biangbiang bowl

How To Make Hand-pulled Noodles (Biang Biang Noodles)

Biang Biang. The name of this hand-pulled noodle is actually an onomatopoeia, meaning that the name actually came from the sound it makes. In this case, the “biang biang” comes from the sound of when we slap the noodles on the counter while stretching them. Yes, today I am going to teach you a recipe for the Shaangxi-style hand-pulled noodles. These are fun to make at home, even better to make as a group with your friends because it’s so interactive and fun to watch everyone try their hand at making these delicious and unique noodles.

biang biang noodles
The texture of these wide, flat noodles are perfect for picking up the toppings and sauce.

Because the noodles are the highlight of this dish, we are going to make some humble additions that are equally worthy to accompany them. Today our noodles will include some tasty cumin ground lamb and a few assorted vegetables like carrots, cabbage, cilantro, and scallions. We’ll finish the noodles with a quick dressing of sizzling chili oil with garlic, ginger, and chili flakes. You will get emotional when you smell this. Trust me.

Let’s start with the noodles themselves. You will need:

  • 915g all-purpose flour
  • 7g kosher salt
  • 520g cold water

Sift the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer and add the salt. Start the mixer on the lowest speed with the dough hook and slowly add the water. Once the water is added, knead the dough for 15 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic. When the kneading is done, rub on a layer of oil so it doesn’t dry out. Cover and set aside for at least an hour. Resting time is key to this recipe since you are relaxing the gluten that you made during the kneading process.

When the dough has sufficiently rested, turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface and roll into a ¼ inch sheet. Once you have your sheet, cut it into 3 x 6 inch rectangular strips. It’s easiest to do this with a bench scraper. Carefully place them into a container in a single layer, separating each layer with a sheet of parchment paper. Be sure to oil each layer as well. You want them thoroughly coated with oil so they absolutely cannot dry on the surface. Cover the container and let the dough rest again for another hour or two. This will again rest the gluten so that the strips will be easier to stretch when the time comes.

While the dough is resting, prep your veg and protein. In this case, we just have to julienne the carrots, shred the cabbage, chop the cilantro, and thinly slice the scallions. Peel and finely mince the ginger.

In a pan on medium-high heat, add the ground lamb and, well… you know how to cook ground meat. Once you do the initial browning and start to break it up, add a bit of salt, pepper, ½ a teaspoon of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of cumin. When the lamb is done, set it aside.

To make the noodles, simply get a large pot of boiling water ready. Now take a strip of dough and hold it so that the ends are held between the heels of your thumbs and your first three fingertips of each hand. Stretch the dough and vigorously slap it on the surface of the counter as you stretch it. Sometimes it might break and that’s ok. This is some cool ass cooking and when you get good at this, you’ll be a rock star. Once you have the strip fully stretched, take it by the middle of the strip and gently tear it in half lengthwise. This will give the noodles a frilly edge, perfect for picking up the sauces and toppings that will accompany them.

holding the noodle
This is how you want to hold the ends of the noodles.
beginning to tear the noodles
Once you begin to tear the dough, it will help you with the rest.

Now that you pulled and ripped your first noodle, drop it into the boiling water and make another one. Normally at the restaurant, we make 2 or 3 of these per serving. Since they are super fresh, they don’t take long at all to cook. In fact, once we drop the noodles, we start adding the vegetables and protein to a mixing bowl. In the time it takes to fill the bowl, the noodles are done which should be about 30 to 35 seconds.

So in our mixing bowl, simply combine and toss together some carrots, cabbage, cilantro, and a bit of the ground lamb. Add the noodles and toss to bring everything together. Place the noodle mixture into your serving bowl.

Now in a ramekin, we’re gonna put in some chili flakes with gochugaru, minced ginger and garlic, scallions, and ground Szechuan peppercorns. Turn over the ramekin onto the top of the noodles so you have a nice neat pile on top. On the stove, heat up a ¼ cup of canola oil till it starts to smoke. When it’s hot, CAREFULLY take it and pour it on top of the nice spicy pile you just made from the ramekin. Now savor the aroma of what you just did and bask in your glory.

Mix everything together and season to taste with an assortment of Chinese condiments. Today we’re using soy sauce, black vinegar, and white pepper. Garnish with more cilantro and scallion and get ready to crush this noodle bowl.

biangbiang bowl
Get ready to eat this chili-laden, delicious mess of chewy noodles and toppings.