A Labor of Love: The Art of Hand-Pulled Noodles

By admin / April 1, 2019

(Image Credit: Used with permission by Z & Y Bistro)

For people who frequently enjoy eating ramen and noodles, nothing compares to consuming them fresh after a chef has pulled them by hand. The truly adventurous types learn how to prepare hand-pulled noodles themselves.

This isn’t necessarily an easy task for Americans since most online information regarding ingredients and recipes is written in Chinese. As the recipe written in English below will attest, this common frustration for hand-pulled noodle lovers is slowly starting to improve.

How to Make Hand-Pulled Noodles at Home

Peter Wang, a chef at Iron Horse Chinese Restaurant, shared a recipe online in May 2016 for people want to make this dish at home. The first step is to gather the following ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of ice water in warm seasons or ½ cup ice water in cool seasons
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour

To prepare the hand-pulled noodles, the chef should place the ingredients in a large bowl and begin kneading them for at least 15 minutes. The kneaded dough should then remain out at room temperature for one hour in warmer weather or two hours in cooler weather. The best way to determine if the dough is ready to shape is make a small indentation in one corner using any finger. The dough will bounce back in less than 10 seconds if ready.

The next step is to roll the dough into several long pieces the shape of a paper towel roll. If it breaks, try kneading it a bit more. The first piece can now go on a cutting board. After picking it up with both ends, the chef should beat it against the board several times. He or she should continue stretching and knocking the dough for up to 15 minutes and then start creating loops.

It’s now time to place the worked-up dough on a table and cut it into sections of six to eight inches. Each section should stretch as far as the chef can hold out his or her hands, after which it’s time to start folding. If serving right away, the chef should boil in a pot of hot water for one two to minutes, drain the water, and serve. Otherwise, it’s fine to put the noodles in the refrigerator if the storage container has flour in it.

Hand-Pulled Noodles Becoming Popular in Restaurants on Both Coasts

Diners who crave hand-pulled noodles in New York or San Francisco will have the easiest time finding them. Hand-pulled noodles have become so popular in New York City that one restaurant bears the name Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles II. For just $8.50, diners can choose from 25 different varieties of noodles. They can also sign up for a class to learn how to pull noodles themselves.

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