Monday, November 24, 2008

Lamian Noodles, sort of

Lamian (also called la mien) are hand-pulled Chinese noodles. I have been fascinated with the plethora of youtube videos showing Chinese artisans stretching and pulling these noodles. I so wanted to try this myself. The dough is seemingly simple but if you don't have the right ratio of gluten in the flour it will never have the right stretchy consistency to pull the noodles no matter how much you knead it. It also needs a pretty high hydration to be pliable enough to stretch. I tried this just using all purpose flour but it was not stretchy enough. I need to get some lower-gluten pastry or cake flour to make these noodles. I resorted to rolling out the dough and cutting the noodles with a knife. They turned out really tasty but I still want to try pulling them some day.

I made the dough using about 3.5 oz of all purpose flour and 2 oz of water. The dough was kneaded for about 25 minutes the allowed to rest for a few hours. It was kneaded by hand again for 20 or so minutes but it just wouldn't become stretchy and relaxed enough to pull. It was silky smooth though and made for a great texture in the final product.

I made this soup very simply. I used a Korean beef dashi powder to make a broth and cooked some sliced carrots and celery in the broth for just a few minutes before serving. The noodles were cut and immediately thrown into a pot of salted boiling water. They were cooked for about 3 minutes, strained out and placed into large bowls. The soup was ladelled on top of the noodles. Meanwhile I quickly stir fried some thinly sliced sirloin tip, garlic and a bit of chili sauce. This was placed on top of the soup. It was YUMMY, filling and perfect for a cold winter's day.

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