|Chinese “Mian Pian”|
You know in Chinese, ‘noodles’ are called ‘Mian Tiao’, which is literally translated as ‘flour strips’. This dish is very similar to a regular Chinese noodle soup, but it is called ‘mian pian’, meaning ‘flour sheet’.
I am not sure if this recipe originates from North East China, but I have never seen or heard of it elsewhere in China; in fact, I have never seen it in any restaurants in China — it is my dad’s speciality, and he learned it from my grandparents. Oh, he has another similar one, I will show him off next time. :)
‘Mian pian’, just at its name suggests, is like a different kind of noodles with a different shape. Making them involves less hassle than making regular Chinese noodles by hand. For ‘Mian pian’, once the flour dough is made into a flat sheet, you can just ‘tear’ or ‘pull’ the sheet into smaller pieces, then boil it as you would do when making Chinese noodle soup.
Saying I have never seen it before in anywhere else other than home, I have to tell you a surprising encounter — in a Tibetan restaurant in Bonn (Germany), I saw a similar thing!!! I was too excited, too surprised, too happy, and forgot to take any pictures or videos. My next ‘food story’ post will have to be about my loveliest encounter with Tibetan food and noodles.
I posted this recipe also because the weather is getting colder and colder, when you come back home from outside, you want something to warm you up, from ‘within’, from the ‘stomach’, this is just the right kind of food for that. :))
There are two parts for this recipe. One is making the dough and ‘sheet’, another one is to make the soup. For making the dough, there is no need to add eggs in, just very basic – flour and water. The only trick (compared to the dough for noodles) is that the dough for ‘Flour sheet’ needs to be slightly softer and the ‘sheets’ are slightly thicker, so that it will be easy to ‘tear’ / ‘pull’ them and get the right thickness.
As for the soup, it really depends on what taste or content you like. In this recipe, I made a very common one – clear soup base with spinach leaves.
O, one more thing; in contrast to noodles, which you need to prepare in advance (in fine strips) and only then put them into the water boiling, the flour pieces in this recipe are put into the soup while you ‘tear’ the sheet.
And this kind of ‘Mian Pian’ can only be made into soup, unlike noodles which can be also stir fried.
Here you go the recipe.
Flour, spring onion, oil, ground sichuan peppercorn, spinach leaves, salt, light soy sauce (optional), MSG/vegetable/chicken/mushroom essence (optional), sesame oil
Flour dough preparation:
1) Mix flour with water, knead it into a dough. (I normally use 2 1/2 cups of flour with a little bit more than 1/2 cup of water.)
2) Divide the dough into smaller portions, then roll them into a ‘sheet’.
1) Chop half of the spring onion into small pieces.
2) Wash and prepare the spinach leaves.
1) In a heated wok, pour in around 3 -4 tablespoons of oil.
2) When the oil is hot enough, add in 2/3 teaspoon of ground sichuan peppercorn and chopped spring onion.
3) Until the taste of the spring onion coming out, pour in around 6 -8 cups of water, bring the water to boiling.
4) Once the water is boiling, take one ‘flour sheet’, ‘tear’ / ‘pull’ it into smaller pieces, and put them into the wok. Finish with all of the rest of ‘sheet’.
|Tearing the dough|
5) Add in 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt (do put the amount according to your own taste), 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce (optional). Stir well, so the ‘sheets’ are not stick together.
6) 2 minutes before the flour sheets are well cooked, add prepared spinach into the soup.
7) Before taking the ‘flour sheet’ to bowl, add 1 flat teaspoon of MSG/vegetable/chicken/mushroom essence (optional), and a few drops of sesame oil.
|Chinese flat noodle sheet soup|
—- Done! Hope you like it! — Another kind of noodles.