Okay: confession time. Can I make hand-pulled noodles? Yes.
Am I any good at it? Uh... not particularly, especially when I compare myself to the myriad amazing YouTube videos of people just casually pulling perfect noodles again and again and again.
I think I tried every possible “fool proof! Hand pulled noodle!” recipe on the internet, and the one that finally worked (such as it is) for me was this one from the Omnivore’s cookbook.
It is also the one that is the laziest in terms of making the dough. No extensive kneading, etc. It was still very difficult to make myself stick to the requisite times and to follow those directions. So... that may say more about me than about the recipe. 😂
I don’t normally make large recipes of things, so this is the stripped down exceptionally lazy version of the Omnivore’s cookbook recipe for people who are bad at waiting, following directions, and pulling noodles.
Pros of my method: You get beautiful, textured, thick, chewy noodles, some of which are short stubs of noodles and others of which are super long.
Cons: We’re going to pretend that the unevenness and imperfections are all pros, and that I meant to do it like that.
100 g flour
pinch of salt
55 mL hot water
obviously a gigantic pot of boiling water, but not until the very end.
maybe vegetable oil if you remember, but if you’re me, you’ll forget and then remember, as you’re dropping the noodles in the water at the end
What to do:
Put a pinch of salt in your hot water, let it dissolve. Gradually stir into your flour. Eventually this will make a nice ball of dough. If it doesn’t, add bits of more flour.
Knead the dough until you are sick of kneading the dough (for me, ~ 1 minute, but it feels like 5).
Let the dough rest for maybe 20 minutes, maybe 2 hours because you forget that it exists, or maybe zero minutes because you’re wildly impatient and can’t be bothered with even that step. (Cover it up before you let it rest.)
Right. Now let’s pretend that you actually let the dough rest (lol, if you are the kind of person to do that, you should be off reading the recipe on the Omnivore’s cookbook instead of this version).
Now you’re going to roll your dough into a flat circle about the size of your head and then cut it into very wide strips.
How wide? I basically cut the dough into four pieces. Why? Is it because I like wide noodles? Yes. Yes it is.
Also, it’s less work. Have I mentioned this is a factor for me?
Note: You’re supposed to oil the dough before you cut it, and then let it rest for like another two hours, BUT if you’re like me you only remembered that you needed to make this half an hour before dinner time and you don’t have that kind of time. So rest assured, this recipe will still “work,” if you think that “working” means “it will give you an edible result that actually doesn’t look terrible if you don’t look at it too closely.”
Great, now you have your dough stubs. You need to make them into noodles. Put a pot of water on to boil. Maybe add a pinch of salt to the pot if you remember, but it’s cool if you forget.
I watched like ninety YouTube videos on noodle pulling and this is the only thing that worked for me.
1) Hold one end of the dough stub in each hand.
2) Shake your hands up and down (not like a jump rope, that goes in a circle). The dough will start to stretch and get longer.
3) Parts will break off because—if you’re following my janky version—you didn’t let the gluten develop long enough and so it doesn’t hold up to abuse, but whatever, we don’t care, short noodles are still edible.
4) When parts break off and/or when your noodle is sufficiently thin, toss the whole thing in the pot of water.
5) It needs to cook about 1 minute, depending on how thick your version ended up being.
6) Fish out the cooked version with a spider.
TA DA! Hand pulled noodles!
Are they good? Yes, they’re delicious!
Are you a pro? No, you’re not, but YOU DID IT, YOU HAND PULLED NOODLES.
If you got a noodle-like object on your first try you are way ahead of me, so GO YOU.