Close this search box.

Xian Lamb Hand Ripped Noodles



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 by 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!


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.

9. Now to start to finish the dish, before we pull and cook the noodles next step is to stir fry the lamb. In a pan add a small drizzle of oil and place onto a high heat. When hot add the sliced lamb and marinade and fry until charred. Now add the sliced onion, minced garlic, Chinese leaf, spring onions and 2 tbsp of black rice vinegar then further stir fry until all the vegetables are cooked. Ensure that the lamb stays medium by taking care not to overcook. When ready place the stir fry to one side and we can now finish the noodles.

10. Now to pull the noodles, place 1 of the ovals of dough onto a work surface and make a slight dent using a chopstick down the middle of the dough going lengthways. Now using your thumbs on either end of the dough gently stretch the dough making it slightly longer. Now carefully slap the centre of the dough off the table to stretch the dough and make thinner. (This may take some practice). When the dough is significantly longer and is approximately 1/8 of an inch thick tear the dough down the centre where we indented earlier.

11. When the noodles are pulled and ripped add to a pan of hot water and cook each batch of noodles for approximately 4-5 minutes depending on thickness. When cooked remove from the hot water and place into a strainer to drain any excess water.

12. Now that all the components are ready we can now build the dish. In a small pan add a generous amount of chilli oil and a drop of black rice vinegar. Add the cooked noodles and cooked lamb mix. Mix all together with chopsticks and divide into 4 bowls then finish with some finely chopped spring onions and we are good to go! hope you like this fiery recipe!

Additional notes

If you want to skip the noodle-making process in this recipe then you could use a dry hofun noodle although I highly recommend making your own as the texture and taste is so much better. Instead of lamb, you could use only vegetables if you wish, as this recipe highlights are on the flavour of the cumin, chilli oil and texture of the noodle. If you really want to get after that spice then simply add more of the chilli oil. If you’re not a fan of spicy food then simply skip out the chilli oil. Hope you have fun making these amazing noodles!


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