Hand pulled noodles with Spicy Minced Pork. Lamian

What a treat they are. Just like preparing Italian pasta, they are just as satisfying and comforting. The first time I saw them was in Toronto’s Chinatown where I lived for several years. King’s noodle restaurant on Spadina avenue was always packed and served wonderful soups with hand made pulled noodles. Just like Pho soup, once you appreciate the taste and the complexity of the dish, you get addicted and I made a point of treating myself once a week, when doing my grocery shopping in Chinatown. When I started traveling to Asia, especially in Shanghai and Beijing, I always made sure to try the best ones in each city. Try them in a Xi’an Biang Biang or Bang Bang noodles dish, which is almost like a soup, but a thick meat sauce, another staple in China. They easy to prepare, yet, we seldom see them on restaurant menus, I wonder why. It is essentially the same recipe as for dumplings, except they are little thicker. Thick and broad, these hand-pulled noodles are seasoned with chilli, garlic and Sichuan Pepper. They are delectable and they take literally a minute to cook.
I use 00-type flour which is very low in gluten, which makes it easier to stretch and pull. The key to these noodles lie in the resting period. The first resting procedure is done after you first knead the dough. You roughly combine the ingredients to form a dough. Leave it to rest for 10- 15 minutes then knead it again. This will help you to achieve a very smooth dough without too much effort (If using a stand mixer, simply knead at a low speed for 5 minutes). After dividing the dough into small pieces and coating each piece with oil, leave them to rest for at least 1 hour. When ready, flatten the dough piece into a rectangle shape. Do not pull it straight away. Allow it a little time to rest again. By the time you’ve flattened other pieces, the first piece will be ready to be pulled.

INGREDIENTS
Serve 4
250 Gr. All purpose flour, about 2 cups
125 ml water, ( ½ cup+2 tsp)
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
Cooking oil, for coating the dough (1-2 tablespoons)

SAUCE RECIPE
3 Tablespoons Vegetable oil
500 Gr. minced pork
1 Tablespoon Scallions finely chopped
2 Teaspoon Garlic finely minced
Chilli flakes to taste
Chilli powder
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Sichuan Pepper
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Chinese black vinegar

PREPARATION
Mix the flour, water and salt in a bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes until fully combined and very smooth.
I use a stand mixer with a dough hook and knead for 5 minutes
Divide the dough in 8 equal pieces and knead each roll into an oval shape, like a Gerkin pickle.
Coat each piece with a little bit of vegetable oil and place them on a plate. Cover with cling film then leave to rest for 1 hour.
Heat up a pot of water – While waiting, flatten each dough piece into a rectangle, with a rolling pin.
When the water starts to boil, start the process of pulling the noodle triangles.
Press the dough in the middle length wise with a chopstick.
Hold each end of the dough and pull gently until it stretches to your preferred thickness. We like ours very thin and the key is to pull very very gently, to avoid your dough to break. Remember the dough expands quite a lot in the water.
Stretch the rectangle and when you have the desired thickness, split in the middle and open up until you obtain a long strip of dough.

Using a heavy base pan, saute the minced garlic for a minute and then add the minced pork. Saute the meat until fully cooked, then add all the other sauce ingredients; chilli, chilli powder, soy sauce and vinegar. Mix well.

Cook the noodles 4 strands at a time for about a minute or so. It should still be firm to the tooth.
Pour the noodles in individual bowl with a large spoonful of minced pork preparation. Garnish with coriander and minced scallions.
Mix well and serve !

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