Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hand pulled Noodle/Lamian 手拉面

Lanzhou Lamian (兰州手拉面)
Recently on a business trip to China, I had a little pleasant culinary surprise at Suzhou.  One day I had a busy morning and ended up with a late lunch. I normally did not like to eat rice for lunch, so when I saw a small eatery noodle house nearby, I suggested to my colleague to try out their noodles. It was a small Xinjiang Muslim halal eatery shop tucked away in a little corner not easily noticeable. To our blessings, we ended up tasting a really delicious and authentic Lanzhou hand pulled noodle (lamian) !
While waiting to be served, I even sneaked inside their kitchen to shoot a video of the making of Lanzhou lamian. Inside the kitchen, I noticed the chef was just a young chap; I was so impressed to see him skillfully pull and twist the dough and within seconds a ball of dough was magically transformed into fine smooth noodles!
After some online research, I realized that the word Ramen that I used in this video clip is not the same with the word Lamian, the first referred to Japanese noodle and the later meant for Chinese hand pulled noodle. I had used wrong title in my video clip, it should be Lanzhou Lamian instead.
After I returned to Malaysia, I wanted to challenge myself to hand pull a bowl of noodle/lamian too!  After spending some time researching online for noodle recipes, finally during the Hari Raya Adiladha long weekend I made my 1st attempt.
For this endeavour, I must admit I didn’t hand pull the noodles entirely.  I opted for the cutting method, where I first rolled the dough out flat and then cut the dough into fine stripes with a dough cutter.  Then I slightly hand pulled the dough into finer longer noodles. This method was recommended for home maker especially for beginners. I didn’t have the magical hands like the young chef I met in Suzhou; however the outcome was still reasonably acceptable.
After some efforts in trying to pull and twist the dough, finally I managed to come up with a bowl of reasonably presentable and springy noodle. I got a “pass” from my hubby and auntie Ah Lan and a “good” from my sweet boy Ray, phew!
Ray showing off his newly learnt skill - eating noodle with chopsticks. 
Stir fried ramen with pork mince and veggie
For my next batch of handmade noodle, I would add in slightly more water and salt to the flour to improve the texture of the noodle to make it more elastic and not so easily breakable when pulled.
However, instead of pulling by hand I’m considering to invest in a small pasta/noodle machine! J


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