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Old 20.11.2010, 19:03
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Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

Hi!
Anyone ever tried doing this kind of spaghetti/noodles?
I have found only a site explaining how to do it, but since I don't have the same flours, I'm not able to obtain the same thing. (also I think I miss some steps )

I'd like to try with flours readily available at migros or coop..nothing fancy and expensive.

Here is the site I mentioned:
http://www.lukerymarz.com/noodles/index.html

Thanks,
Maurizio
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Old 20.11.2010, 19:16
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

Thanks for the interesting and informative link. The idea of kneading the dough for 20 minutes drives me nuts though.
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Old 20.11.2010, 19:25
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

There was a tiny cafe near where I stayed in Shanghai which sold these. After going a few times he let me have a go, laughed very loud, then took them off me seeing as I was about to make a total mess.

It's much harder than it looks.

If any of you watch The Amazing Race, there was one test where, in China, they had to spin/pull the noodles to make these and it reduced one of the contestants to tears. Haha. I love that program.

Anyway, I've never tried to make it at home. I guess it's just technique - a bit like the difference between making a pizza base by rolling it out on a work surface (my method) to throwing it in the air, spinning it around, and making it the cool way (the show-off expert way).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TTO0GVEs-s
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Old 20.11.2010, 19:43
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

There is definitely a chance you will get such flour in the Asian supermarkets around Zurich. There is one behind Oerlikon bahnhof and if you search I think Nanda did a whole thread on where others are.

Gal x
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Old 21.11.2010, 22:22
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

It should be easier than doing a pizza, since you don't really need fast reflexes. Once you have the correct dough, you can play around with it.

I will buy a special flour only if I have the spoken/written word that it works and with the receipt for it! :-)

I did my first attempt with lukerymarz's receipt by using Migros' flour + a bit of an italian flour ("grano duro"). No luck. It was too hard to pull.Next week I'll try with Migros' + something else.
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Old 21.11.2010, 23:00
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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It should be easier than doing a pizza, since you don't really need fast reflexes. Once you have the correct dough, you can play around with it.

I will buy a special flour only if I have the spoken/written word that it works and with the receipt for it! :-)

I did my first attempt with lukerymarz's receipt by using Migros' flour + a bit of an italian flour ("grano duro"). No luck. It was too hard to pull.Next week I'll try with Migros' + something else.
Oh, no. Those are the wrong flours to use. They have too much gluten and Italian "grano duro" will just make a stiffer dough. If you can't find 'cake flour' you can make a lower gluten flour by adding maizen to your regular flour. Recipes can be found on the internet.

ETA: you could also try to used Italian 00 flour.

Last edited by miniMia; 21.11.2010 at 23:27.
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Old 21.11.2010, 23:28
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

Oh my, you have made my mouth water. I remember eating homemade, hand pulled noodles in the most delicious lamb broth, in Shenzen, while i was living in Hong Kong...for like 1 franc. Perhaps you can find an asian grocery that has them?
http://www.cnngo.com/hong-kong/shenz...e-maker-490617
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Old 21.11.2010, 23:36
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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Perhaps you can find an asian grocery that has them?
No, you cannot. I would know, we tried to find them everywhere in Europe... the only place in the area that USED to have them is just over the border.
http://www.fuya-waldshut.de/
We drove all the way there after seeing the picture on their website... only to find out that they stopped it. There is more demand for their Sushi...
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Old 22.11.2010, 11:06
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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Oh, no. Those are the wrong flours to use. They have too much gluten and Italian "grano duro" will just make a stiffer dough. If you can't find 'cake flour' you can make a lower gluten flour by adding maizen to your regular flour. Recipes can be found on the internet.

ETA: you could also try to used Italian 00 flour.

If you think 'cake flour' would help, the OP can get it from Denner (Kuchenmehl). It's cheap and great for cakes. Don't know about these pulled noodles though.
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Old 22.11.2010, 16:29
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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Oh, no. Those are the wrong flours to use. They have too much gluten and Italian "grano duro" will just make a stiffer dough. If you can't find 'cake flour' you can make a lower gluten flour by adding maizen to your regular flour. Recipes can be found on the internet.

ETA: you could also try to used Italian 00 flour.
Migros' flour should be the lower gluten one, "grano duro" the high gluten one. If you check the receipt on the link I provided, they say that we have to use ~150g of low gluten (Migros' flour) and 25g of high gluten ("grano duro").

hand pulled noodles need a mix of both. Maybe Migro's flour is still too high on gluten.
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Old 22.11.2010, 18:00
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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Migros' flour should be the lower gluten one, "grano duro" the high gluten one. If you check the receipt on the link I provided, they say that we have to use ~150g of low gluten (Migros' flour) and 25g of high gluten ("grano duro").

hand pulled noodles need a mix of both. Maybe Migro's flour is still too high on gluten.
Sorry, maybe I misunderstood. The recipes says
150g CAKE flour. Cake flour is not regular Migros flour, which has even less gluten than regular flour.
25g regular flour = this is, well, regular Migros flour, not "grano duro", grano duro has more gluten than regular flour.
Using your recipe you have much too much gluten.

