Snack and Refreshments

Cold Noodles

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Fluffy Rice

1 lb. wheat flour
2 eggs
5/8 cup water
4 tablespoons sesame paste
9 tablespoons soya sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
4 tablespoons chilli oil
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
1 flat teaspoon Chinese prickly ash
1.1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons minced scallion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon gourmet powder
4 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 lb. cucumber

1) Break eggs on wheat flour. Add water to make a dough, which must be kneaded over and again to become cohesive and smooth on the surface. Cover with a wet cloth for 40 minutes.

Wash cucumber and cut into fine slivers. Keep in refrigerator.

Roast sesame seeds on a dry pan over gentle fire, stirring all the time, till crisp and flavory.

2) Put sesame paste in a big bowl. Dilute it by stirring in soya sauce. Add vinegar, sugar, gourmet powder, chilli oil, prickly ash, minced scallion and garlic. Mix these well into the dressing sauce. Sprinkle on sesame seeds.

3) Divide dough on floured workboard in 3 or 4 pieces. Roll each out into a large thin sheet of about 1/16 inch thick. Coat with dry flour, fold it up and cut into thin noodles.

4) Bring a pot with plenty of water to a boil. Boil noodles inside till done. Transfer to a well-cleaned plate. Sprinkle on sesame oil evenly, stirring up noodles in the meantime to let the heat out. Mix well and spread out to cool.

To serve, transfer and divide noodles in bowls, pour on dressing sauce and sprinkle on cucumber slivers.

Notes:

(1) Commercially prepared dried noodles may also be used for this snack.

To cook the noodles, there should be plenty of water on high flames. The boiling must not be overdone, for the noodles will be soft and sticky and not good to eat. They are done as soon as there is no hard core in the middle.

(2) Sesame oil should be evenly mixed with the boiled noodles and, while cooling, they should be shifted around a couple of times to prevent sticking together. Cover them, when cooled, with a wet cloth and keep in refrigerator for chilling.

(3) Condiments for the dressing sauce may vary according to tastes and eating habits. Of these, chilli oil and prickly ash are made respectively as follows:

Chilli oil: Wet chilli powder in a small bowl with a little oil. Heat sesame oil (or substitute, e.g. peanut oil, etc.) in a wok. Pour the heated oil little by little over the powder, stirring in the meantime. It is done when oil becomes red.

Prickly ash: Roast Chinese peppercorn on a dry pan over gentle fire, stirring in the meantime, till it becomes crisp and aromatic. (See that it is not burnt.) Crush it, while hot, with a rolling pin into powder.

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