350g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
3 g salt
vegetable oil for brushing
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and then pour in the water. Mix with a wooden spoon until a rough dough starts to come together and then use your hands to continue mixing and kneading. Turn out the dough onto a work surface and continue kneading for 4-5 minutes. The dough will start out looking a little dry but should come together into a tight ball after 5 minutes of kneading. You can also do this using an electric stand mixer with a dough hook. The dough is ready to rest when you can press on it and it springs back quickly.
Place the dough in a bowl. Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead for a further 5 minutes (you can also do this part in your stand mixture fitted with a dough hook). When the dough is smooth and ‘bouncy’, place it back in the bowl. Cover again and rest for another 15 minutes.
Roll the dough into a cylinder and then divide it into 8 pieces. Brush a large tray or plate with oil. Also brush your work surface with oil. Place one piece of dough onto the oiled surface and roll out into a long oval shape. Brush the dough with oil and place onto the oiled tray. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest for an hour.
Take one piece of dough and use the back of your knife to score the oval in half, without cutting all the way through. With each hand holding one side of the piece of dough, slap the centre of the dough onto the work surface. This will cause the dough to stretch. Keep slapping and stretching until the score mark starts to separate and form 2 large flat noodles. Rip the noodles apart and slap each piece against the work surface in the same manner until the noodle feels like it will break. Repeat with the remaining noodle pieces. The noodles won’t be completely stretched at this point so don’t worry if they’re not quite thin enough. You can cover the noodles tightly at this point and store them in the fridge for a couple of hours before you want to cook them.
To cook the noodles, heat a large pot of water over high heat. When boiling, take a piece of noodle and use your hands to stretch and pull the noodle as you drop it into the water. Repeat with the remaining noodles. Cook the noodles for 2-3 minutes or until they’re tender but still chewy. Drain and use them in a stir-fry or top them with your favourite toppings (try my Spicy Pork Hand Pulled Noodles here)
Hand pulled noodles are also called ‘La mian” and they are an important part of Chinese cuisine. They are soft, spongy and have a chewiness that you just can’t get from pre-packaged dry noodles. Hand pulled noodles make just about every noodle dish better, the texture and the chew is guaranteed to be like nothing you’ve ever had before in a noodle dish!
Hand pulled noodles might seem a bit tricky, and a bit daunting at first, but once you get the ratio’s right you’ll be set and good at making hand pulled noodles until your heart’s content! Hand pulled noodles are made out of wheat flour, having very few ingredients – plain flour, salt, water and vegetable oil for brushing. You can make hand pulled noodles from scratch with all the ingredients you already have in your pantry.
Hand pulled noodles definitely take practice, and learning to hand pull noodles is definitely an art form. Because of the practice needed to stretch and pull noodles y hand we have a super handy how to video that shows you EXACTLY how to make your very own hand pulled noodles!