Lanzhou Chicken Noodle Soup

There are noodles, and then there is the greatest noodle dish of all, Lanzhou Lamiàn. I remember wolfing down bowls of these from my trips to China and what mesmerized me most, was how the “lamiàn” / noodles were made. Originally from Lanzhou – the capital of Gansu Province, in North west China, these hand-pulled noodles require great skill to make and are so popular they have an annual noodle competition to weed out the best from the thousands of lamiàn eateries in the city. The hand-making process involves taking a lump of dough and repeatedly stretching it to produce many strands of thin, long noodles. Literally, la means to pull or stretch, while miàn means noodle. I could sit at the table and watch the young chefs for hours while they magically pulled out noodles from blobs of dough. Lanzhou Noodle soup, has 4 essentials – A good beef broth and of course the sliced Beef, hand pulled noodles, coriander & chili paste. What I have here technically wouldn’t qualify as the real deal, but yes would for a knock off, given my absolute sudden craving for the soup, but lack of access to the right ingredients. So instead of long, pulled wheat noodles drowned in a meat broth and topped with coriander and a crippling quantity of oily chili paste … I made a Chicken broth & pulled chicken, with the closest decent noodles I could find and the rest was pretty much the same. Served them with some Indonesian prawn crackers for an extra crunch and a refreshing glass of Iced Tea to balance the chili.

Lanzhou Chicken Noodle Soup 1


For The Broth

  • 1 whole Chicken cut into 12 pieces
  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 Radish finely sliced
  • 2 tsps Chicken bullion powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 4-5 slices of ginger
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 tsp sichuan peppercorns
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 black cardamon

Rest of the Ingredients

  • chopped coriander
  • chopped green onions
  • a couple of dried black mushrooms, soaked in hot water and sliced finely
  • wheat noodles, or any noodles with you like, preferably slightly chewy ones
  • chili oil

Ingredients for Chili Oil

  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/2 of a small cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp peanuts

Begin with making the broth, add all the ingredients in a heavy bottom pot and let it simmer on slow for about 2 hours, and the chicken falls off the bone. Stain the broth, and return to it the pieces of Radish. Debone the chicken and discard the bones n spices.

Meanwhile make the chili oil. In a small pot, gently heat the oil and add the peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon stick and let it infuse on a low heat for about 15 mins, making sure you don’t fry the spices. Turn off the heat, remove the whole spices and add the peanuts, chili flakes and seasonings. Let the oil rest, and keep aside till ready to use.

Boil the noodles till al dente and equally divide them in the bowl you plan to serve the meal in. Layer the deboned chicken & black mushrooms over the noodles, and pour the broth with the radish equally in all the bowls. Top with coriander, green onions and as much as you can handle – chill oil.

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Comment :

I love this kind of soups and chilli oil sounds delicious!

Amazing…Love it! Thanks for recipe!

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