"BIANG BIANG" HAND PULLED NOODLES
These Chinese hand pulled noodles are also known as “belt noodles” because of their shape and thickness. The way to create them is by pulling, stretching, and making quick slaps on the table, which makes the noise “Biang Biang.” They are chewy, bouncy, have an amazing mouth feel, and can be eaten as a dry or soup based noodle. For this recipe I decided to make a meat free version, and you definitely do not miss the meat.
Serves 2 (or if you are extra hungry and can handle it, 1)
2 tbsp green curry or red curry paste (can purchase a vegetarian option)
250ml coconut milk
2 eggs, soft boiled
3-4 heads bak choi
50g firm tofu
50g oyster mushrooms
4 Thai aubergines, cut in half and thinly sliced (optional)
Coconut sugar or castor sugar to taste
Fish sauce to taste (or light soy for vegetarian option)
Hand pulled noodles
200g all purpose flour (or tipo “00” flour if available)
90-110ml water, room temperature
Half tsp salt
1 large fresh red chilli, slice diagonally, deseed if you feel it is too hot
Handful fresh coriander, pick whole leaves
2-3 Thai shallots or 1 banana shallot, halved and thinly sliced
Chilli oil (recipe in “Chicken and Prawn with Chilli oil” recipe)
To make hand pulled noodles, in a large mixing bowl sift all purpose flour into bowl (if you are using tipo “00” flour you will not need to sift). Add salt in water, stir to dissolve, then gradually add 90ml of the salted water to the flour whilst stirring simultaneously with spatula. Add rest of the water if dough feels tough. Knead the dough until it is smooth to the eye and to the touch. If it is too wet then the final noodle will not be chewy. Then wrap with cling film and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature.
Prepare vegetables; in a small saucepan add water and pinch of salt, then heat until boiling. Cut firm tofu into 2cm cubes and pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat frying pan with 2 tbsp oil and when the pan is hot add tofu and allow it to brown on each of the sides. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside. Cut the bak choi in half lengthways and place in the boiling water to blanch for 1 minute, then place in cold water and set aside. Add eggs in boiling water for 2 and half minutes, then set aside.
Unwrap dough and start kneading again for 5 minutes. Then wrap in cling film and set aside for another 20 minutes. This makes the noodles extra chewy. Prepare the garnish, slice shallots, pick coriander leaves, slice Thai aubergine in half and slice thinly, slice fresh chilli diagonally and deseed if it is spicy.
After 20 minutes, knead the dough one last time for another 5 minutes. Roll the dough into oval shape, section off into 6 pieces, and roll each into a thick sausage shape. Then get a large plate and brush vegetable/sunflower oil on the plate. Place the dough pieces onto the plate and brush each one with oil. Cover with cling film and allow it to rest for another 40-60 minutes at room temperature.
In a pan, heat 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil, then add the curry paste and allow to sauté until it is fragrant. Then add 3 tbsp coconut milk and stir for 1 minute. Keep on gradually adding the coconut milk and continue stirring until you have used it all. Turn down heat and allow to simmer, then add the mushrooms. Start preparing the chilli oil.
Fill deep saucepan with water and bring to a boil. For the hand pulled noodle, find a clean large surface area. With one of the sausage shaped dough, start to flatten with rolling pin into a rectangle shape. Once it is shaped grab both ends of the rectangle and start to slap the dough onto the surface whilst pulling outwards simultaneously (pulling your arms apart lengthways).