Dianxi Xiaoge, a Chinese food influencer with over 11 million followers worldwide, shares her version of a classic dish.
Whether it’s supermarket spaghetti or instant ramen, most people nowadays buy their noodles dried and premade. But nothing beats making fresh noodles by hand—and it’s not as hard as people think it is. It just takes flour, salt, water and a bit of patience.
Handmade noodles are common throughout mainland China, especially in the north, where wheat is dominant. The advantage of making your own noodles—as opposed to buying them from the store—is controlling how thick, salty, and chewy you want your noodles to be.
We learned how to make fresh noodles with Dianxi Xiaoge, a Chinese food influencer with over 11 million followers worldwide. Many of her videos showcase the traditional food of Yunnan, the southwestern Chinese province she calls home.
Rice noodles are more common in her part of the country, but Xiaoge likes to experiment with dishes from all over China. She combined her wheat noodles with a bolognese-like meat sauce made with local ingredients, including sweet and spicy chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorn.
The result is a flavor-packed dish with chewiness from the noodles, a sweet and spicy kick from the peppers, acidity from tomatoes, and richness from the pork.
Here’s the recipe.
For the noodles
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup of water
- 1 gram of salt
For the meat sauce
- 500 grams of pork tenderloin
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1-inch piece of ginger
- 2 teaspoons of Sichuan peppercorn powder
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 tomatoes
- 3 bell peppers
- 1/2 cup of dried chili peppers
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl, and slowly add in water while stirring with chopsticks.
When it starts to clump together, it can be kneaded by hand. Knead until the bowl is clean. Then take a wet cloth, and cover the bowl with the dough inside. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
Take out the dough, and place it on a clean surface. Roll it out into a thin sheet with a rolling pin. Sprinkle flour on both sides so that it does not clump together.
Fold the sheet in and out into four layers. Slice the noodles with a knife to desired thickness. Separate the noodle strands with hands and toss them in flour so they don’t stick together.
Blanch the noodles in boiling water for two minutes and ladle them out. Set aside.
Mince the pork tenderloin, ginger, and garlic. Combine in a medium bowl with peppercorn powder, salt, cornstarch, and light soy sauce. Mix the ingredients together while slowly adding 3 tablespoons of oil throughout.
Dice the tomatoes and bell peppers, and combine together in a separate bowl.
In a wok, add in canola oil and heat it up. Add in dried chili peppers and then the pork mixture.
Cook for a couple of seconds until brown, and then add in diced vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until everything is evenly combined and the tomato juices ooze out.
Ladle out the sauce and serve on top of fresh noodles.