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  • Writer's pictureMiranda Brown

Very simple noodle (ASIAN 258 virtual food lab)

This is a no-frills recipe. You need just three ingredients: flour, salt, and water. Special equipment is also superfluous. A knife, cutting board, rolling pin (or can), and pot are all that’s required.

1. Start with the flour. Measure out 200 grams (a cup of all-purpose is 125 grams. Gold Medal brand is slightly heavier, about 130 grams per cup).

2. Add 2 grams of salt and mix in a bowl (you’re safe with 1/8 teaspoon).

3. Measure out 100 ml of tap water (this is just under a half cup). It should be at room temperature (in winter, you can make it a little warmer).

4. Now the critical step: Slowly add a little of the water to the flour. Use your fingers to incorporate. Then add a bit more of the water. Use only as much water as you need to make a ball. By the time you are done adding the water, there should be little or no flour sticking to the side of the mixing bowl.

5. The dough will still be a little hard and dry. That’s fine. As long as the ball sticks together, it’s ready to be kneaded for a few minutes. This should soften the dough and make it shinier. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. After a half hour, the dough should be squishier. If it’s still pretty hard, let it sit for another 15 minutes.

After the dough has rested for 30 minutes

6. Once the dough is ready, start a pot of water, sprinkling in a little salt. Knead the dough on a clean surface for a few minutes. Then cut the dough into halves. While you are working with one half, wrap the other to prevent drying.

7. Take the first half and roll it on a clean surface dusted with flour (or corn starch). I find it easiest to roll it out with the small Chinese rolling pins. They’re available on Amazon for a couple dollars. My husband, however, has had luck with a regular rolling pin. You’ll want to roll out the dough thin. This is probably where experience matters. After a few turns, you'll know how thin you like it.

8. After rolling out the dough, dust the top with starch or more flour. Don’t be stingy! You don’t want the dough to stick at the next stage. Now roll the dough like a loose cigar. Move the rolled dough to a cutting board and slice. I like to make it a little thicker than fettuccine or broad rice noodles.

9. Unroll the strands one by one. You’ll want to keep them on a dusted surface or in a pan lined with parchment paper. Add corn starch to prevent the strands from getting glued to each other. You can also hang them on the back of a chair or a cheap pasta drying rack.

Hanging pasta (Sofia's toy is on the floor)

10. Once the water boils, put the noodles into the pot. Cooking time will vary. I usually go about 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness. I don’t eat mine al dente, but it’s good to keep a little firmness in the noodles (you don’t want mush).

11. Drain the noodles. If you are frying them, rinse in cold water. But if you are eating them right away, put them straight into a bowl with soy sauce, spices, and minced scallions. The recipe serves two moderate eaters, or one voracious one.

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