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From Scratch: Chinese Egg Noodles Recipe Made Simple

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've likely tasted the chewy, bouncy texture of Chinese egg noodles. These versatile noodles can be used in a variety of dishes, from stir-fries to soups, and are surprisingly easy to make at home. In this article, we'll guide you through the process of making your own Chinese egg noodles from scratch, using just a few simple ingredients.

Egg noodles being tossed in a wok with soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions. Steam rising from the sizzling noodles

To begin with, we'll cover the basic ingredients you'll need to make Chinese egg noodles, as well as some possible substitutions if you don't have everything on hand. We'll then walk you through the steps of preparing the dough, rolling and cutting the noodles, and cooking and storing them. Along the way, we'll provide tips and tricks for getting the perfect texture and flavour, and suggest some recipe variations to try.

If you're a seafood lover, we'll also propose the use of seafood in the recipe as a suggestion where applicable. For example, adding some shrimp or scallops to your stir-fry can take your Chinese egg noodles to the next level. Whatever your preferences, we hope this article will inspire you to try making your own Chinese egg noodles at home and experiment with different flavours and ingredients.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A bowl of Chinese egg noodles surrounded by ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions, with possible substitutions like rice noodles or shirataki noodles nearby

When it comes to making Chinese egg noodles, the ingredients you use can make all the difference. Here are some things to consider when selecting your ingredients.

Choosing the Right Flour

The flour you use will have a significant impact on the texture and flavour of your egg noodles. While all-purpose flour is the most commonly used flour for making egg noodles, you can also experiment with other types of flour, such as wheat or bread flour. Keep in mind that bread flour has a higher gluten content and will result in a chewier noodle.

Eggs: Fresh vs Store-Bought

The eggs you use should be fresh and of good quality. Fresh eggs will have a firmer white and a more rounded yolk, making them easier to work with. If you're unable to find fresh eggs, store-bought eggs will work just fine.

Selecting Additional Flavours

While Chinese egg noodles are traditionally made with just flour, eggs, water, and salt, you can experiment with adding additional flavours to your noodles. For example, you could add some sesame oil or soy sauce to the dough mixture, or sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top of the noodles for added flavour and texture.

If you're looking to add some protein to your noodles, consider adding some seafood to the mix. Shrimp or crab meat are great options that will complement the flavour of the noodles nicely.

The key to making great Chinese egg noodles is to use high-quality ingredients and to experiment with different flavours and textures until you find the perfect combination.

Preparing the Dough

A pair of hands mixing flour and eggs in a large bowl, creating a smooth dough for Chinese egg noodles

Making Chinese egg noodles from scratch is a straightforward process, and it all starts with preparing the dough. The dough is the foundation of the noodles, and it's essential to get it right.

Mixing and Kneading

To make the dough, you'll need all-purpose flour, eggs, salt, and water. You can mix the dough by hand or use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.

Start by combining the flour and salt in the mixing bowl. Then, add the eggs and water, and mix until the ingredients come together to form a shaggy dough.

Next, turn on the mixer and knead the dough for around 10 minutes. Kneading helps to develop the gluten content in the dough, which gives the noodles their chewy texture.

If you're kneading the dough by hand, you'll need to knead it for a bit longer, around 15-20 minutes. It's important to be patient and allow the dough to slowly come together.

Resting the Dough

Once you've finished kneading the dough, it's time to let it rest. Resting the dough allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll out and shape the noodles.

Cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. You can also refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours if you want to make the noodles later.

When you're ready to make the noodles, sprinkle some starch on the dough to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin or pasta machine.

If you want to add seafood to your Chinese egg noodle recipe, you can use prawns, scallops, or squid. They add a delicious flavour and texture to the dish. You can sauté them in garlic and ginger before adding them to the noodles.

Rolling and Cutting the Noodles

Egg noodles being rolled and cut on a floured surface

Once you have prepared the dough for your Chinese egg noodles, the next step is to roll and cut them. There are two methods for doing this: using a pasta machine or hand-cutting techniques.

Using a Pasta Machine

If you have a pasta machine, rolling and cutting your noodles will be a breeze. Follow these steps:

  1. Divide your dough into four equal parts and roll each one into a ball.
  2. Flatten one ball of dough with your palm and dust it with flour.
  3. Set your pasta machine to the thickest setting and run the dough through it.
  4. Fold the dough in half and run it through the machine again.
  5. Repeat the folding and rolling process several times until the dough is smooth and pliable.
  6. Gradually adjust the machine to a thinner setting and run the dough through it each time until you get the desired thickness.
  7. Cut the noodles using the pasta machine's cutter attachment or by hand.

Hand-Cutting Techniques

If you don't have a pasta machine, you can still make Chinese egg noodles by hand. Here are some tips:

  1. Divide your dough into four equal parts and roll each one into a ball.
  2. Flatten one ball of dough with your palm and dust it with flour.
  3. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a thin sheet.
  4. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into thin noodles.
  5. Dust the noodles with flour to prevent them from sticking together.

Whether you use a pasta machine or hand-cutting techniques, it's important to stretch the noodles before cooking them. This will give them a chewy texture that's characteristic of Chinese egg noodles. To do this, hold the noodles at both ends and stretch them gently until they become thinner and longer.

If you want to add some seafood to your Chinese egg noodles, you can use shrimp, crab, or scallops. Simply cook the seafood separately and add it to your noodles when serving.

