How to make Chinese noodles from scratch

by A.J. Andrews

You find two prolific types of noodles in Chinese cuisine: Gan mien, or wheat noodles, and dan mien, or egg noodles. High-gluten wheat flour gives Chinese noodles their bite, but you can substitute all-purpose flour and still make awesome noodles. Cook these noodles for three minutes. If you're using the noodles for stir fry, cook them for one to two minutes and drain them well before adding them to the wok.

Wheat Noodles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups high-gluten wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

Step 1

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir to incorporate.

Step 2

Add the water incrementally while stirring the flour. Stir the mixture until a rough dough forms. If needed, add up to 2 tablespoons of cold water to help the dough come together.

Step 3

Transfer the noodle dough to a floured work surface. Knead the dough until a tight dough forms and then knead an additional 10 minutes. Total kneading time is usually between 20 and 22 minutes, depending on your proficiency. The dough will be tight, firm and springy when ready.

Step 4

Cover the noodle dough with a moist tea towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. After the dough rests, slice it in half. Set one half of the dough aside.

Step 5

Roll out the dough into a round or a rectangle that measures about 1/8 inch thick, or about the thickness of a nickel.

Step 6

Flour the top of the dough. Fold the dough in half. Using a pastry cutter, slice the dough into 1/4-inch-wide strips.

Step 7

Lightly flour the top of the strip and your fingers. Separate the dough strips into individual pieces. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the other half of the dough.

Step 8

Cook the pasta right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Egg Noodles

Substitute eggs for water in this recipe to make Chinese egg noodles (dan mien). Make a well in the center of the flour and add 2 whole eggs. Stir the eggs into the flour using a fork. As the dough forms, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of cold water to help it come together.

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.