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Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

Hello and welcome to Sunday Supper. Today’s recipe is a two-parter because we will make the dough for the noodles a day ahead. I know you may be intimidated by making noodles from scratch, but these are rustic, hand-pulled noodles that are not only easy, but super fun to make! This dish is called Biang Biang Mian, from the Shaanxi province of China. Their name refers to the slapping sound the noodles make as you slap them on the counter top to stretch them. Are you ready? Let’s make Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette!

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

Day 1: Noodle Dough

The dough recipe is super simple and we will let the mixer do all the work. Whisk the bread flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Then add the water and the oil. Using the dough hook, mix the dough on low-speed until the flour is moistened, scraping the sides as necessary to get all the flour incorporated. Then switch to medium-speed and let the mixer kneed the dough for about 10-12 minutes. The dough should be smooth and satiny.

Transfer the dough to the counter top and knead for 30 seconds and roll into a nice smooth ball. Then roll the dough into a log shape, about 9 inches long and wrap with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 12 hours.

Day 2: The Vinaigrette

Let’s start with the vinaigrette because that can sit when we get to the noodles. This is a spicy noodle dish, but you can dial back the spice as much as you like. The heat is coming from the dried Thai Bird chiles, the recipe calls for 10-20 Bird chiles, seeds and all. I am using 12, and it’s quite spicy. So if you want to go milder, go for 8-10 chiles. Grind those up in a spice grinder to a fine powder. We have Sichuan Peppercorns, which aren’t spicy so much as they give a warming, numbing sensation on the palate. The other ingredient that really flavors this dish is Chinese Black Vinegar. You can substitute with balsamic, but it won’t be quite the same.

chili vinaigrette ingredients

Other than those three items, the rest of the ingredients are common pantry staples; we have a cinnamon stick, a star anise pod, garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil and sugar. Pour the ground Bird chiles into a large, heat-safe bowl and place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and set the bowl aside.

Add the oil and remaining spices, plus garlic and ginger to the oil and heat over medium-high until sizzling. Reduce heat to low let simmer about 10 minutes, until the garlic is toasted and fragrant. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. Remove from heat and pour the oil mixture through the fine mesh strainer. Discard the solids left in the strainer.

Stir the oil and chile powder until the powder is well incorporated and let cool for 5 minutes. Then add the sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar and black vinegar. Stir until well-combined and set aside.

chili vinaigrette

The Noodles

Unwrap the dough and on a lightly oiled surface, use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 6 equal pieces, about 1.5 inches wide. Cover the pieces with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, get a large, covered pot with 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons Kosher salt going on the stove. Once boiling reduce heat to low to keep the water hot.

Now, let’s prep the noodle banging station. I used a measuring tape to measure out 36 inches on my counter top. This will be the length we are going to stretch the noodles to. I then used masking tape to mark the measurements. Clear a large amount of space above your noodle banging area to set the noodles once they are stretched and lightly oil that area. Have your roll of plastic wrap close by because we will cover the stretched noodles with sheets of plastic wrap.

Noodle Dough portions

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles is a two handed job, so Alex kindly snapped the pics of me slapping and stretching the noodles.

On a lightly oiled surface, pat out a 7-inch long rectangle out of a piece of dough. If the dough is shrinking back significantly, cover it and let it rest for another 10 minutes. Grab each side and lift the dough, then slap the dough on the countertop and pull each side of the dough as you lift it back up to slap it down again. Repeat this slapping on the counter and pulling out as you lift the dough back up until you pull the dough to about 36 inches long.

Then, lay the noodle on the counter and in the center of the noodle, grab the top and bottom edges and pull the noodle apart, to split it down the center lengthwise all the way to the ends. Use the bench scraper to separate the ends. So we will have two noodles from this one long piece of dough, each noodle about 36-inches long and, about 1/16 to 1/8-inch thick.

As carefully as you can to avoid the noodles sticking to themselves and each other, lay them out long on the counter above your slapping station and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Continue with remaining 5 pieces of dough. You should have 12 long, flat noodles. Increase the heat on the pot of water to get it back up to boiling.

We will cook these noodles in two batches, six noodles at a time; but be sure to add one noodle at a time, so they don’t hit the pot in one big clump. Stir the 6 noodles in the pot to keep them sticking together. They will only take about 45-60 seconds to cook. Once they float to the top, they’re ready.

Carefully transfer the cooked noodles to the bowl with the chili oil with a pair of tongs.

Toss the noodles in the oil and set aside. Add the six remaining noddles to the pot, just as before, and cook until floating to the top, another 45-60 seconds. Add the last batch of noodles to the bowl with the rest and toss all the noodles to coat in the vinaigrette.

