Hand-pulled and stretched Chinese wheat noodles (SFBA/Norcal)

If that’s the current menu, it’s pretty intriguing to me. Not only do I need to check out their Biang Biang noodles, but Guanzhong noodles and Fufeng noodles are new to me. i couldn’t find much about either through Google or Baidu, but Guanzhong and Fufeng are both place names in Shaanxi, so I guess they may be subregional specialties. Looks like I’ll have to pay a visit to David Deng, diet be damned!

I can’t make out the new menu, but other yelp photos show pictures of a noodle that looks lasagna wide. I’ll excerpt below a portion of my original post about TCW’s distinctions:

I’ve noticed that distinction too. Che mian (hand-torn, as opposed to hand-pulled, noodles) can be as wide as (or wider than) the well-known Xi’an famous foods biang biang noodles or as narrow as used in the you po che mian served at Terra Cotta Warrior, Xi’an Famous Foods and my favorite Xi’an joint in Shanghai.

Incidentally, a closeup photo I took of my very first biang biang noodles at XFF’s Golden Mall location in 2008 has been used on more than 270 websites (including some in China) to illustrate biang biang noodles, thanks to Wikimedia Commons.

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Another video with no need to log in

Noodlosophy in San Mateo is a choose your own adventure style noodle shop – – choice of

  • Ramen, thin noodles cranked out of the machine, or wide what they call “biang biang” 扯面 (technically hand ripped noodles)
  • soup or dry
  • toppings
  • level of spiciness

To my knowledge they are the only restaurant on the peninsula that has wide ripped noodle, so I went with the wide noodles with cumin lamb, at the highest level of spice.

The noodle ripper is stationed right next to the cash register, so it is a nice opportunity to observe these things made. Each piece of dough is premeasured into a little brick that looks like a slab of tofu. He rolls each brick into a flat rectangle, does two horizontal slashes with a plastic scraper, Pulls the sheet outward with both arms while flapping his hands up and down, and then rips the 3 1-inchwide noodles apart from each other.

On the plus side, the noodles had a consistent height and were evenly cooked. Although I found them either too thick or dense compared to, say, the ones at terra-cotta warrior, making these can’t be easy and I prefer these to the stiff or undercooked ones I’ve had at Liang’s.

The cumin lamb, even though I ordered it at the highest spice level, could’ve used a jolt of cumin seeds and was neither as fiery nor as fragrant as I was hoping. I did like the presence of onions and jalapeños. Lamb pieces were gristley and some pieces tough from overcooking.

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Instagram video just posted from Xi’an by a friend, wide noodles hand stretched without using scoring.

First step in making youpo noodles ["oil splash"] #油泼面: stretching the dough #xian #西安

A post shared by Tokowijzer Wegwijsindetoko (@tokowijzer) on Aug 22, 2017 at 6:58am PDT

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As reported, Lanzhou Hand Pulled Noodles has a soft opening on October 25th. I’ve confirmed with the owner that the owner worked in Lanzhou and that this is an independent restaurant, not part of a chain.

Updated list of places serving Lamian 拉麵 aka Shou lamian 手拉麵 aka chen mian 抻面 aka Hand-pulled noodles.

Mention Lanzhou

Noodles simply listed as hand-pulled / la mian, no mention of Lanzhou

I’m leaving out Shandong, Korean Chinese, and whatever else i listed as Category #4 in the original post, and I don’t know their technique. Some of those source their noodles or use packaged, pretty damn good, noodles available at Korean markets.

While I’m updating, two new Shaanxi places with hand ripped noodles:

The owner told us that they are not hand-pulled (too much labor.)


LOL. Its become temporarily Lanzhou Machine Made Noodles. Too many customers. ‘Doesn’t affect taste’.

Photo from Yelp.

  • For $5, Hai Di Lao Hot Pot, a mainland China chain that recently opened in Cupertino, does a “dancing noodle”, a wide hand stretched noodle whose final stretch culminates in a dance. Plenty of videos on their yelp page

Hahaha. That was amusing. So lots of videos of the noodle dance but no pictures of the final noodles despite lots of other pictures of food.

They do have knife shaved noodles at Skyview. They were dense and a bit undercooked in the center when I tried them.

The owner tried to describe the hand-pulled noodles they had, which he hopes to bring back at some point.

He said they were a noodle style from NW China and not the typical la mian that you see with the chef stretching & bouncing & folding the dough to thinner and thinner strands to the desired thickness, but still quite labor intensive.

Through his gesturing and talking it sounded like the dough is pulled and stretched by hand, but then knife cut into the ribbons of noodles. I’m probably completely butchering the process, but sounded more like the Che Mian that Souperman & Hyperbowler had posted above.

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I found these handmade noodles at Sogo Tofu in San Jose today. The cut looks very uniform so I presume ‘handmade’ refers to ‘hand-pulled/ stretched’. I asked the guy whether those are handmade or machine made and he said handmade.

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I highly doubt it is hand-pulled, which is a special version of handmade.

Handmade can be kneeded and worked by hand all the way until the last step. Then it can either bi machine cut or hand-cut.

Hand-pulled means no cutting at all - the noodles are pulled to their final desired girth.

I asked another guy about the noodles again on a subsequent visit. Its machine cut. But its not very clear to me whether its handmade or whehter they are referring to it being made in house.

Just from the packaging, I would guess it is either made in house or if brought in, it’ll be from another specialty noodle making shop. For the type of noodle 陽春麵,it is supposed to be machine cut anyways as can be told by the rectangular cross section shape.

Hand-pulled noodle will always have more rounded cross section.

The name “Yang Chun” implies flat, economically priced noodles, though I have seen noodles so labeled that have a round cross section. They are the “every day” noodles my wife grew up on before and during the Cultural Revolution, and which she will whip up a batch of in the blink of an eye when she thinks I’m too hungry to wait for dinner.

Yes, the meaning of 陽春麵 “yang chun” literally means plain noodle. I’ve not noticed round noodles being used in my experience in Taiwan but it certainly can be.

I enjoyed this video of handmade suomian–long, thin, dried wheat noodles.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold