Spicy Hand-Pulled Biang Biang Noodles

Tracy Chang

PAGU, Cambridge, MA

From early childhood, I was exposed to dumplings, baos, and noodles made from homemade doughs. My grandma was busy—she ran a 120-seat Japanese restaurant—but she made time for me every Sunday. We’d cook, or visit Boston's Chinatown, where she knew everyone's name and specialty. We sampled all kinds of noodles, thick and thin, paired with a range of sauces, broths, and garnishes. This recipe reminds me of those times, enjoying simple, soulful dishes with my grandma.

Note: if you prefer to use prepared noodles, the closest to the hand-pulled noodles in this recipe would be a thick, fresh udon.

This is a recipe from our digital cookbook, "A Place at the Table" featuring our Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program alum. Download the full cookbook.

Prep time: 40 minutes 
Total time: 3 hours 20 minutes


For the braised pork:

1/2 cup canola oil  

1 pound pork cheeks, cut into 1 1/2 -inch cubes (may substitute pork butt or pork shoulder)

1 large or 2 small heads garlic, peeled and smashed  

2 ounces (4-inch piece) fresh ginger, skin on, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1 cup water  

1/2 cup fino sherry

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce, Wanjashan brand recommended  

1 1/2 tablespoons cane sugar

1 tablespoon Vinagre de Jerez (Spanish sherry vinegar)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt


For the Vinagre de Jerez sauce:  

1/2 cup dashi (1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms steeped in 1 1/4 cup boiling water for 30 minutes, then strained)

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce, Wanjashan brand recommended

1/3 cup Vinagre de Jerez (Spanish sherry vinegar)

1 teaspoon sesame oil


For the noodles:

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour  

1/2 teaspoon sea salt  

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water  

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/4 cup reserved pork braising liquid, at room temperature

1/4 cup Vinagre de Jerez sauce

2 tablespoons fried shallots

2 tablespoons fried garlic

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

2 to 4 teaspoons umami oil (available at, or any brand of chili crisp or chili garlic sauce

1 teaspoon toasted and finely ground Sichuan peppercorns, or to taste

5 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish


Make the braised pork: preheat the oven 350°F, with the rack in the middle position.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, in batches, sear the pork, garlic, and ginger in a single layer until the meat is golden on each side. Turn the garlic and ginger as needed to prevent burning. Transfer pork, garlic, and ginger using a slotted spoon to a bowl, and continue cooking until all of the pork has been seared. Repeat process, and return all ingredients and accumulated juice back in the pot. 

Mix in the water, sherry, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, pepper, and salt. Cover the pot and braise in the oven until the pork is tender and pulls apart easily, about 2 hours.

Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl and pull it apart, using two forks or clean hands, until completely shredded. Add 2 tablespoons of the braising liquid, and mix until the meat is well coated, set aside until ready to serve. Pork can be made in advance, refrigerate the shredded pork up to 3 days. Bring the pork to room temperature before serving.

Remove and discard the ginger from the braising liquid, transfer braising liquid to a container and set it aside until ready to serve or refrigerate up to 5 days. Save as a condiment for other dishes.

Make the Vinagre de Jerez sauce: in a bowl, combine the dashi, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and set aside.

Make the noodles: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt on low speed, carefully stream in the boiling water with the machine running. After all the water has been added, gradually increase the speed to medium-high and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and dry to the touch, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add 2 teaspoons canola oil to a 1-gallon ziplock bag, rub the sides to coat the inside of the bag, add the dough, and close the bag partially. Gently flatten the dough to an even thickness reaching the corners of the bag, using a rolling pin or your hands. Firmly close the bag and let the dough rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze the dough if not using immediately, and bring it back to room temperature before proceeding. The noodles should be stretched and cooked just before serving.

Cut the dough into 1-inch by 5-inch strips. On a wide and clean surface, lightly press one strip of dough evenly with your finger tips, maintaining a similar shape. Holding each end of the rectangular strip in your hands, stretch the dough by gently pulling and bouncing the dough up and down simultaneously, to create a long, wide, flat noodle. Repeat these steps for the remaining dough. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the noodles with a strainer and shock them in ice water to stop further cooking. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the reserved braising liquid, the vinagre de jerez sauce, fried shallots, fried garlic, toasted sesame seeds, umami oil, Sichuan peppercorns, scallions, and shredded pork. Gently toss the noodles in the sauce, and garnish with more scallions and serve immediately.   


3 to 4 servings