If you don't find cake flour at the supermarket (Argus says the Denner has it) you can make it by adding maizen into regular flour. You'll have to look up the % as my internet is deathly slow today.
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Old 23.11.2010, 15:48
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

I suppose I read so many sites about differences in european vs. american flours, that I thought our "normal" flour was already with less gluten.

Oops. I'll try with the cake flour then.

Anyone else tried that yet?
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Old 23.11.2010, 23:19
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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I suppose I read so many sites about differences in european vs. american flours, that I thought our "normal" flour was already with less gluten.

Oops. I'll try with the cake flour then.

Anyone else tried that yet?
It's possible that it has less gluten than US flour but not "less enough." IYKWIM. lol. I read that 00 Italian flour is similar but still has more gluten than cake flour. I haven't tried yet as finding cake flour in Argentina is an exercise in futility which is actually why I happen to know about the maizen mixing thing.
Humm...... maybe.... Keep us updated on your progress.
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Old 27.11.2010, 18:06
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

I tried again with the Kuchenmehl from Denner (Kuchen not Küchen) and again it was too hard to pull. Way better than my last attempt, but the dough was not so easy to pull. I tried to add water as well but without luck.

Ideas?

Maurizio
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Old 27.11.2010, 18:50
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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I tried again with the Kuchenmehl from Denner (Kuchen not Küchen) and again it was too hard to pull. Way better than my last attempt, but the dough was not so easy to pull. I tried to add water as well but without luck.

Ideas?

Maurizio
More kneading? He says on the video that the kneading breaks down the gluten.
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Old 28.11.2010, 11:34
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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More kneading?
I did it for 1 hour more or less. Sometimes I had to wet it again because it was becoming too hard. At the end I wetted it a lot only to see it becoming supersticky
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Old 28.11.2010, 11:43
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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More kneading? He says on the video that the kneading breaks down the gluten.
Actually, kneading causes gluten to firm up and stick to itself more, which makes both the dough and final produce tougher and firmer. For example, when cooking scones or pie crusts it is important to minimize the amount of "kneading" that you do. I am sure that there is some balance point - enough gluten and kneading for it to stick together when stretched, but not so much that the dough and then the noodles are overly tough.
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Old 28.11.2010, 12:23
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

These tips are from someone who did it successfully (see the post by one Imron at #3):

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index....-dough-recipe/

Apparently, 'kansui' (some sort of alkaline liquid) is needed for the texture. And over-kneading is as much a problem as under-kneading. A post farther down indicates that egg can substitute 'kansui'. Lastly, they use some oil at some point.
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Old 29.11.2010, 12:38
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

I think that kneading in the right way, make the gluten link only horizontally. That's what I thought, especially because the guy I linked on the OP is saying that he can go on for hours testing his dough.
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Old 29.11.2010, 13:08
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Re: Hand pulled chinese noodles (la mian)

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These tips are from someone who did it successfully (see the post by one Imron at #3):

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index....-dough-recipe/

Apparently, 'kansui' (some sort of alkaline liquid) is needed for the texture. And over-kneading is as much a problem as under-kneading. A post farther down indicates that egg can substitute 'kansui'. Lastly, they use some oil at some point.
Correct. Kansui is particularly alcaline water. In some countries (definitely not in Switzerland, I assume), you can buy kansui powder to add to your normal, non-alcaline, tap water, about 1 gr per deciliter (i.e. 1%). As far as I know, it consists of 55% sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), 35% potassium carbonate (K2CO3), and 10% sodium biphosphate dodecahydrate (NaHPO3.12H2O). This is so simple, I guess you could have it mixed at any drugstore or pharmacy without it costing more than, say, an arm.

By the way, I recently got an e-mail from some murky guy in Hongkong who wanted to send me a few million dollars for helping him get some more million bucks out of Hongkong -- the usual Nigeria style scam we all know and love. I wrote back, telling him that I had earned so many millions recently by smuggling money out of Nigeria, Burkino Faso, Romania etc. that I had to stop doing that kind of business in order not to get taxed to death. However, I told him that I would gladly send him a million or two if he in turn could send me a few hints on how to make hand-pulled noodles, since it indeed is very difficult to find useful info on the Internet. Haven't heard back from him yet....
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