Biang Biang Noodles

Recipe and headnote by Irene Shiang Li

Traditionally served around the new year because their length symbolizes longevity, biang biang noodles are an onomatopoeic Chinese dish all about fun and simplicity. Thanks to the hand-torn edges, the noodles have a variety of textures: thicker sections have a satisfying chew while thinner edges have a wispy slipperiness. Enjoy them with your favorite noodle sauce or topping; spicy, roasted chili crisp, paired with some julienned cucumber, is our favorite topping. For ultimate customizability, create a sauce and toppings bar for your guests.

30 mins
20 hrs
about 2 1/2 pounds noodles (4 generous servings)
Biang Biang Noodles  - select to zoom
Biang Biang Noodles  - select to zoom
Biang Biang Noodles  - select to zoom


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Place it in the bowl of a food processor with at least an 8-cup capacity.

  2. Measure the water into a large liquid measuring cup, then add the salt and oil; whisk to dissolve the salt. 

  3. With the food processor running, pour the water in a slow and steady stream over the course of about 30 seconds. 

  4. Pulse the food processor in 2-second increments over 20 to 30 seconds until the dough gathers on one side of the bowl in a shaggy clump.  

  5. Lightly grease your work surface with nonstick spray; also grease your hands. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead it, using a bench knife or bowl scraper and additional nonstick spray to prevent sticking, for about 30 seconds, until the dough is smooth and supple.  

  6. Shape dough into a 12" to 14" log and grease with nonstick spray on all sides; it will still be sticky and that’s OK!  

  7. Wrap the log in 2 layers of plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to rest for 18 to 24 hours, during which the dough will flatten and relax.  

  8. To shape the noodles: About 30 minutes before you plan to cook your noodles, remove the dough from the refrigerator and begin the shaping process.

  9. On a greased work surface, unwrap the dough and gently press it into a flattened log about 15" long. Using a bench knife or other sharp knife, cut the log into 10 roughly equal slices. Turn each piece on its side, so the cut side is facing up, then spray it with nonstick spray, and gently flatten it with your palm into a rectangle about 2" x 6" in size. 

  10. Cover the dough rectangles with plastic wrap and rest for 10 to 15 minutes, until the dough is relaxed enough to stretch it without resisting. (If your kitchen is particularly cold or dry, you may need to allow them to rest for an additional 10 minutes.) While the dough rests, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 

  11. To pull the noodles: Working with one dough rectangle at a time, place a chopstick in the center lengthwise and press gently to make an indentation. Take a short end of the noodle in each hand, then gently pull the ends outward while tapping the middle of the dough on your countertop. The dough will relax into a noodle at least 36" long. 

  12. Let go of one end of the noodle and then tear the noodle down the middle (the chopstick indentation will have created a weak point), leaving it as a big loop or breaking it into two separate strands. If necessary, you can continue to stretch the noodle at this point to even it out and reach the proper length (at least 36" long). If one part of the noodle isn’t stretching evenly, you can give it some extra stretching by hand or place it on the counter and pull the stubborn part. (See “tips,” below if you want to attempt re-pulling any misshapen noodles.) 

  13. Drop the noodle(s) into the boiling water immediately. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes; by this time, they should be floating and can be skimmed from the water with a spider or tongs. (If they’re not floating, give them another minute.) Repeat with the remaining dough. (You can cook multiple noodles simultaneously, but keep track of which are floating and which are still not fully cooked.) 

  14. Place the cooked noodles into a mixing bowl or onto individual plates for serving. Top with sauce and other garnishes. 

  15. Storage information: If not serving immediately, toss noodles in vegetable oil to coat, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Microwave to reheat, or fry in a skillet until crispy. 

Tips from our Bakers

  • If your log of dough has rested 24 hours (after step 7), but you aren’t ready to eat the noodles, you can pause after flattening (step 9) and wrap the rectangles of dough in plastic wrap for another 24 hours. To do this, spread out a sheet of plastic wrap and spray it with nonstick spray. Place the dough rectangles a couple of inches apart on the plastic, then roll up the plastic so that the dough slabs are separated by layers of plastic without touching. The next day, place the dough onto a greased surface and proceed with pulling and cooking the noodles as described. 

  • If you mess up during shaping, you can mold the dough back into a rectangle, let it rest for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator, and try to pull it again. Or, for a different shape, you can use a pair of scissors to cut the noodle into small strips directly into the boiling water.