We are making Shan Xi Liangpi, It is a typical north-west Chinese food. Very popular these days. In English, it is called cold skin noodles. It has great texture and amazing flavor. It is not a complicated recipe but it is definitely time-consuming. It is so delicious that every once in a while I just feel like I miss that flavor and I need to make this again.
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Xian Cold Noodles
Ingredients for making the noodles (serve 2-3 people)
MAKE THE DOUGH
- - In a large mixing bowl, add in 400 grams of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp of salt, 220 grams of water. Gather all the flour together and knead it into a dough. Cover it and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- - 30 minutes later, knead it for 6 minutes. Cover it. Let it sit for 2 hours.
WASH THE DOUGH
- - Add 2500g of clean water into a big bowl. Put the dough into the water. Use your hand to rub and squeeze the dough. In about 10-14 minutes non-stop washing, you will get pure wheat gluten. It should be very spongy.
- - Place it on a plate. You can add some baking powder so the texture will come out even more spongy. I didn’t because I like a little chewy texture.
- - Leave a small gap on the steamer for the steam to come out easily. Steam the gluten on high heat for 25 minutes. Take it out, cut it into small pieces. We will use it as a topping when we eat the noodles.
- - What is left in the bowl is starch water. Let it go through a fine sieve so you can get rid of those tiny wheat glutens. The starch water looks very cloudy but it is too thin for making noodles. We have to let it sit for at least 6 hours so the starch can sink to the bottom completely.
- - 6 hours later, slowly pour out the top layer of water and leave the starch. You want to pour as much water out as possible because if the starch is too thick, you can always add more water back but if the starch is too thin, then you might need to wait for another 6 hours to let the starch sink to the bottom again.
- - Loosen up the starch to see how thick the batter is. For every 400 grams of all-purpose flour, you will end up with about 1kg - 1.1kg of the final starch-water mixture. If I see the starch water is too thick, I will add some of that water back so it weights about 1-1.1kg.
STEAM THE NOODLES
- - Get a baking pan. Brush some oil on the bottom. Make sure you give the starch water a nice stir and then pour it into the baking pan. For an 8 inches round baking pan, you will need about 100 grams of starch water to fill up the bottom.
- - Let the baking pan float on the boiling water. Cover it and steam for 3 minutes. When you open it, you should see some big bubbles which will deflate very fast. Let it float on top of some ice water to cool it down. Brush some oil on the surface of the noodle skin. It prevents it from drying out. Use something to lift a little edge and Then take it off the baking pan. Put it on the cutting board. This recipe will make about 10 pieces of 8 inches noodle skin, which will be enough to serve 2-3 people.
- - Cut the noodle skin into shreds. You can apply some oil or water so they don’t stick to the knife. Separate them one by one. Now you have your cold skin noodles made.
PREPARE THE SEASONS AND TOPPINGS
- - Blanch some bean sprout in the boiling water for about 10 seconds. Take it out and Set it aside
- - Make some garlic water: 1.5 tbsp of grated garlic, 1 tsp of salt. Mix them together. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir it well.
- - Besides bean sprout and garlic water, you will also need some shredded cucumber, light soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, cilantro, steamed gluten, red chili oil.
MAKE THE COLD SKIN NOODLES (1 PORTION)
- - In a Noodle bowl, add in 2 cups of the cold skin noodles, 2 tbsp of garlic water, 2 tsp of black vinegar, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, some red hot chili oil, some steamed gluten, a bunch of cilantro, the blanched bean sprout, shredded cucumber. That is it. Mix it up and you are ready to enjoy this delicious, authentic Chinese cold noodle skin.