Famous in China wuhan style hot sesame noodles—hot and dry noodles.
Chinese loves noodles!!
There are so many yummy Chinese noodles dishes, presenting in soups, fried noodles and noodle salad. This one is originated from Hubei province, where my husband was born. It is considered as one of the most ten famous noodles in China officially. Just for information, the other nine ones are Beijing fried sauce noodles, Knife cut noodles, Henan stewed noodles, Lanzhou hand pulled noodles, Hangzhou Pian’er noodles, Sichuan Dan Dan noodles, Kunshan Aozao noodles, Zhenjiang Pot Cover noodles (锅盖面) and Jilin cold noodles. Those ten most famous noodles are officially selected from more than 3000 types of noodles. But eaters have their own ranking.
Wuhan noodle is known as Hot and Dry noodles (热干面) in Chinese, mainly describing the texture. The main seasoning is tuned sesame paste. And usually we top with picked spicy radish also from Hubei (酱萝卜) and sometimes pickled long Chinese green beans. During every Spring Festival, we spend the holiday with my husband’s parents. And our favorite breakfast is a bowl of hot and dry noodles just under our building.
This noodle seems quite simple, but the ratio and the texture of sesame paste is a key step. If the sesame paste were too dry, it would be quite hard to combine. However too much water will make the noodles not dry at all. Sesame paste should completely stick to the noodles. We have Sichuan style cold noodles (凉面) using very similar ingredients and seasonings. But with different seasoning ratio, the noodles present different tastes.
热(rè)面(miàn)： hot noodles
凉(liáng)面(miàn)： cold noodles
The noodles called for Wuhan noodles is called alkaline noodles(碱面). Alkaline noodle is less time-sensitive and quite popular in Szechuan province too. It can be replaced by spaghetti if unavailable.
- 200 g alkaline noodles , light yellow ones (either dried or fresh ones)
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp. warm water
- pickled radish
- green onion
- vinegar optional
- Chinese Chili oil I use my homemade version
Cook the dried noodles for 4-5 minutes or fresh ones for 3-4 minutes. Transfer out and drain.
Place the noodles to a clean operating board, add sesame oil and combine well. This process can cool down the noodles quickly and creating a chewy texture. Set aside to cool down completely.
In a large bowl, first mix 2 tablespoons of sesame paste with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Stir until well combined. And then add light soy sauce and dark soy sauce, continue stirring in one direction until well combined. Add around 4-5 tablespoons of warm water by three batches. Each time after adding water, stir in one direction until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
Add Chinese five spice and a small pinch of salt based on personal taste. Combine well.
Mince green onion and chop the pickled radishes. You can also add smashed peanuts, pickled green beans or other toppings.
Smashed 2 garlic cloves and then soak with warm water.
Bring water to boil in a large pot, and re-cook the noodles for around 10 -15 seconds until hot. Shake off extra water and transfer to serving bowl.
Add around 2 tablespoons of tuned sesame paste mixture, 1/4 teaspoon vinegar (optional), 1 teaspoon garlic water, 1/8 teaspoon sugar and 2 teaspoons of chili oil. Top with green onion and pickled radish.
Combine well before enjoying.
As we do not add salt directly in the noodles, it is pre-added in sesame paste. However since soy sauce has salinity, only a small amount is needed.
You can boil a larger amount of noodles and cool down for later recipes.