Has anyone made lo mein noodles at home?
I've seen several recipes for home cooked lo mein that uses dried spaghetti or linguine, but have not been able to find a recipe for making fresh lo mein noodles. I regularly make pasta using the James Beard food processor dough and a pasta roller, but that is nothing like the lo mein noodles I can sometimes find in the refrigerated section of the Asian market that is 35 minutes away from me.
The noodles from the Asian market are almost yellow in color (more eggs, I guess), and firmer than pasta, with more of a chewy texture. They are also square, and thicker than supermarket spaghetti. Does anybody have a good dough recipe for this type of noodle?
The yellow is often from an alkaline solution, usually diluted lye, jian shui (kansui in Cantonese -- potassium and sodium carbonate), or sodium bicarbonate, which adds to the chewiness (traditionally, some mugwort potash, or 'penghui', is used in some areas). Good Chinese markets will probably have something along these lines that you can use. A lot of commercial noodles also add food coloring for the yellow color.
Northern Chinese noodles tend to be eggless (just flour, water, salt, and usually some kind of alkaline component); I've been told that some types of Cantonese noodles are made with duck egg as well. I think you want a fairly stiff dough - maybe 100 flour to 60 water as a starting point, less water if you're also adding egg? You want to rest the dough for 30 minutes after kneading (a dough hook in a stand mixer will work, but not sure about the food processor). The recipe I saw suggested that the alkaline solution be mixed in *after* the initial rest.
You could also take a look at:
The temperature of the water used is a factor too. Certain types of Chinese flour foods will use hot water and then cold, or a different temperature of water will be used depending on the time of year. I would start with tepid water and go from there.
Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I'm pretty ignorant on the regionality of Chinese cuisine, so I'm not sure what region's noodles I'm looking for. The only English on the refrigerated noodles I've been buying is "Refrigerated Fresh Lo Mein Noodles" and "Boil for 8 Minutes and then use as desired."
You've given me a good point to start from, and hopefully I can find a recipe I like. Buying them ready-made is a chore, since all of the good Asian markets in Atlanta are over 30 mins away from me, and they cost something like $4 for a pound of noodles.