Yield: 3 portions
Like the name suggested, pulled noodles means pulling the dough into thin strands of noodles. To ensure the dough can be pulled easily, the salted dough must contain high amount of water, develop high amount of gluten, and kneaded thoroughly then followed by adequate rise.
This hand-made pulled noodle tastes distinctively different from machine-made (pasta machine) ones because the dough has high amounts gluten and water. Of course each type of noodle is still delicious in its own right. If you are interested in other noodle recipes, my blog has several noodles made with the hand operated pasta machine.
Cooked hand-made pulled noodles look like the following: slightly translucent, shiny, and slightly curly.
It is not easy for the home cooks to pull the whole dough into noodles (as seen on TV). This recipe is the simplified version which produces equally great pulled noodles. You can make enough dough for one week (80 g of flour = calories of 1 cup of rice) all at once, stack each portion up then refrigerate in a sealed container or freezer bag. Take out needed portion(s) before the meal, cook the freshly made pulled noodle as you make them, and enjoy them in about 5 – 10 minutes! It is not much harder than making ramen noodles.
Bread flour – 300 g
Water – 200 g
Salt – 3 g
1) Combine all the ingredients into a dough. The dough should be a little bit wet and sticky. Cover and let it rise for 15 minutes.
2) Pull (or scrape) the dough clinging to the bowl up then fold toward the center.
3) Wet the fist and press the dough down several times (wetting prevents sticking).
4) Pull the dough up from the edge of the bowl then press (or pull the dough then fold for several times). Repeat pulling and pressing for 5 minutes. Cover and let it rise again for 15 minutes.
5) Repeat the pull and press motion for another 5 minutes followed by 15 minutes of rising. This should be done 3 times. The dough should be evenly combined at the end of this process. The dough surface may not appear to be smooth because it is slightly sticky. If you knead the dough with a small amount of flour, you will discover it is actually quite smooth (this step is NOT necessary).
6) If you have a stand mixer, you may use the mixer to knead the dough. It will take about 5 – 10 minutes.
7) After the last rise, divide the dough evenly into 3 portions (or depending on one’s appetite). Roll each portion into rounds.
8) Flour the countertop; roll the dough out into a 15 cm (6 in) square.
9) Flour the rolled out dough then refrigerate in a sealed container lined with a plastic bag or parchment paper overnight.
10)To cook the noodles, fill a pot with water and heat to boiling. Also prepare the sauce (see note 1) and garnish for the noodles.
11)Take one portion of the dough out of the fridge and make sure it is floured on the top and the bottom.
12)Cut the dough into less than 1 cm (0.4 in) strips with a pastry scraper, pizza roller, or a knife. Try to cut the strips evenly.
13)Add more flour as you are cutting the dough so the strips won’t stick to each other. Add more flour to the loose ends on both sides then gather them together.
14)Hold the gathered ends with your hands then pull. The strips should be easily pulled to 4 – 5 times of the original length. Pull the noodles to a thinner diameter than you prefer to eat to account for shrinkage after you release the noodles. Also, cooked noodles will be thicker than the uncooked ones. If you prefer really thin noodles, loosen the ends first and let the noodles rest for a few minutes. Fold the noodles then pull to 10 times of its original length. See note 2.
15)Cook the noodles immediately. Use chopsticks to separate gathered ends.
16)Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. The cooking time depends on how thick the noodles are. Always try one to make sure it is done.
17)Drain the noodles then add the sauce and garnish.
Different sauces will be introduced in a different recipe.
It may be more convenient to pull the noodles first then refrigerate. But the noodles will start sticking to each other if they are left in the fridge for too long because the dough has high water content. Air drying the pulled noodle defeats the purpose of making them fresh. Some noodle houses add various additives in the noodle so they won’t stick to each other when left out in long periods of time or the noodles are already really dry.