Cooking and Storing

Chinese egg noodles being cooked in boiling water, then drained and stored in airtight containers

Boiling and Achieving the Perfect Texture

To achieve the perfect texture for your Chinese egg noodles, start by bringing a pot of water to boil. Add salt to the water to enhance the flavour of the noodles. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles and stir gently to prevent them from sticking together. Cook the noodles for about 3-4 minutes or until they are al dente, which means they should be firm to the bite but not hard.

If you plan to use the noodles in a stir-fry, you can remove them from the water a minute earlier to prevent them from becoming too soft during the stir-frying process. Rinse the noodles in cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from becoming mushy.

Storing for Later Use

If you have leftover cooked Chinese egg noodles, you can store them for later use. Toss the noodles with a little bit of oil to prevent them from sticking together. You can use vegetable oil, sesame oil, or any other cooking oil of your choice. Store the noodles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

To freeze the noodles, place them in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag. You can freeze the noodles for up to 2-3 months. When you are ready to use the noodles, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them by boiling them in water for a few minutes.

Seafood can be a great addition to your Chinese egg noodles recipe. You can use prawns, squid, crab meat, or any other seafood of your choice. To cook seafood, stir-fry it separately before adding it to the noodles. This will prevent the seafood from becoming overcooked and rubbery.

Recipes and Variations

A steaming bowl of Chinese egg noodles with various ingredients and condiments arranged neatly on a wooden table

If you're looking for a versatile and delicious ingredient, look no further than Chinese egg noodles. With their soft texture and ability to absorb flavours, they're perfect for a wide variety of dishes. Here are some recipe ideas to get you started:

Classic Chow Mein

Chow mein is a classic Chinese dish that's perfect for showcasing the flavour of Chinese egg noodles. To make it, simply stir-fry your choice of vegetables and protein (such as chicken, beef, or seafood) in a wok with some garlic and ginger. Add your cooked noodles and toss everything together with soy sauce and sesame oil. For a vegetarian option, try vegetable chow mein with mushrooms, peppers, and bok choy.

Homemade Noodle Soup

If you're looking for a comforting and warming dish, try making a Chinese noodle soup. Start by making a flavourful broth with chicken or beef bones, ginger, and green onions. Add your cooked Chinese egg noodles to the broth along with some vegetables (such as carrots, cabbage, and bean sprouts) and protein (such as sliced beef or shrimp). Top with some chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime for a burst of freshness.

Stir-Fry and Lo Mein Options

Chinese egg noodles are also perfect for stir-fry and lo mein dishes. For a quick and easy meal, try stir-frying your choice of protein (such as tofu or shrimp) with some garlic and ginger. Add your cooked noodles and toss everything together with soy sauce and sesame oil. For a twist, try making sesame noodles with a creamy sesame sauce. Lo mein is another classic Chinese dish that's perfect for showcasing the flavour of Chinese egg noodles. Try making it with your choice of protein (such as chicken or beef) and vegetables (such as broccoli and carrots).

If you're feeling adventurous, you can even try adding seafood to your Chinese egg noodle dishes. Shrimp and scallops are both great options that pair well with the soft texture of the noodles. Just be sure to cook them thoroughly before adding them to your dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

A steaming wok sizzles with freshly cooked Chinese egg noodles, surrounded by vibrant ingredients like bok choy, mushrooms, and soy sauce

What's the best way to cook thin egg noodles for a stir fry?

For stir-frying, it's best to cook the egg noodles until they're al dente, then rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. This will ensure that the noodles don't become too soft or mushy when you stir-fry them.

How can I find authentic Chinese egg noodles for purchase?

You can find authentic Chinese egg noodles at Asian grocery stores or online. Look for brands that are made in China or Hong Kong for the most authentic taste and texture.

Can you suggest a simple recipe for a chicken and egg noodle dish?

Sure! Here's a simple recipe for chicken and egg noodle stir-fry:

  • Cook 8 oz of egg noodles according to package instructions.
  • In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 diced chicken breast and cook until browned.
  • Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 diced onion to the chicken and cook until the onion is translucent.
  • Add 1 cup of sliced vegetables (such as bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas) to the pan and cook until tender.
  • Add the cooked egg noodles to the pan and toss everything together with 2 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of oyster sauce.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

What ingredients go into making traditional Chinese egg noodles?

Traditional Chinese egg noodles are made with wheat flour, eggs, salt, and water. Some recipes may also call for cornstarch to help prevent the noodles from sticking together.

Is there a notable difference between chow mein and lo mein noodles?

Yes, there is a notable difference between chow mein and lo mein noodles. Chow mein noodles are thinner and crispier, while lo mein noodles are thicker and softer. Chow mein noodles are typically stir-fried until crispy, while lo mein noodles are boiled and then stir-fried with other ingredients.

Are there any health considerations when eating Chinese egg noodles regularly?

Like any food, it's important to eat Chinese egg noodles in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Egg noodles are high in carbohydrates and may not be suitable for those on a low-carb diet. However, they are a good source of protein and can be a healthy addition to your diet when eaten in moderation. If you're concerned about the nutritional content of your egg noodles, consider using whole wheat egg noodles or adding vegetables and lean proteins to your dish.

If you're looking to add seafood to your egg noodle dish, consider using shrimp or scallops. These seafood options pair well with egg noodles and can add a rich, savory flavour to your dish.