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Author Topic: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)  (Read 1134 times)

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Offline quietdesperation

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Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« on: March 11, 2021, 02:02:37 PM »
this is longest I've gone without eating Xi'an famous food since they opened in flushing ~2006. Recommended by Asian colleagues soon after they opened, I dragged my wife to their stall in a dilapidated and now defunct asian food mall. My wife still shudders every time we walk past the building entrance. it turns out, Xi'an was probably the third best restaurant in the mall but had the vision to expand into a mini-chain so didn't require a 45 minute ride to flushing. I was able to sample their food every couple of weeks.

I brought my oldest son to their East village restaurant soon after it opened (my wife forbade me from taking the kids into the food mall for fear they'd follow in my footsteps of luring their significant others to restaurants where the food is great but pitchers of water stick to the table) and it remains one of his earliest memories of eating spicy Chinese food. And when we were searching for a pied a terre in NYC, I took it as a good sign that the apartment we liked had a Xian 4 blocks away.

But then the pandemic. Xi'an permanently closed in our neighborhood, I didn't want to take the risk of traveling the city and their noodles don't travel well for takeout. So I asked my wife to get me the Xian famous food cookbook after Hans posted about it. I've been reading the cookbook, watching videos and now itís time to get started. So I thought I'd start this thread for anyone who wants to follow along or post their own experience with biang biang noodles:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biangbiang_noodles

I'm hoping our collective dough making experience will ease the journey to xian.

best,
« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 06:27:24 PM by quietdesperation »
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Offline HansB

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2021, 02:58:27 PM »
QD, I'm happy that you started this thread, hopefully, it'll get me off my butt to make the noodles. I have all the ingredients and even have the hot oil from Xi'an FF.
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Offline scott r

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2021, 03:14:24 PM »
I loved my visits there, thanks to Hans posting about it on this forum.   Really will enjoy watching this thread.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2021, 04:20:55 PM »
Count me in, QD. I've had the book since October and haven't cooked from it yet. Lockdown has kept me from venturing out to the Asian market in the big city. I'm headed there tomorrow for the first time in forever to get ingredients for Lap Cheong sausage. I'll update the list to include ingredients needed to accompany the biang-biang noodles.

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2021, 04:58:48 PM »
This is the recipe I have been using. Pretty much idiot-proof. Interested to see if the one from the XFF book is better. (Closed captions in English; English ingredients also listed). Not hand-ripped, but hand-stretched.


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Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2021, 04:59:31 PM »
 there seems to be two ways to rip  noodles. XFF cookbook method just rips the noodles "like string cheese" but this video (and several others) advocates the use of a chopstick to create a guide down the center of the noodle for ripping. Seems a little easier:

jeff

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2021, 05:07:18 PM »
this video has some good tips for beginners, first and foremost is the suggestion, based on her testing, to use bread flour instead of AP. I also like her idea to rest the dough after the first stretch (6:50 mark of the video):



at the end of the video, she eats the noodles...I could probably watch her eat noodles all day but that's a discussion for another thread  ;D :-[ >:D



« Last Edit: March 11, 2021, 06:37:52 PM by quietdesperation »
jeff

Offline parallei

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2021, 05:29:43 PM »
this video has some good tips for beginners, first and foremost is the suggestion, based on her testing, to use bread flour instead of AP and her idea to rest the dough after the first stretch (6:50 mark of the video):



at the end of the video, she eats the noodles...I could probably watch her eat noodles all day but that's a discussion for another thread  ;D :-[ >:D

Gonna give I try. Thanks so much for posting this.

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2021, 12:13:08 PM »
stopped by an Asian market yesterday for sauce ingredients, a dizzying array of soy, black vinegar, cooking wine etc. In the past, I've wondered which brands are better than others and why, upon return from the market found this video with specific brand suggestions. In the absence of other data, these will be my go-to brands.

best,

jeff

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2021, 12:23:15 PM »
I bought one of my woks from this very smart lady, mainly for smaller batches on my indoor gas cooktop.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RJ39JVL/?tag=pmak-20

One of my best cookware purchases.


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Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2021, 12:28:24 PM »
I bought one of my woks from this very smart lady, mainly for smaller batches on my indoor gas cooktop.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RJ39JVL/?tag=pmak-20

One of my best cookware purchases.

thanks bill, just ordered since we don't have a wok and it works on induction!
jeff

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2021, 12:31:21 PM »
thanks bill, just ordered since we don't have a wok and it works on induction!

