This recipe has become one of my favourites recently after I visited Xi’an BiangBiang Noodles close to Aldgate and started to look after the recipes on youtube. Its really easy and – once the dough is ready – quick to prepare, everything is freshly made from the pasta to the sauce, and also you can make it with or without meat suitable for vegetarians as well.
So first step is the dough: no magic, plain flour, water and some salt, about 2:1 flour/water ratio. Once the flour incorporated all of the water, knead it first for 3-5 minutes then let it rest for 15-20 mins and then give it another knead for about 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. When ready just roll it to a 1-1/4 inch roll, and cut it into 2 inches long pieces, brush it with vegetable oil on all sides, cover it with cling film and let it rest for at least 3 hours.
If you want to add some meat: get 500gr of diced lamb or beef, chop one small onion and a clove of garlic finely, sautee the onion/garilc in vegetable oil in a pan, once golden, add the meat, brown all sides and add the spices: a generous amount of sweet paprika powder, a tablespoon of grounded cumin, and a half tablespoon of five spice powder, finally salt to taste. Pour hot water on the meat, but only that much that wouldn’t cover the meat completely, let it boil over medium heat, stirring it frequently and always adding some water until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick
After the dough had a good rest, pot plenty of water to boil in a wok or a large and deep pan, and let’s start to roll and stretch the noodles: take one piece of dough and gently flatten it with a rolling pin or bottle first lengthwise then crosswise until 1/6th inches thick. Place a chopstick lengthwise and press it into the dough – this will allow as to tear the dough apart once stretched. Lets take both ends of the dough and start pulling it apart and meanwhile start slapping the dough against the kitchen desk or table. If the dough has the proper consistency it will stretch out easily, evenly and without tearing. Once ready pinch the noodle somewhere in the middle by both hands and start tearing it lengthwise, it should come apart easily with a ragged edge on both half. tear the dough completely but let the ends intact shaping a loop. Repeat this to all pieces.
Once the water is boiling and the noodles are ready, drop the noodles into the water and after 2-3 mins add the pak choi or the green of our choice and let it boil for another 4-5 mins.
Lets prepare the spices and the remaining ingredients: put 80 ml vegetable oil into a small pot and heat it to piping hot, in the serving bowl mix one tablespoon of sesame paste (tahini – already dissolved in some hot water to get a thick sauce) two tablespoons of light soy sauce, one tablespoon of dark soy sauce and one tablespoon of chinese black vinegar. Mince one large clove of garlic and slice one piece of spring onion thinly, get ready with the chilli flakes, chilli powder and the grounded Sichuan peppercorns (if you make it for yourself, toast the whole peppercorns until fragrant and grind it) and add the meat if you go for the meaty option.
Now comes the fun: drain the pasta together with the pak choi, and transfer it to the bowl,put the spices on the top first and then the garlic and the spring onion slices. Finally and carefully slowly pour the hot oil all over the spices – now we’re creating our own freshly made chilly oil ! Once done, mix everything in the bowl and it’s ready to eat.