27 June 2008

Hand-Stretched Noodles

Beyond the Great Wall has several noodle recipes, and we tried the Kazakh noodles last night. They are hand-stretched noodles that require no equipment, unless you want to use a food processor for the dough. They were amazingly easy to prepare and my oldest son thought they tasted great and had fun making them. I wish I'd though to take a picture of all the noodles hanging on the backs of our kitchen chairs before we cooked them.

For a hearty four servings, combine 2 cups of flour, a 1/2 tsp salt, and egg, and then about 1/2 cup warm water to make a nice dough in the food processor. Knead briefly on a floured surface, then divide in half and roll the dough into long rectangles about 15"x4". Then cut them (we used a pizza cutter) into 1/4"-1/2" strips, crosswise (so they're 4"x1/2" Cover with plastic and let rest 30-120 minutes. Once the dough has rested, start heating a big pot of water while you stretch the noodles and find some helpers. Take one strip of dough and, starting at one end, pinch and stretch the noodle till it's nice and long, at least 15" (most of ours were longer). Keep your fingers and the noodle floured, and then when it's stretched, lay on a floured surface or hang over the back of a chair. When the water is boiling and the noodles are all stretched, boil them for about 6 minutes and drain.

If you want to make them ahead of time, just leave them to dry on the chairs, then cook them when you're ready. Easy as can be.

I used the noodles in laghman and won't be going back to using udon noodles again. They were delicious.

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