Food & Wine

Delicious hand-pulled noodles

Updated: 07 Nov 2008
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Lamian or hand-pulled noodles can be vegetarian or meat based, the noodles can be served dry or with soup and can be plain or with toppings. The toppings are added based on preferences. 


It is an art. Of stretching those long, snaky and slippery noodles by hand to perfection. Lamian, a Chinese word, stands for hand pulled noodles: La — hand pulled and mian — noodles. The noodles and also the dishes that are made using these noodles are called Lamian. It originated in the northern part of China. In fact, scientific research puts down the origin of the noodles to over 4,000 years ago.


This is based on a discovery in 2005 by scientists who discovered the world’s oldest known noodles, at Lajia, an archaeological site along the upper reaches of the Yellow river in north-west China. It was found preserved in an upturned bowl among the debris of a gigantic earthquake. Analysing the remains, it was found that the noodles made from millet flour dough, was stretched into long, thin strands and boiled.


Pareparing the noodle


The Lamian are boiled, the soup that goes along with the noodles is steamed and the different meat are cooked in different styles — deep fried or roasted. Also, the Lamian are stir fried with seafood, chicken or vegetables. It is popular in China, especially in Xiamen. Lamian are traditionally consumed as soup topped with meat or vegetables.


Food pairing


Lamian are best paired with meat like pork, beef, lamb, duck and chicken. The most popular dish is the grilled chicken Lamian. Traditionally, Lamian are usually paired with meat. But over a period of time, a wide variety of vegetarian dishes also have been introduced to suit the international palette. The dexterity with which it is made gives them a fine flavour. Dig into it as you relish sliced duck in ‘teo chew’ style or smoked fish in ngor hsiang sauce or some black mushroom with ginger, green cucumber marinated with garlic in black vinegar. It can be teamed with an array of delicious dishes — sliced beef shank Lamian soup, grilled chicken.


Lamian soup or stir fried Lamian in black pepper and sesame Lamian. You would be simply spoilt for choice. For something more exotic, team it up with braised hon shimeiji mushroom with asparagus in fresh crab meat or pan-fried king prawns in kung po sauce. Nothing could tickle your taste buds better. A Lamian meal is best followed by Chinese Jasmine tea. Traditionally, there are no desserts made using the Lamian.




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