How To Make Homemade Chinese Noodles From Scratch

Rolling and Cutting Noodles

You can roll and cut these noodles by hand, just like we demonstrated in our first homemade noodle recipe. But if you have a pasta roller and cutter, this process has become a lot simpler.

On the weekends, my mom’s father, my grandfather, enjoyed searching his neighborhood for garage sales. When he and my grandma visited, he would frequently buy items for our family that he thought we would like and show off his treasures.

I believe his upper spending limit was five or ten dollars, because some of his best finds were kitchen appliances!

He got me a really nice toaster that I used all through college, and I still make my coffee every morning with the little espresso machine he found.

But the mechanical pasta roller he gave us years ago—imported from Italy—is my most recent acquisition. It has been collecting dust in my cabinet, which is really a crime on my part. Until NOW.

It rolls pasta and noodles so beautifully. I must admit that over the past week, I have made no fewer than four batches.

You do need to make sure you have a surface with a lip to clamp it down securely, but I would highly recommend this mechanical hand-crank pasta roller. If you don’t have a suitable surface but do have an electric stand mixer, you could try a pasta roller attachment.

In this post, I’ll demonstrate how to use a pasta roller to roll and cut these noodles. Don’t worry if you don’t have one; you can still roll and cut them by hand using the directions in this homemade white noodle recipe.

Many of our essential guidelines are the same whether you’re making homemade egg noodles or plain white noodles:

  • The dough will take some time to come together as the flour progressively absorbs the liquid in the eggs, so resist the urge to add more water! Avoid adding more water to the noodles as this will make them gummy instead of springy. Add one more tablespoon of water if the dough doesn’t come together in four to five minutes if you live in a dry climate. But that’s it! .
  • Frequently flour the dough while rolling and chopping to keep the noodles from sticking together.
  • Remember that noodles expand when cooking. This implies that when you roll them out, they must be fairly thin. The rolled dough should ideally be thin enough to allow one to read a newspaper through. A pasta roller really helps with this.
  • Use weight measurements for more consistent results. Many inconsistencies can be produced by differences in measuring cup tools and methods. For optimal results, measure the flour in this recipe by weight.
  • All purpose flour is fine to use. (Different from our other recipe!) We recommend using bread flour (which has a higher gluten content) in our regular white noodle recipe. But we discovered that for this egg noodle recipe, all-purpose flour worked just as well, if not better.

What is lye water and why do you need it to make Chinese Noodles?

Lye water, also known as lime water or kansui, is an alkaline solution that imparts distinct flavor, texture, and aroma to a variety of food varieties.

For example—and this is a very short list—lye is added to the brine of century eggs to make the white parts transparent and the yolks soft and creamy, and it is used to cure olives to remove their bitterness. Hard or soft pretzels are dipped in a lye solution before baking to give them their unique flavor and crust.

While there are other kinds of lye that are used for purposes other than cooking, in this instance, food-grade lye is the only kind that interests us. Specifically, how it affects Chinese noodles.

Chinese noodles get their chewy, springy texture from lye water. It’s the key component that distinguishes Chinese noodles from traditional pasta.

Chinese Egg Noodles: Recipe Instructions

In the stand mixer bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Stir in the water and eggs to make a shaggy dough.

Start the mixer with the dough hook attachment, then knead the dough for ten minutes. Be patient and allow the dough to slowly come together. If using your hands to knead, give it another five minutes for a total of fifteen minutes.

Cover the dough and allow to rest for 30 minutes. You will find that the dough is softer and more malleable after it has rested.

Divide the dough in half. Set one half aside, covered.

To roll by hand, follow instructions here. To roll with a pasta roller, press the half of dough into a thin rectangle that is between ½ and ½ inch (1-2 cm) thick.

Feed the dough through the pasta roller while it is at its thickest setting, being careful to guide it straight to prevent it from going crooked or getting trapped in the roller’s sides.

Run the dough through the roller once more at each setting, thinning it by one setting each time.

To make the dough less lengthy and challenging to handle, you might want to divide it in half once you’ve completed half of the settings. When my dough reached the second-to-thinnest stage, I cut it.

It was getting pretty long, as the picture below shows!

Thoroughly flour the dough sheet’s two sides once the dough is thin enough for you to see through it.

Then run it through your desired noodle cutting setting.

Although we made ours very thin, you could also make wide egg noodles. Noodle soups work best with thinner noodles, while stir-fries work best with wider noodles.

To keep the noodles from sticking to one another, toss them in extra flour. It’s possible that some of the noodles weren’t completely cut through. To separate them, just pull them apart; the noodles will be sufficiently elastic and stretchy.

Repeat with the other half of the dough. This recipe makes four portions.

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil to cook the noodles. To ensure the noodles don’t clump together, add them and stir right away.

Boil for 60-90 seconds.

When they’re ready to be added to your preferred sauce, noodle soup, or stir-fry, just drain them right away!

If you aren’t planning on eating all four portions of noodles at once, you can freeze the leftovers. Simply toss them thoroughly in flour, and transfer them to an airtight freezer bag. We love these reusable bags.

Just watch out that nothing is stacked on top of them in the freezer to prevent compression, which will cause the noodles to stick together.

To cook, add them straight into boiling water frozen. Do not thaw beforehand, or they may stick together. When the frozen noodles are placed in boiling water, they will quickly separate from one large block that they came out of the freezer bag as. To separate the strands and stir them up, use a pair of chopsticks.

It is best to store the dough and roll it out fresh if storing in the refrigerator. The refrigerated dough must be used within 1 day.

I took my portion of these delicious noodles and did something fairly simple.

Here’s exactly what I did:

I topped it with chopped scallions (about 1 tablespoon), cloves of garlic, and half of a Thai bird chili. I also drizzled a few tablespoons of hot oil over the aromatics to make them sizzle and release their flavors. I then added half a teaspoon of sesame oil, one teaspoon of black vinegar, and two teaspoons of soy sauce. I mixed it up, and HOOVERED it. It was SO DELICIOUS.

These noodles can also be used in the following recipes, which I promise are well worth the effort:

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