How Are Chinese Noodles Made?

In general, the Chinese noodles cooking method involves making a dough with flour, salt, and water; mixing the dough by hand to form bar shapes; bending the bars for proofing; pulling the bars into strips; dropping the strips into a pot with boiling water; and removing the noodles when finished cooking.

For centuries, Chinese noodles have been a staple in Chinese cuisine. Many of us are familiar with the wide variety of noodles available today, from lo mein to dan dan mein to wonton noodles. But how are Chinese noodles made? In this blog post, we will explore how noodles are made in China, from the ingredients used to the techniques used to create the delicious noodles we all know and love. We will also take a look at the various styles of noodles, from handmade noodles to machine-made noodles. By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of the intricate and fascinating process of making Chinese noodles.

Watch Now: How to Tell The Difference Between Chow Mein, Chow Fun, Lo Mein, and Mei Fun

Chinese noodles, also known as mien, can be divided into three groups. Noodles made from wheat flour are the most popular; they can be made with or without eggs. Wheat noodles can be white or yellow, as thin as spaghetti or as thick as Fettucine, stiff or incredibly elastic depending on the other ingredients.

Rice noodles can be thick or very thin, the latter almost resembling long strings of coconut, and are made from rice flour, water, and salt. The same is true of rice sticks. Additionally, rice paper wrappers in a circular or triangular shape are available.

The clear noodles known as “cellophane noodles” are created from ground mung bean paste.

Making “hand-pulled” noodles in China requires holding the stretched out paste in both hands and repeatedly whirling it. The paste is then spread out on a board and repeatedly folded. Eventually, the paste is transformed into long, thin, noodles. While it is still possible to observe vendors in China make hand-pulled noodles today, the majority of noodles are now produced by machines. ​.

Here are the most common noodles in Chinese cuisine:

  • Cellophane Noodles: Also called bean threads, slippery noodles, or even bean vermicelli, cellophane noodles are made from mung bean starch. Before using, soak them in hot (not boiling) water. Cellophane noodles work well in soups and stir-fries, absorbing the flavor of the foods they are cooked with. When deep-fried they puff up and become quite crispy.
  • Egg Flour Noodles: Fresh or dried, youll usually know these noodles by their yellow color. Made with eggs, wheat flour, and water, they come in a number of widths and shapes, from the thinner vermicelli to flat thicker noodles (instant Ramen is a type of egg noodle). Used in soups and stir-fries, they need to be boiled before using.
  • Rice Noodles: Made with rice flour and water, rice noodles come in many types, from thin vermicelli to thick flat noodles. The term “rice sticks” can refer both to the thinner noodles as well as medium-sized and thicker flat noodles. Rice noodles should be soaked in hot water for fifteen to twenty minutes before using. Medium-sized rice noodles, called Banh Pho, are used to make Vietnams popular Pho soup.​
  • How to Make Chinese Noodles: Key Tips

    Everything you need to make these homemade Chinese noodles is probably already in your kitchen: bread flour, salt, and water.

    How Are Chinese Noodles Made?

    It will be simple if you have a mixer with a dough hook attachment, but if not, it doesn’t matter. With a little elbow grease, you can prepare noodles in the same manner as Chinese chefs have for centuries.

    How Are Chinese Noodles Made?

    Here are some key tips for success:

  • Use bread flour (i.e. “strong flour” or high gluten flour): The way to get a good chew in your noodles is to develop the gluten in the dough. Using flour with high gluten content (known to U.S. consumers as bread flour or strong flour in the U.K.) makes a big difference. That said, if you REALLY need some noodles and can’t go to the store for bread flour, all purpose flour will do in a pinch.
  • Don’t add too much water! Resist the temptation to add additional water, as the dough will look rather dry and lumpy at first. Too much water will make the noodles gummy rather than springy. You just have to have faith and give the flour enough time to absorb moisture.
  • Use lots of flour when rolling and cutting: The action of cutting the noodles with a knife will press the layers of dough together. To prevent them from sticking, be sure to thoroughly flour both sides of the dough before folding and cutting. This is another reason to avoid using too much water in the dough––to prevent it from sticking.
  • Be mindful of thickness: The noodles will expand when cooked, so whatever thickness you see when cutting the raw dough, the cooked noodles will be significantly thicker. Keep this in mind when rolling and cutting. You may want to roll the dough out thinner and cut the noodles thinner than you initially think.
  • Weight measurements are best: 2 US cups for me is about 300g when I measure it out in a dry measuring cup and weigh it, but other online sources say 1 cup of flour is 120g or 128g. These kinds of inconsistencies are why I highly recommend measuring by weight for the best results. Invest in a digital kitchen scale if you don’t have one already. We use ours all the time!
  • Dishes to Make With These Handmade Noodles

    Briefly stated, you can use your handmade Chinese noodles in any noodle soup or sauced noodle dish of your choice!

    How Are Chinese Noodles Made?


    Are Chinese noodles healthy?

    Because they have a moderate amount of calories and little fat, rice noodles are a healthy choice. Try serving them with flavorful sauces, high-fiber vegetables, and a few high-sodium ingredients like soy sauce.

    What are Chinese egg noodles made of?

    The usual ingredients for making Chinese egg noodles are wheat flour, eggs, water, and salt. To help make the noodles chewier, richer, and to add flavor and color, eggs are added to the ingredients. Some recipes call for lye water.

    How are noodles made traditionally?

    One of the most significant traditional staple foods in Asia is noodles. Unleavened wheat dough is typically used to make noodles, which are then stretched, extruded, or rolled before being cut into a variety of shapes.

    What is the difference between pasta and Chinese noodles?

    According to Kaminska, the differences between noodles and pasta are primarily due to the ingredients used and the type of processing applied. Noodles are usually made with flour milled from common wheat. Durum semolina, which is coarser than regular flour, is used to make pasta. However, that difference is not always so cut and dried.

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