Friday, September 27, 2013

Hand pulled noodles

Pork sautéed with fermented black beans and spicy fermented cabbage on a bed of hand pulled noodles.

If my instagram feed and meals of late are anything to go by you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’ve gone a little bit noodle mad, and well I guess I have. But it’s probably more that I made a large batch of hand pulled noodle dough and it freezes and thaws well. So you’ll have to forgive what is almost a repost of a recipe, but this one has more pretty pictures!

Noodles (enough for 4 portions)
400 g Flour, high gluten such as bread flour
240 ml Water
6 g salt (dissolved in the water)

Tip the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the water and mix to form a ball of dough. Don’t worry about mixing it too much, it doesn’t need to be a smooth ball of dough. Cover with cling film and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Place the dough on a clean work surface and start to roll out into a log about 60cm in length, take one end and fold it in half to the other end, repeat the rolling and folding for about 15 minutes, giving it a chance to rest for a couple of minutes every five or so. The dough should be very smooth by now, if not keep kneading. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with cling film, let it rest at room temperature for a hour.

Take the dough and shape it into a rectangle about 10 cm wide and 3–4 cm thick, cut off a 1 cm slice, so you should have a rough rectangle of dough 10 cm long, 3 cm wide and 1 cm thick, coat the slice in a neutral oil, such as Canola or rice bran, lay the piece on a tray. Repeat until done. Cover the tray with cling film and place in the fridge for a hour.

Tip: Now is the stage to freeze off portions if you wish to do so, lay the portioned noodles between sheets of baking paper and in an airtight container/bag/cling-film. Just take out of the freezer 20 minutes before you’re ready to pull and cook the noodles.

Take the dough out of the fridge ten minutes or so before you want to cook, and have a large pot of salted water on the boil, you want to stretch the noodles and get them straight into the pot, this is best done one serving at a time, so don’t try and do the whole lot at once, five pieces is a pretty generous serving size.

Take a piece of dough and start to stretch it out holding one end in each hand and oscillating it up and down as you go, slapping it against the bench. Sounds a bit weird, but easy once you’ve got the hang of it. Lay the pulled noodle out on the bench and move on to the next. Once the serving of noodles have been pulled, gently roll a rolling pin over the noodles, don't really use any pressure just let the weight of the pin help even out the noodles.

You can either cook the noodles as they are in salted boiling water, which I think is my preferred way or you can take one end of a noodle and tear it down the middle right to the other end, but don’t tear it in two leave it as one long noodle, cook in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes, once they float to the surface they’re done.

A must have condiment for any noodle dish, chilli oil. Pretty damn easy to make too, Chilli, oil, salt and xanthan gum (0.5%) blended together.