Ramen, Somen, Dumplings, Xi’an-style noodles, and Fermented Rice Noodles

These recipes are for some of the asian noodles which I was developing and producing for about 6 months over this past year. My last post included a couple (wontons and glass noodles), and these are a few more. I had also worked out some intense chinese-style egg noodles, and feel free to contact me if you are interested in getting a recipe for them. In attempting Soba noodles I developed some very flavorful buckwheat noodles, but definitely wouldn’t call them soba. I plan on having that recipe up soon. Below are ramen noodles, dumpling dough and Xi’an-style torn noodles, vietnamese rice noodles (best for noodle bowls and other room-temp preparations) and my personal favorite out of this batch, somen noodles. Somen are essentially thin udon noodles. They have a pleasantly slippery texture which always made me think there was rice flour or some other kind of flour involved in addition to wheat flour. They don’t. You may notice that between the dumpling dough, the wonton dough and the somen dough, the differences are quite subtle. This fact significantly increased the usefulness of my experience working on these doughs, really honing in on the importance of fat, kneading, resting, water temperatures, hydration geometry, and more. I don’t have recipes for entire dishes in this post but there are plenty of recipes around which use the factory-made versions of these noodles. Using freshly made noodles will elevate any dish.

Ramen (5 portions)

  • 225g high gluten flour

  • 75g ap flour

  • Salt

  • 13g kansui (solution of sodium bicarbonate and potassium carbonate)

  • 115g lukewarm water

  1. combine the kansui and water and fork it into the flour in a large bowl.

  2. knead for 5 minutes, this will become a very firm dough.

  3. Rest under a moist towel for 30 minutes

  4. Knead for 1 more minute until smooth

  5. Rest wrapped in plastic for at least an hour

Roll out to the third thinnest setting on your machine and cut using either a fettucine cutter or a sharp knife. Boil in heavily salted water for 90 seconds when ready to eat.

Dumpling dough (makes about 45 dumplings or 5 generous portions of Xi’an-style noodles)

  • 340g ap flour

  • 160g boiling water

  • 55g cold water

  • Salt

In a bowl, pour the boiling water into the flour and mix with a fork. Then add in the cold water so that you can knead with your hands. It will be still be quite warm but as one of my chefs used to like to say “Pain don’t hurt!” knead for a full 5 minutes. Rest under a moist towel for 20 minutes. Knead for 1 more minute until the dough is smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap for  at least one hour 

For dumplings roll out extremely thin using a rolling pin and cut using a round mold that’s appr. 3.5 inches. Lay out the discs on parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. refrigerate for 90 minutes or up to 1 day. fill with your favorite vegan meatball recipe. fold by grasping one part of the edge between your thumb and first finger until it sticks together, then picking up the adjacent couple centimeters of the edge and pressing that into the first fold. continue until you get all the way around and have a little knot on top of the filling. twist off any excess dough. cook in salted boikling water until the dumplings float to the top.

For Xi’an style noodles, use dumpling scrap or fresh dough, rolled out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut or tear them in rustic strips. Flour them aggressively as they will stick together. boil in salted water for about 90 seconds and toss with sauce when you are ready to eat.

Rice noodles

Yields approx. 10 portions

Whisk together 750g water and 750g rice flour. Let the flour settle over the course of a few days while it ferments.

Remove extraneous water carefully. Weigh out 1000g of smooth but thick batter.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil until rippling, then pour in batter and stir with a wooden spoon just until a ball.

For 775g ball, Mix with 100g tapioca starch. knead in the mixer just until it forms a ball. It should be a touch sticky against the bottom of the bowl. Knead by hand for one minute until it is not sticky but is still soft.

Extrude through iddiyapam press directly into simmering heavily salted water for 20-30 seconds and shock in salted water. They will not become totally firm in the hot water - carefully spider them into the ice water where they become strong. Portion into 145g bundles.

Somen noodles

Yields approx. 5 portions

  • 300g ap flour

  • 150g hot water from the tap

  • 4g blended oil

  • Salt

Combine flour and salt In a mixing bowl. combine water and oil. Fork the liquid into the flour. Need for 5 minutes until soft but smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes. Roll out to the third thinnest setting on your pasta machine and cut using either a fettucine cutter or a sharp knife.  Boil in salted water for about 90 seconds right before eating.

Rice Dumplings, Coconut Curry, Tempeh, Persimmons

Their texture is more like rice gnocchi than rice dumplings or rice cakes. And their flavor is concentrated like nothing else - if you use jasmine rice you really do taste jasmine. This recipe is from the Dumpling book, and even though I wasn’t a fan of the Indian stew they made these with, the dumpling recipe was spot on. I have some plans to make these italianish sometime soon, but for now, here’s a nice red curry, based on one I found in David Thompson’s uncompromising book: Thai Food.  In this picture, I used Chinese black rice, which has it’s own unique flavor. And although I used a perfectly ripe hachiya persimmon - a fuyu one or pineapple chunks or pomegranate seeds would also work.

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