Australia has such a rich variety of cuisine and we especially miss the fresh Asian foods, so I undertook to learn how to make my own Chinese noodles. As it turns out, it is super easy and ‘egg noodles’ contain no egg! They get their yellow colour from a chemical reaction of baked soda with flour. This is also what gives them their fabulous slippery texture.
- 2.5 cups flour
- 3tsp baked soda*
- 1 cup lukewarm water
* Baked soda is bicarb that has been made more alkaline so it has a stronger reaction. Spread a packet of baking soda in a thin layer on a baking dish and put in oven on low heat for an hour. It will lose about 1/3 of its volume in water. Can be stored in an airtight container.
- Dissolve the baked soda in the water.
- Add to the flour. You should see the flour turn a subtle yellow. (Not a strong yellow like you get in the shops in Australia – that’s called food colouring! If you want the strong yellow, add a dash of turmeric or an egg yolk.)
- Knead well (20 mins). It makes quite a hard dough, but don’t give up!
- Clingwrap (or in my case, put in a plastic bag) and set aside for 20 mins.
- Knead again for 5 mins.
- Wrap again and leave to rest for an hour.
- Cut dough into 3 portions. (Because there’s just two of us for dinner, I use these on successive nights, leaving the remaining ones in the fridge until I’m read.)
- One by one, roll out each portion until very thin. (You could use a pasta maker if you have one.)
- Using a pizza cutter, cut thin strips. Make sure they are well floured so that they don’t stick together.
- Boil water and drop noodles in. Cook for 2-3 mins.
I serve with a stir fry of onions, green capsicum, strips of carrot with garlic, ginger and soy sauce.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.