzhou
      Big Plate Chicken - 大盘鸡
       

       
      This very filling dish of chicken and potato stew is from Xinjiang province in China's far west, although it is said to have been invented by a visitor from Sichuan. In recent years, it has become popular in cities across China, where it is made using a whole chicken which is chopped, with skin and on the bone, into small pieces suitable for easy chopstick handling. If you want to go that way, any Asian market should be able to chop the bird for you. Otherwise you may use boneless chicken thighs instead.

      Ingredients

      Boneless skinless chicken thighs  6

      Light soy sauce

      Dark soy sauce

      Shaoxing wine

      Cornstarch or similar. I use potato starch.

      Vegetable oil (not olive oil)

      Star anise, 4

      Cinnamon, 1 stick

      Bay leaves, 5 or 6

      Fresh ginger, 6 coin sized slices

      Garlic.  5 cloves, roughly chopped

      Sichuan peppercorns,  1 tablespoon

      Whole dried red chiles,   6 -10  (optional). If you can source the Sichuan chiles known as Facing Heaven Chiles, so much the better.

      Potatoes 2 or 3 medium sized. peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

      Carrot. 1,  thinly sliced

      Dried wheat noodles.  8 oz. Traditionally, these would be a long, flat thick variety. I've use Italian tagliatelle successfully.    

      Red bell pepper. 1 cut into chunks

      Green bell pepper, 1 cut into chunks

      Salt

      Scallion, 2 sliced.
         
      Method

      First, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate in 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce, 3 teaspoons of Shaoxing and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Set aside for about twenty minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

      Heat the wok and add three tablespoons cooking oil. Add the ginger, garlic, star anise, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, Sichuan peppercorns and chiles. Fry on a low heat for a  minute or so. If they look about to burn, splash a little water into your wok. This will lower the temperature slightly. Add the chicken and turn up the heat. Continue frying until the meat is nicely seared, then add the potatoes and carrots. Stir fry a minute more then add 2 teaspoons of the dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of the light soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of the Shaoxing wine along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium. Cover and cook for around 15 minutes until the potatoes are done.

      While the main dish is cooking, cook the noodles separately according to the packet instructions.  Reserve  some of the noodle cooking water and drain.

      When the chicken and potatoes are done, you may add a little of the noodle water if the dish appears on the dry side. It should be saucy, but not soupy. Add the bell peppers and cook for three to four minutes more. Add scallions. Check seasoning and add some salt if it needs it. It may not due to the soy sauce and Shaoxing.

      Serve on a large plate for everyone to help themselves from. Plate the noodles first, then cover with the meat and potato. Enjoy.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...