Homemade Silver Pin Noodles 自製銀針粉
By Ellen L. Published: 2016-10-19
Lovely, slippery, chewy, homemade, hand rolled traditional Chinese noodles! Easy to make, these traditional Homemade Silver Pin Noodles 自製銀針粉 will have you feeling like you've time traveled to a past when folks gathered around the table, rolling the dinner noodles deftly with a clever quick hands, all the while chatting and gossiping of this and that. Really, while it's actually quite easy to make these noodles, you might want to make sure you have a few friends or kids to help you out, make it a noodle rolling party!
The Silver Pin Noodles 銀針粉 , also known as Rat Tail Noodles 老鼠粉 (umm...?) and Short Rice Noodles 米篩目, are made from a mixture of rice flour 米粉 (not glutinous rice flour, mind you), wheat starch 澄粉 (also known as tang flour) and tapioca starch. The ratio of the rice flour to the wheat starch can be adjusted as per your preference, with a higher ratio of rice flour making a noodle that is whiter, more opaque and less chewy. A higher ratio of wheat starch to rice flour will make a noodle that is more transparent, more chewy and softer. We found that somewhere in between produced the best results.
The rice flour and tapioca starch we purchased at the asian grocery store. The wheat starch was a bit harder to find, we finally located it at the noodle vender shop at the local wet market, or you can find it here.
To make these noodles is simplicity in itself. Just add boiling water to your flour/starch mixture.
Then mix, mix, mix it up with your handy pair of chopsticks. You might think that it's too wet but hold off from adding more flour for a while as the dough settles as it cools. When cool enough to handle, knead into a smooth dough on a lightly flour dusted surface. Again, it may be sticky, but hold off from adding flour. I found that when the dough completely cooled it was no longer sticky and the original water amount was just right.
Roll out the dough into long rolls with your hands. Then cut into portions in preparation for hand rolling. We cut the portions too big the first time and the noodles came out a wee bit long. I think that around 2" is the traditional length for the silver pin noodles.
The rolling of the noodle part was surprising easy. The video above shows my little girl rolling the noodle in her hands. You can see that it only takes a few moments to roll the noodle. Easy peasy!
As we started rolled the Silver Pin Noodles, I quickly realized that the distinctive shape of these noodles is simply a result of the shape of your hand as a noodle roller. The bulge in the middle follows the hollow of your palm, The two tapered end points correspond to the where the sides of your palm touch when holding your palms together. The noodle simply follows the shape of your palm, rather like the Italian orecchiette pasta where the pasta shape is made with a quick press and flick of a thumb, thus following the shape of the thumb.
So the hand rolling is easy, but there are a lot of noodles to be rolled!! So that's why it's a good idea to plan an old fashioned noodle making party, complete with inducements such as refreshments and stories, so as to get an unnoticed assembly line going and the noodles made lickety split. Or at least press gang your kids and family into helping out. Kids will love helping out as it's easy enough to make the noodles that they can do it all by themselves.
Best of all, after all the hard work, your industrious noodle makers will have their just rewards, as you will naturally prepare for each of them a yummilicious bowl of Silver Pin Soup Noodles with Roasted Duck and Mushrooms 火鴨冬菇銀針粉 with the very silver pin noodles that they rolled by hand!
Homemade Silver Pin Noodles Recipe 自製銀針粉
(enough for 3-4 big bowls of noodles)
1 1/2 cup wheat starch 澄粉, 200g
1 cup plus 2 tbsp rice flour 米粉, 184 g
6 tbsp tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups hot boiling water, 540 ml
Mix all ingredients together except the water in a large mixing bowl. Add in boiling water and stir until the water is all mixed in and the texture is crumbly. Wait until cool enough to handle, sprinkle working surface with flour and knead into a soft pliable dough. Separate into 9 equal parts and with your palms roll each part into 1/2" thick rolls, then cut into 1/4" slices. This portion of dough, when hand rolled, will make a noodle about 2" long. If you want longer noodles adjust the thickness of the slices.
Place one piece of dough in the palm of your hands and roll into a 2" length noodle, letting the middle of the dough plump up and the ends to taper. Place rolled noodles into a tray that has been dusted with flour.
When all noodles are made, heat a pot of water, adding 1 tsp of oil. When the water is boiling add in the noodles. When the noodles float back to the surface remove and rinse immediately in cold water and then drain thoroughly. Your noodles are now ready cooking in whatever wonderful noodle dish you have planned!
If not using right away, carefully stir in a tiny bit of oil to prevent noodles from sticking together and store airtight in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy!
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