She has good directions for seasoning it. I went full Bill/SFNM and did twice as many cycles as she directs with flax oil. I've also been using it for deep frying, which I'm told further bonds the coating to the pan.

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2021, 12:37:57 PM »
She has good directions for seasoning it. I went full Bill/SFNM and did twice as many cycles as she directs with flax oil. I've also been using it for deep frying, which I'm told further bonds the coating to the pan.

thank you bill, I really appreciate the wok and seasoning recommendation, I have been researching woks for some time and you broke my cycle of analysis paralysis.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 03:37:32 PM by quietdesperation »
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Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2021, 03:49:34 PM »
try #1

KABF 100% 450g
Water 54% 220ml
salt 1/4 teaspoon

texted with Chau today about this recipe, he feels the key to stretching the noodles are multiple cycles of rest/kneading. The XFF cookbook suggests 3 rounds, the video I linked to suggests five.  Here's what I've done so far:

- dissolved salt in room temp water
- slowly added salted water to flour while mixing with fork
- kneaded until smooth (7 minutes), covered with damp towel
- rested 5 minutes, kneaded 1-2 minutes until dough firmed up, covered with damp towel
- rested 5 minutes, kneaded 1-2 minutes until dough firmed up, covered with damp towel
- rested 5 minutes, kneaded 1-2 minutes until dough firmed up, covered with damp towel
- rested 15 minutes, kneaded 1-2 minutes until dough firmed up, covered with damp towel
- rested 15 minutes, kneaded 1-2 minutes until dough firmed up, covered with damp towel
- separated into 6 doughballs , flattened with my hand, used rolling pin to flatten to oval shape
- brushed well with cooking oil, put all ovals on plate, covered with Saran wrap and rested for two hours
- used chopstick to create indentation down middle of oval, pulled dough to ten inches, rested for 10 mins
- first noodle twisted during bianging and I lost the indentation.
- kept more tension on the next one, much better
- after 6 piece it became easy/consistent
- cooked noodles for 2 mins (threw in baby bok choy the last 30 seconds with the noodles)

sauce:
- 2 teaspoons of pureed garlic
- thinly sliced scallions
- 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
- half teaspoon of Chinese chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of chile flakes
- 2 teaspoons of black vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of smoking hot peanut oil poured over toppings

served with black vinegar and Gao lan chilis fried in oil

overall impression:
- the noodles were very good but uneven due to my lack of experience.
- Next time I'll make the XFF noodle sauce from the cookbook and double up on bok choy.
- This dish should be easy for anyone that makes pizza.
- If you go spicy, spicy as I did with the noodles, make the cucumbers less spicy so they can be used to clear your palate.
- the recipe as I've written it makes 1.4 pounds of noodles...for some reason I thought it was half that and I managed to glom down  .75 pounds of noodles (!).
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 10:33:19 PM by quietdesperation »
jeff

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2021, 09:58:03 PM »
Consulting with QD, I also made a batch of biang biang noodles.  I opted for HG flour at 57% hydration.  Next time I'll up the hydration to get an ultra thin noodle.   I will also make them wider as well, as the width of the noodles help carry the sauce.  I made my own sauce which Is similar to teriyaki suace with a chile oil added.
First batch I ate warm with the sauce.  2nd batch I rinsed the noodles in cold water after boiling, which firmed up the texture a bit.   Both are excellent and I wasn't sure which I preferred. 
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 10:11:40 PM by Jackie Tran »

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Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2021, 09:59:48 PM »
as usual, chau's noodles look like he's been making them all his life instead of his first try...
jeff

Offline HansB

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2021, 10:06:41 PM »
as usual, chau's noodles look like he's been making them all his life instead of his first try...

Yours look good too QD, very similar to XFF. Lou (hotsawce) made some too recently and settled on 53% hydration.
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2021, 10:11:08 PM »
QD I think yours are thinner than mine!!   :chef:

I will say that I was wrong about the width of the noodle.  I thought a not as wide noodle would be better before making the noodles but afterwords see the value in the width.  Thanks for introducing me to these biang biang noodles Jeff!  I'll be making them again. 

Chau
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 11:07:50 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2021, 10:36:05 PM »
Yours look good too QD, very similar to XFF. Lou (hotsawce) made some too recently and settled on 53% hydration.

thanks hans, I think one more try at this then on to N1.
jeff

Offline HansB

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Re: Xi'an famous hand ripped noodles (biang biang noodles)
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2021, 11:07:11 PM »
thanks hans, I think one more try at this then on to N1.

Nice!
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