Three Chinese Pasta Shapes Tips.we wanted to show you how to whip up some northwestern-style noodles.
Now, the Chinese northwest’s got a pretty insane depth and breadth of various noodles and it’d be impossible to cover them all.
So we’ll focus on three types of noodles that’s some of the more commonly seen in home kitchens: the simple, classic mianpian or “noodle sheets”, some ‘cat ear’ noodles – which’re probably the sort that we love the most, and finally the ever-popular daoshaomian or ‘knife cut noodles’.
Then to use those up? We’ll show you how to make an awesome noodle soup called huimian, which’s probably my personal favorite order when I’m at a Northwest-style noodle shop.
So first, let’s talk dough. Nothing crazy here – all you’ll need is flour, salt, and water. Both the noodle sheets and cat ear noodles use the same exact dough, which be 200 grams of either all purpose or noodle flour, a half teaspoon of salt, and 92 grams of water.
Three Chinese Pasta Shapes Tips
Just drizzle the water in bit by bit, stirring and aiming for the dry bits.
Then once it’s all incorporated and everything’s looking all shaggy knead that by hand for ten minutes, or alternatively use a stand
mixer on speed two for the same amount of time.
Then once it comes together and forms a smooth dough, cover, and let that rest for half an hour.
Knife cut noodles, meanwhile, use an extremely similar dough but at lower hydration.
We went with 40% hydration, or 80 grams of water for these 200 grams of flour but full disclosure that many traditional knives cut noodle doughs seem to go much dryer. Just combine in the same way, knead in the same way and set aside for 30 minutes in the same way.
So. Mianpian noodle sheets up first.
To make it, just press this all down and start to roll the thing out into a big sheet.
Just go until it’s about 2 millimeters thick then slice your sheet into two-inch wide ribbons.
Then line up a few ribbons and cut those at an angle to get diamonds.
And that’s it.
These are ready to drop in some boiling water.
Next, cat ears. For these, first roll the dough out thin, just like the sheets but you don’t need to be as paranoid about thickness:
3-4 millimeters will be good enough for government work.
So then just slice those into inch and a half ribbons, flour those up, and cut into inch and a half squares.
Now you can absolutely shape these with nothing but your hands but in order to get things all pretty, cat ear noodles often use some sort of set-up like this – the noodle square’s placed on the wood, and the shape gives it these really cool grooves.
Definitely not mandatory though.
If you’re using your hands, to make a cat ear just grab a noodle square, and push down and out with your thumb.
This motion gives the noodle its signature curl.
If you do happen to have a cat ear noodle maker though, the process’s even easier – just put a square on the wood, and twist down and away to get those cool little grooves.
If you don’t have that – and, why would you I guess, you can mimic it with a sushi mat.
Just curl the noodles by hand same as before the grooves’ll be a touch wider, but still turn out great.
So just work through your noodles,and these cat ears are good to cook.
Lastly the knife cut noodles.
And unfortunately, these do take some special equipment.
Now,what they use at noodle shops is one of these special knives called a piandao.
It’s a thin sharp knife bent in the middle so that the dough can travel down the groove and make a noodle.
They’re not the easiest to work with, so many home cooks use an alternative gadget called a dantoudao.
It basically looks like a fancy vegetable peeler and tends to do a better job with small batches of dough.
Point is – don’t try to make this without a tool that can get the job done.
But if you’re feeling handy?
Whatever. Whack an old knife, MacGuiver a solution, go for it.
Now, knife-cut noodles get cut straight into the pot so let’s start by showing you how to use a piandao. Before we get into it,
word of warning that we’re not master noodle masters and we usually use our dantoudao, so please go easy on us.
The basic idea though to start near the bottom and with the knife parallel to the dough slice using a quick up and down motion.
The key is to move quickly and with confidence.
That said, as you can see using the dantoudao is way easier, so definitely go that route if you can source one.
Then once you get to the end, just tear everything into little pieces, and cook it all for about three minutes or until a touch
past al dente.
So right. Huimian. Super simple quick soup, first put a quarter of a cup of oil in a pot– and definitely don’t skimp on the oil.
Then over a high flame go in with 3 cloves of minced garlic and 2 inches of minced ginger, and fry those for about thirty seconds until fragrant.
Then go in with two peeled and diced tomatoes, give those a quick mix and toss in one tablespoon of tomato paste which is a real ingredient in northwest cooking, we swear.
Continue frying that over a high flame until the minced tomatoes have mostly broken down and everything’s looking saucy then swirl a tablespoon of liaojiu a.k.a.
Shaoxing wine over your spatula and around the sides of the wok.
Quick mix, then do the same move with one tablespoon of light soy sauce.
We’ll be tossing in five grams worth of dried and reconstituted wood ear mushroom, giving that a quick mix, then going in with 100 grams of firm tofu cut into one inch cubes.
Mix and cook for about thirty seconds, then toss in four cups of water.
A season that with a teaspoon of five-spice powder and a teaspoon of salt and bring it all up to a boil then cover, swap the flame to medium and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
After that time, bring it back to a boil,and go in with your noodle of choice.
Give that a mix, cover, and cook for about 90 seconds.
Then we’ll go in with 70 grams of sliced baby bok choy, two scrambled eggs, and one sliced mild chili.
Quick mix, taste, and add a bit more salt if you think it needs it.
Then finally top that all with 3 tablespoons of chili oil.
To be completely honest, today we were feeling a bit lazy and just used the oil from some Laoganma chili crisp, but making
a proper homemade chili oil would definitely be the most correct move.
Quick mix, out and your Huimian is done.
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