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Chinese Egg Noodles

12
3 minutes
30 minutes
Recipe developed for BC Egg by @Diversivore.com

Noodles are symbolic in many Asian cultures, with long unbroken noodles representing a long life – so much so that some folks will avoid cutting or biting their noodles because it might portend an early demise. Fresh noodles may take a bit of time to prepare, but they’ll make your next bowl of ramen truly slurp-worthy!

When it comes time to roll out your dough, you’ve got options with this recipe: you can roll the noodles by hand, or take a more modern short-cut and use a pasta maker.

Ingredients

3 cups (450 g) high-gluten flour (e.g. bread flour), plus extra for rolling/dusting. See Notes
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs whisked
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
1 tsp (5 ml) lye water (kansui) See Notes for substitution or omission

Instructions

Dough

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the whisked eggs a little at a time, then add the water and lye water. Stir until the mixture is relatively well combined. Note that it should look quite dry.
  2. Use your hands to combine the ingredients in the bowl. Knead the dough until it forms a tight and smooth ball. Do NOT be tempted to over-moisten the dough by adding more water. While it is a drier mix, it should eventually come together.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Flatten the dough out by pounding on it with a rolling pin for about 5 minutes (or even a small heavy pot, if need be). You’re not trying to thin the dough so much as you’re encouraging the formation of gluten. Once you’re finished, form the dough back into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for another 30 minutes.
  5. Before proceeding with either noodle-making method, cut the ball of dough in half (or even quarters). Set one half aside and re-cover with the plastic wrap, to be used after making the first batch of noodles.

Rolling Pin Method

  1. Use a rolling pin to progressively flatten the dough into a rather thin sheet (~3 mm thick). To encourage stretchier, chewier noodles, work with the natural direction of the dough – i.e. don’t be afraid to let the dough roll out as an elongate rectangle, rather than trying to work it into a square.
  2. Dust the surface to the dough with flour, then fold it over on itself carefully to form a sort of roll with multiple layers (see photo above).
  3. Use a very sharp knife to cut the roll into strips of noodles. Hold the knife perpendicular to the cutting board and push down cleanly though the dough, rather than drawing the knife through in a slicing motion. Toss the noodles with a little extra flour and set them aside in loose bundles.
  4. Repeat with remaining dough portions.

Pasta Maker Method

  1. Cut the dough in half, or even in quarters. Cover the unused portions with plastic wrap and set aside.
  2. Feed the dough through the largest opening on a manual or electric pasta maker. Repeat on progressively smaller settings until the dough is about 3 mm thick (I found the #3 or middle setting worked best).
  3. Use the noodle cutting side/attachment to cut the dough into the desired size. Toss the noodles with a little extra flour or cornstarch and set them aside in loose bundles.
  4. Repeat with remaining dough portions.

Notes

Lye Water – Also called kansui, or jian shui, this is a solution of (usually) potassium carbonate in water. It’s quite alkaline (basic pH), a property that contributes to both the colour and texture of the finished noodles. It’s fairly easy to find at well-stocked Chinese and Asian grocery stores. You can omit it and just use eggs, though the texture may be slightly softer. A DIY substitute can also be made easily by heating a tablespoon or two of baking soda in a low (200°F/95°C) oven for an hour. This yields sodium carbonate, which you can use instead of lye water. Substitute about 1/8 tsp of sodium carbonate for the lye water in this recipe.

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