This is a very special kind of noodle. It originated in Southwest of China, and now it is widely popular through the whole main land.
Unlike the noodle people have in mind, this one is not served hot in soup. It is tossed with all kinds of spices and seasoning, more like noodle salad. What really makes it special is how the noodle is made. Simply put, you need to knead a piece of dough, and then you need to work on the dough in water to separate the wheat gluten and starch, and then make noodle out of starchy water. It is a very interesting process but also quite labor intensive. Although it is very widely popular in China, not many people like to make it from scratch at home. So many restaurants, food trucks and street vendors sell these noodles that you can get them almost anywhere and anytime.
My husband and I live in a small town in Michigan where there is no Asian grocery store. That means I need to DIY any authentic Chinese food we crave for, and fortunately, I very much enjoy doing so. And I also enjoy sharing with everyone else. O(∩_∩)O~
I use kitchenaid stand mixer to work on the dough and to separate wheat gluten and starch. It is traditionally done by hands. Stand mixer is such a great help in my kitchen!
For the noodle：
2 1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
9 to 10 cups water (to work with dough)
Red chili oil sauce (homemade or available in Asian grocery store)
garlic water (2 gloves of garlic, minced and soaked in 2 tablespoons water)
chopped green onion
cucumber, peeled and cut into French fries size
freshly roasted peanut, crushed
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 to 2 tablespoon sesame paste
In the stand mixer mixing bowl, add flour, salt and water. Turn it on and knead the dough at speed 2 for 12 to 15 minutes.
The dough is becoming smooth and elastic.
Cover the dough and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
Switch the dough hook to paddle. Add 1 1/2 cups water into the mixing bowl.
What I am using is KitchenAid professional600. The mixing bowl is 6 quarts so I can do this without getting a big mess in the kitchen. It is not recommended for any mixing bowl smaller than 6 quarts.
Put on the pouring shield. Turn on the machine and set to speed 2 again. Knead for 4 minutes.
4 minutes later. The water becomes white and starchy.
Drain the water to a big glass bowl.
Add another 1 1/2 cup water.
Speed 2, knead for 4 minutes.
Water becomes starchy again.
Drain the water to the big glass bowl.
After the third kneading
After the forth kneading
After the sixth kneading, the water is pale, which means most starch has been extracted. What we have left in the mixing bowl is wheat gluten.
Steam the gluten on high heat for 16 to 20 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes and then dice it up.
All the starchy water has been collected in a big glass bowl.
Cover and let it sit for at least 4 hours.
You can see that starchy water separates again. All the starch sinks to the bottom.
Drain the clear water on top. Please remember to do it very gently; otherwise the starch may be stirred up again.
With a whisk, whisk the remaining starchy mixture into smooth batter.
Bring a large pot of water to boil.
Brush two 8 inches wilton cake pans with a little bit of oil.
Add a big spoon of batter to a cake pan.
Swirl the pan so that the batter can evenly coated the pan.
Place the pan on boiling water top, cover, and steam on high heat for 1 minutes.
Fill another pot with ice water.
When the pan has been steamed for 1 minute, transfer the pan from boiling water pot to the one filled with ice water. The ice water will cool down the cake pan fast and it would be easier to remove noodle from pan.
Here is one big piece of noodle!
It is almost paper thin and elastic.
Repeat the steaming and cooling process until all the batter is used. You should be able to get between 14 and 18 pieces.
Cut them into thick strings and place in a big bowl.
Add the prepared noodle seasonings. There is no rule here how much of what should be added. You can add whatever to create your own flavor.
I usually add red chili pepper oil sauce, sesame oil, garlic water, soy sauce, sugar, green onion, cilantro, cucumber, vinegar, peanut butter, sesame paste, and the diced steamed gluten bread.
Mix gently until everything combines together, sprinkle with crushed peanut and serve immediately.
That is one bowl of authentic hot and spicy Chinese noodle!