Hot oil noodle- Biang Biang mian (Biang Biang noodles) is a very interesting and popular dish in Shaanxi province. And definitely it was one of my favorite dishes during my four years of university life.
If you never tasted it or have little background information, the name might be weird to you. “Biang” actually is an Onomatopoeia word describing the sound when the noodles smashing against the board (especially when smashing against stainless steel board).
The word Biang is considered as the most complicated Chinese character. People even draw up a pithy formula in order to write it correctly. In case you are curious about how it looks it.
If you ever visited Xi’an, you will find another wider hand ripped noodles—belt noodles (known as KuDai mian in Chinese). That particular word is trying to describe the appearance. So the name for Chinese dish are quite interesting right? There are also Mapo tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, Fuqi Feipian with stores behind the name.
Before we go to the recipe, Elaine wants to introduce Shaanxi cuisine slightly. Unlike Sichuan cuisine and Cantonese cuisine, Shaanxi dishes are less famous outside China. Even in Mainland China, lots of people have very little information about Shaanxi cuisine. However, Shaanxi cuisine is quite unique brand of Chinese cooking, which features flour with chili oil (with vinegar version), vinegar and many local vegetables. At the beginning, the dishes look less impressive as they are neither not so strong as Sichuan dishes, nor so delicate as Cantonese dishes, but you will fall in love after several attempts. Shaanxi province locates in the center of China and different dishes combine and impact each other here. My mom once said we have the most multifarious food in our college dining room after staying with me for several couple of weeks in my university. If you want to try more, check Liangpi cold skin noodles and Roujiamo (Chinese hamburger).
Now, jump to this particular recipe—Biang Biang Mian. I recommend using all-purpose flour to make the dough and try to use less water. You may think high gluten flour can make the noodles chewier. Ok, that envision is right. However it is not easy for beginners to use high gluten flour to make Biang Biang Mian as the gluten will make the smash process even harder. And the noodle strips may shrink after pulled out.If you cannot eat too spicy food, try to use pepper flakes or powder less spicy! As we are pouring hot oil directly over the chili powders, the spicy taste will be motivated greatly.
- 300g all-purpose flour
- 2g salt
- 130ml to 140ml water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder+pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce +2 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 garlic clove, minced
- 2 green onion, minced
- green vegetable for blanching
- 2 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- oil for brushing
- In a large bowl, mix salt with flour. And stir in water by batches. I usually add 130ml firstly and then see whether the dough is too tough to knead. Less water indicates a chewier taste. Grasp everything by hand and continue kneading the dough until smooth. Forcefully please or resort to a standard mixer. Cover with plastic wrapper and rest for 20 minutes.
- Knead the dough again for several minutes until the surface is really smooth as I show in the video. Cover with plastic wrapper again and rest for another 15-20 minutes
- Prepare a plate and brush some vegetable oil on surface. And then cut the noodle dough into halves and each half into 6 portions (as equal as possible and cover the other half with plastic wrapper to avoid drying out ). So we will end up with 12 portions. Shape each one into a long log and brush oil around. Cover with plastic wrapper and let the noodle strip log rest for 1 hour.
- Take one portion out, flat it and roll out to a rectangle. Press the center with a chopstick so we can separate the noodles later. Hold the two ends of the noodle strip and smash it against the operating board. You can slightly stretch it during the smashing process. But do not hurry; slow down so that you will not break it.
- And the separate the noodles along with the chop sticker trace.
- Boil water in pot and add noodles in. If you feel they shrink, stretch each strip slightly. Bring the large pot to boil.
- Add cold water once after it boils again. And then add green vegetable to blanch. The whole process of cooking lasts for around 4 minutes. Transfer out to serving bowl.
- In the mean time, heat up 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a small pot until slightly smoky.
- Place garlic, green onion and chili peppers on top and pour the hot oil over the noodles (mainly on the chili powders). Add soy sauce and vinegar and combine well.