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette!

With tongs, grab about 3-4 noodles and place in a wide, shallow bowl.

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

Top with sliced scallions and roughly chopped cilantro.

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

Ok, guys. I know some of you read the beginning of this post, and thought “not a chance”. But! Let me tell you, these noodles are so fantastic and 100% worth the mess, the time, and the effort. They are chewy and bouncy, the vinaigrette is so flavorful – it’s spicy, yes, but you can taste everything we put into it: the black vinegar is kinda sweet and with the sugar, it cuts though the spice; you can taste the toasted garlic and ginger and that Sichuan peppercorn finished the bite with a floral tingle that keeps you wanting more.

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

Because these are flat hand-pulled noodles, they are meant to be rustic, and imperfect. This is a recipe to have fun with! Once the dough is made and you’re pulling the noodles, it’s totally ok if they break! About half of the ones I made split imperfectly. I had some weirdly shaped thick parts that I just stretched out a little bit more, to get them to a 1/8-inch thickness – no big deal! I really hope you give these a try! Let me know if you do in the comments and reach out to me on Instagram. But, if you’re in the mood for Chinese Food and you’re not quite ready to make flat hand-pulled noodles, try my Sichuan Kung Pao Chicken. Take care and be well everyone! xo Kelly

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

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Dinner, Main Course Chinese
By America's Test Kitchen Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 45 Minutes + overnight dough rest Cooking Time: 15 Minutes Total Time: 1 Hour, overnight

Chewy and bouncy noodles in a vinaigrette is so flavorful – it's spicy, yet you can taste everything: the black vinegar is kinda sweet and with the sugar, it cuts though the spice; you can taste the toasted garlic and ginger and that Sichuan peppercorn finished the bite with a floral tingle that keeps you wanting more.

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 2⅓ cups Bread Flour
  • ¾ tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • Chili Vinaigrette
  • 10 to 20 Bird Chiles, ground fine
  • ½ cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, sliced medium-thin
  • 1 (1-inch) Piece Fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced medium-thin
  • 1 tbsp. Sichuan Peppercorns
  • ½ Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 Star Anise Pod
  • 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Chinese Black Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sugar
  • Finish
  • 4 quarts Water
  • 2 tbsp. Kosher Salt
  • 12 Fresh Cilantro Sprigs, rough chopped
  • 6 Scallions, sliced thin on the bias

Instructions

The Dough

1

Whisk flour and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Add water and oil. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and mix on low speed until all flour is moistened, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and satiny, 10 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, mix dough in food processor, following instructions above.) Transfer dough to counter, knead for 30 seconds, and shape into 9-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 48 hours.

Chili Vinaigrette

2

Place chiles in large heatproof bowl. Place fine-mesh strainer over bowl and set aside. Combine vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, and star anise pod in small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until sizzling. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until garlic and ginger are slightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour through strainer into bowl with chiles; discard solids in strainer. Stir chile oil to combine and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar until combined; set aside.

3

Unwrap dough, transfer to lightly oiled counter, and, using bench scraper or knife, divide into 6 equal pieces (each 1 ½ inches wide). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.

4

Meanwhile, bring water and salt to boil in large pot; reduce heat to low and cover to keep hot.

5

Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, oil both sides of dough and flatten into 7 by 3-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to edge of counter.

6

With both hands, gently grasp short ends of dough. Stretch dough and slap against counter until noodle is 32 to 36 inches long (noodle will be between 1/16 and 1/8-inch-thick). (If dough is hard to stretch to this length or is snapping back significantly, set aside on counter and let rest for 10 minutes.) Place noodle on counter. Pinch center of noodle with forefingers and thumbs of both hands and pull apart with even pressure in both directions to rip seam in middle of noodle and create 1 continuous loop. Cut loop to create 2 equal-length noodles. Set noodles aside on lightly oiled counter (do not let noodles touch) and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat stretching and cutting with remaining pieces of dough.

7

Return water to boil over high heat. Add half of noodles to water and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles float and turn chewy-tender, 45 to 60 seconds. Using tongs, transfer noodles to bowl with chili vinaigrette; toss to combine.

8

Return water to boil and repeat with remaining noodles. Divide noodles among individual bowls, top with cilantro and scallions, and serve.

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  • Terry
    April 25, 2021 at 11:39 am

    I have never made my own noodles before. I will definitely give this a shot, the vinaigrette sounds amazing. Have a great Sunday. I will keep you posted ❤️Mom

    • Kelly Djalali
      April 25, 2021 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Mom! Yes, this was my first time making noodles too. It worked out so well, I am excited to try other homemade noodles. The vinaigrette would be great for a lot of different things, so a good recipe to have on hand. xo Kelly