One of my first food memories is watching the magic of a lump of dough being transformed into a mass of thin strands of noodles right in front of my eyes (and other dining guests) at a restaurant in Hong Kong. Perhaps one day, I'll manage that, but these Biang Biang hand-pulled wide noodles are an absolute favorite for now. They're thick, chewy and very satisfying, like ones that are served at NYC's Xi'an Famous Foods (the best!). Amazing that there are so few ingredients and how easy it is.
(serves 2-4 people)
2 1/2 cups (300 g) flour
1 cup (240 ml) just-boiled water
1/2 teaspoon salt
sunflower seed oil
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Gradually pour in the just-boiled water as you stir the flour mixture to make a slurry. You want this to be gradual so the flour and water become well combined. When it starts coming together, tip the contents out on to a clean surface and knead for 5 minutes until any loose flour is incorporated and the dough becomes pliable. Wrap in parchment paper and place it in an airtight container. Let rest for 30 minutes.
Knead the dough again, until it becomes soft and elastic, like play-doh. Divide in half and coat well with oil, and let rest again for 2-3 hours to further activate the gluten.
Bring a full pot of water to a boil while you pull your noodles. Roll it into a 1/2" (13mm) thick oblong slab and cut into strips. The thicker the strips, the wider your noodles will be. Firmly hold on to two ends of a strip, and pull gently apart whilst banging the dough on the countertop, like a jump rope. Fold in half and biang biang it again. Continue with the remaining dough, lightly dusting the finished strands with flour to prevent them from clumping together.
These noodles need to be cooked right after preparing or else they will clump together. Boil them for 60-90 seconds and rinse with cold water. You can then store these in the refrigerator or freezer for future use, or add them to a Red Curry Noodle Soup.
A good sauce for this is also inspired by Xi'an Famous Foods:
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon black vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons scallions, chopped
1-2 teaspoons chili oil
Combine in a small bowl and toss with the noodles