Making biang biang noodles is a bit like a session of qi gong and a bit like playing around with Play-Doh. I suggest finding a good clear surface to slap the dough on. Do it with a friend to see who can make the loudest biang. You can experiment with the dough’s elasticity by playing with the flour-to-water-to salt ratios. Dough that is too hard to knead usually means you’ve added too much salt, whereas dough that is falling apart means you haven’t added enough. If the dough is too tough, let it rest for a longer period of time. In addition to making a great meal, the process is oddly therapeutic—like those squishy balls you’re supposed to squeeze when overcome with frustration. Have fun!
- Mix the flour, salt, slowly adding water in portions to form the dough. Holding the glutinous matter in your hands, begin kneading. Once smooth, cover the batch in plastic wrap, letting it rest for about 20 minutes. Once time is up, begin kneading again to ensure surface is perfectly smooth. Upon reaching a perfect smoothness, cover the batch in plastic wrap again, resting for another 20 minutes.
- Divide the lump of dough into 6-8 segments using either your hands or a sharp knife, covering it in a thin layer of oil using a brush. Flour the surface if necessary. Cover each piece of the divided dough in plastic wrap again, letting it rest for about an hour.
- Using your hands or a rolling pin, stretch the dough until it is approximately a foot long and in a tongue shape. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, split each piece into two halves vertically. Pick up the halves and begin slapping it against the surface, elongating them into a noodle shape. The noise may or may not sound like a hard “biang.”
- Cook the noodles in boiling water for five minutes and drain. Scoop the strands out into a bowl, mixing in a tablespoon of black vinegar and soy sauce with chopped garlic, cilantro, and cooked Szechuan peppercorn. Add a pinch of cumin into the noodles and Lao Gan Ma chile oil for a spicier taste. Drop in the boiled bok choy to give it some crunch.
Edwin Jiang is a writer living in London. He mostly writes about fashion, but occasionally other stuff too.