Xian Lamb Hand Ripped Noodles

Updated: Jul 25, 2021


Xian is a province in China that incorporates a heavy influence of spices and flavours that from the Silk Road. What I love about Xian cuisine is its unique flavours of chilli oils, cumin and other spices inspired from Indian cuisine. This hybrid of Indian and Chinese flavours works great and I used it to full effect in this recipe! These hand pulled noodles make a great transport for the spices in this dish to flourish! Let's cook!

To serve 4:


Key Ingredients:

500g (approx) lamb rump

1 red onion

1 Chinese leaf

3 garlic cloves

6 spring onions

2 tbsp black rice vinegar

Lamb marinade:

50ml ground nut oil

2 tbsp cumin seed

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tbsp mild chilli powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp black rice vinegar

2 tbsp light soy

Hand pulled noodles:

300g plain flour

150ml water

2.5g salt

cooking oil

Chilli oil:

50g dried red chilli

400ml ground nut oil

2 spring onion

4 garlic cloves

5cm piece ginger

1 tbsp szechuan peppercorns

5g cinnamon stick

2 star anise

2 small shallots

1tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp black rice vinegar


Chilli oil:

  1. Start this recipe by making the chilli oil. This can be done the night before to make things easier and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months after making, so it's better to make it in batches. To start add 50g of dried red chilli to a food processor and pulse until ground. (You can make the chillis as fine as you like). Now in a pan add 400ml of nut oil, 2 whole spring onions, 2 crushed garlic gloves, 5cm roughly sliced ginger, 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns, 5g cinnamon stick, 2 star anise and 2 crushed shallots. Place the oil onto a medium heat and fry the aromats until golden brown (approx 10 minutes).

2. When the aromats have infused the oil remove the pan from the heat and allow the oil to cool to a temperature of approximately 130°c. Now place the chilli flakes into a large bowl with 2 finely minced garlic cloves and 1 tbsp of sea salt. Using a strainer strain the hot oil into the chilli flakes and stir well. Now add 1 tbsp of black rice vinegar and mix. (Take care when adding the vinegar as the oil may spit). Allow the oil to cool then store in a sealed container.

Hand pulled noodles:

3. Now lets make the noodles, in a large bowl weigh out 300g of plain flour and place to one side. In a separate jug add 150ml of cool water and 2.5g of sea salt, whisk the water until the salt dissolves then slowly add the water to the flour gradually constantly mixing to hydrate all of the flour. (I like to use a pair of chopsticks for this stage). When all the water has been added to the flour begin to kneed by hand until a ball of dough is formed. When the dough is ready clingfilm and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes of resting the dough should now be much smoother and easier to work with. Kneed the dough again for a further 5 minutes then clingfilm one last time and rest for a further 30 minutes. The long resting time allows the gluten in the flour to bind much better to create a more elastic dough.

5. After the final rest the dough should now be ready, remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a work surface. Kneed briefly again then divide the dough into 6 equal pieces roughly 75g each in weight. When evenly cut roll the dough into small balls and cover with clingfilm.

6. Take each ball of dough and flatten it with your palm. Now use a small rolling pin and roll each piece of dough into a flat oval shape roughly the size of your palm. Now brush each oval piece of dough generously with cooking oil and place onto a plate. Try not to store the dough directly on top of each other as they may stick then cling film the plate and allow the dough to rest in the fridge for 2 hours.

Lamb and marinade:

7. Whilst we wait for the dough to rest we can start on the other parts of the dish. For the lamb, slice into bite sized strips roughly 1/2 cm in width then place into a bowl and set aside. For the marinade in a separate bowl add 2 tbsp cumin seed, 1 tbsp chilli powder, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp black rice vinegar and 2 tbsps of light soy. Mix well then add 50ml of ground nut oil to finish the marinade. Then add the lamb into the marinade and leave for at least 1 hour before cooking.

8. As for the rest of the ingredients for the dish cut 1 Chinese leaf into bite sized pieces, cut 5 spring onions into batons, mince 3 garlic cloves and slice 1 red onion into strips.