Recipe

Flat Hand-Pulled Noodles (Biang Biang Mian) with Chili Oil Vinaigrette

by Tim Chin

Biang Biang noodles are a popular dish from the Shaanxi province of China. (Shaanxi is situated geographically between the Shanxi and Sichuan provinces.) They are handmade, flat, belt-like noodles often served with lots of hot peppers and chili oil in the cold winter months. The name describes the sound made when the noodles are slapped against a table to stretch them. To achieve optimum chew and texture, I use high protein bread flour and an extended resting time to allow the strong gluten network to relax and make the stretching process easier. Here I dress the noodles simply in a Sichuan-inspired chili oil vinaigrette—the best way to have them, really. Once you master this technique, these noodles are a breeze to make, and the possibilities for different noodle dishes are virtually endless.      

Yield
Serves 4
SFS_BiangBiangNoodles-57_20_1_.jpg
Ingredients

Dough

362 g bread flour
4 g salt
220 g water
14 g vegetable oil

Chili Vinaigrette

7 g to 15 g bird chiles, ground fine
100 g vegetable oil
12 g garlic cloves (2 cloves), sliced thin
12 g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
4 g Sichuan peppercorns
2 g cinnamon stick (½ stick)
1 g star anise (1 star anise pod)
30 g soy sauce
30 g black vinegar
14 g toasted sesame oil
4 g sugar
3,600 g water
18 g salt
12 g fresh cilantro sprigs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
12 g scallions, sliced thin on bias

Dough

2⅓ cups (12¾ ounces) bread flour
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Chili Vinaigrette

10 to 20  bird chiles, ground fine
½ cup vegetable oil
2  garlic cloves, sliced thin
1  (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
½  cinnamon stick
1  star anise pod
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons black vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
4 quarts water
1 tablespoon salt
12  fresh cilantro sprigs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
6  scallions, sliced thin on bias
Essential Equipment
Instructions
    • 362 g bread flour 
    • 4 g salt 
    • 220 g water 
    • 14 g vegetable oil
    For the Dough: Whisk flour and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Add water and oil. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and mix on low speed until all flour is moistened, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and satiny, 10 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, mix dough in food processor.) Transfer dough to counter, knead for 30 seconds, and shape into 9-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 48 hours. 
    • 7g to 15 g bird chiles, ground fine 
    • 100 g vegetable oil 
    • 12 g garlic cloves (2 cloves), sliced thin 
    • 12 g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin 
    • 4 g Sichuan peppercorns 
    • 2 g cinnamon stick (½ stick) 
    • 1 g star anise (1 star anise pod) 
    • 30 g soy sauce 
    • 30 g black vinegar 
    • 14 g toasted sesame oil 
    • 4 g sugar
    For the Chili Vinaigrette: Place chiles in large heatproof bowl. Place fine-mesh strainer over bowl and set aside. Combine vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, and star anise pod in small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until sizzling. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until garlic and ginger are slightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour through strainer into bowl with chiles; discard solids in strainer. Stir chile oil to combine and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar until combined; set aside.  
    • 3,600 g water 
    • 18 g salt
    Unwrap dough, transfer to lightly oiled counter, and, using bench scraper or knife, divide into 6 equal pieces (each 1 ½ inches wide). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring water and salt to boil in large pot; reduce heat to low and cover to keep hot. Following this video, working with 1 piece at a time, oil both sides of dough and flatten into 7 by 3-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to edge of counter. With both hands, gently grasp short ends of dough. Stretch dough and slap against counter until noodle is 32 to 36 inches long (noodle will be between 1/16 and 1/8-inch-thick). Place noodle on counter. Pinch center of noodle with forefingers and thumbs of both hands and pull apart with even pressure in both directions to rip seam in middle of noodle and create 1 continuous loop. Cut loop to create 2 equal-length noodles. Set noodles aside on lightly oiled counter (do not let noodles touch) and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat stretching and cutting with remaining pieces of dough.  
    • 12 g cilantro sprigs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 12 g scallions, sliced thin on bias
    Return water to boil over high heat. Add half of noodles to water and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles float and turn chewy-tender, 45 to 60 seconds. Using wire skimmer, transfer noodles to bowl with chili vinaigrette; toss to combine. Return water to boil and repeat with remaining noodles. Divide noodles among individual bowls, top with cilantro and scallions, and serve. 
Instructions
    • 2⅓ cups (12¾ ounces) bread flour 
    • ¾ teaspoon salt 
    • 1 cup (8 ounces) water 
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    For the Dough: Whisk flour and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Add water and oil. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and mix on low speed until all flour is moistened, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and satiny, 10 to 12 minutes. (Alternatively, mix dough in food processor.) Transfer dough to counter, knead for 30 seconds, and shape into 9-inch log. Wrap log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 48 hours. 
    • 10 to 20 bird chiles, ground fine 
    • ½ cup vegetable oil 
    • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin 
    • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin 
    • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns 
    • ½ cinnamon stick 
    • 1 star anise pod 
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce 
    • 2 tablespoons black vinegar 
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    For the Chili Vinaigrette: Place chiles in large heatproof bowl. Place fine-mesh strainer over bowl and set aside. Combine vegetable oil, garlic, ginger, peppercorns, cinnamon, and star anise pod in small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until sizzling. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until garlic and ginger are slightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour through strainer into bowl with chiles; discard solids in strainer. Stir chile oil to combine and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar until combined; set aside.  
    • 4 quarts water 
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    Unwrap dough, transfer to lightly oiled counter, and, using bench scraper or knife, divide into 6 equal pieces (each 1 ½ inches wide). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, bring water and salt to boil in large pot; reduce heat to low and cover to keep hot. Following this video, working with 1 piece at a time, oil both sides of dough and flatten into 7 by 3-inch rectangle, with long side parallel to edge of counter. With both hands, gently grasp short ends of dough. Stretch dough and slap against counter until noodle is 32 to 36 inches long (noodle will be between 1/16 and 1/8-inch-thick). Place noodle on counter. Pinch center of noodle with forefingers and thumbs of both hands and pull apart with even pressure in both directions to rip seam in middle of noodle and create 1 continuous loop. Cut loop to create 2 equal-length noodles. Set noodles aside on lightly oiled counter (do not let noodles touch) and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat stretching and cutting with remaining pieces of dough.  
    • 12 fresh cilantro sprigs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 
    • 6 scallions, sliced thin on bias
    Return water to boil over high heat. Add half of noodles to water and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles float and turn chewy-tender, 45 to 60 seconds. Using wire skimmer, transfer noodles to bowl with chili vinaigrette; toss to combine. Return water to boil and repeat with remaining noodles. Divide noodles among individual bowls, top with cilantro and scallions, and serve. 
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