Chinese handmade noodles recipe
These freshly made hand-pulled noodles are springy and meaty, with a great mouthfeel that you’ll never get from dried noodles. Learn all the secrets of hand-pulled noodles so you can easily make them at home without fail!
Noodles are one of the most important components of Chinese food culture. Handmade noodles might be a rarity, and even a pricey proposition outside of China. However, in the domestic market, they are an everyday cheap comfort food. No matter whether ordering a hot bowl of noodles in a restaurant or purchasing freshly made noodles to cook at home, it is one of the cheapest ways to have a fast, fulfilling, and hearty one-dish meal. Even in expensive cities like Beijing, you can still spend 3 to 4 dollars to get a very decent big bowl of noodles in a restaurant. The price drops to 2 dollars per meal when you go to smaller cities.
Despite the low cost of noodles at restaurants, a lot of people still enjoy making them from scratch at home. The reason? Because:
- It’s just so easy to make hand pulled noodles once you’ve learned the trick
- The homemade kind doesn’t contain any additives. A restaurant’s fresh noodles usually have additives for a better mouthfeel. Additives also allow the noodles to be easily produced in big batches and to have a longer shelf life
- The finished dish is tailored to your taste. You can season it with whatever ingredients you prefer and add as many toppings as you like.
There are countless types of noodles in China and I will introduce you to the hand-pulled (拉面, la mian) variety first. It might sound daunting to make this type of noodle at home, especially if you’ve ever watched a noodle dance in China. But the truth is, hand-pulled noodles are one of the easiest handmade noodles for a beginner to make.
Why hand-pulled noodles are the easiest homemade noodles and the one you should learn first
This leads me back to one of my fun cooking experiences several years ago. Back in 2011, I was still quite bad at cooking and didn’t cook as much as I do now. One day, my boyfriend and I decided to try to make hand shaved noodles (刀削面, dao xiao mian).