Traditional la mian pulled noodles can be a metre or more long, and are served during Lunar New Year because their long length is symbolic of long life.
- 225 g (1 ½ cups) high-gluten flour (see note)
- 100–110 ml water, at room temperature
- ½ tsp salt
- vegetable oil, as needed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time: 15-20 minutes
Combine flour, water, and salt in a large bowl. Knead dough for about 20 minutes or until very elastic. Cover dough with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for at least 15-20 minutes, to relax gluten.
Knead dough for about 15-20 minutes or until it is stretchy. Pulling noodles is an art that can take years to learn. To pull noodles, repeatedly stretch dough to produce long thin strands. A little vegetable oil can help while handling them.
Alternatively, roll out dough till thin and cut in narrow strips.
Add noodles to a large saucepan of boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes.
Strain noodles, rinse under cold water and add a little vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Use in soups, stir-fries or with tomatoes and cucumber in a salad.
High-gluten flour is available from Asian grocers. Be sure to ask for a high-gluten flour suitable for making noodles.