Chinese Bang Bang Noodles

Some people have passed the pandemic, rearing sourdough starters with varying degrees of success.

Not me.

My mother always told me I needed instant gratification and to a certain degree, moms are always right.

So, no sourdough starter for me (especially when in 30 minutes’ drive I can have a professionally crafted loaf from my friend at Pawling Bread Co.), but something much more my speed—Chinese Bang Bang noodles.

These fill a gap that no slow creeping of sourdough starter will. Easy. Quick (ish) and the satisfaction of being able to take all your aggressions out on some poor unsuspecting dough. All good things in my book.

Not so good, it was a Zoom class put on by Brooklyn Kitchen, where I’ve enjoyed in-person classes before.

Boy, was I wrong about the Zoom class!

For me, it was the perfect way to take a cooking class. You’re in your own kitchen, with your own (sharp) knives and all your own gear. You’re working with a group, but solo, so you’re responsible for how everything looks and tastes. No worrying that the 6 people you got teamed up with have never cut an onion before…

When you sign up for the noodle (or any) class, you’re emailed a list of ingredients, the recipe, what and when you need to prep, and a link to a video showing you how to do it.

The dough, which we prepped the day before, was simple. Flour, oil, water and salt and a lot of kneading (or a ride through your KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook). Stash in the fridge overnight and you’re ready.

Banging out the noodles was pretty simple too. While you’re waiting for a big pot of water to come to a boil, you divide up your dough until you’re left with a bunch of strips about 1” high and 4” long. You score through the length and then pick up the ends of the dough, stretch and bang against the counter, until you have a long length of noodle that’s starting to separate where it was scored. Tear it in half and put aside or drop in the pot until it floats to the top and there you are—bang bang noodles.

Perfect for a pandemic.

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