tenobe dango jiru
Hand stretched wheat dumplings (noodles) are a speciality of Oita Provence in Japan, usually served in an iriko dashi based soup flavored with miso and vegetables. These noodles are also popular in Hawaii: the first time I made this dish was as a test for The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook. The dumplings were quite thick noodles, similar to the savory mochi (rice-flour) dumplings sometimes added to soups all over Japan. Looking at pictures online, it seems the “dumplings” in Oita are thinner and more like noodles.
We’ve all seen those Chinese master noodle chefs (perhaps only on YouTube) pulling long strands of lamian from a lump of dough: great entertainment and a real mystery about how it can be done without breaking the strands!

My goal is more modest—I can’t help but admire this beautiful Uyghur woman, making noodle soup on a wood-fired stove. Her gracious hospitality, and her serene way of making those noodles reveals a homey skill which must provide much happiness for her family and friends. Oh, I could sit at her table and enjoy her company over a meal…

Apparently this is a type of noodle is made in many Chinese homes, a bit rustic, chewy, slurpy, and simply straightforward. I’m imagining that these noodles are similar to the Oita style. ???

Hand-Stretched Noodles

a recipe under development by Tess
serves 3

  • 1 cup flour (note: cake flour might be better than all-purpose)
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon Koon-Chun kansui diluted in ⅓ cup water, add more water by teaspoon if flour is dry

Put the flour in a large bowl and whoosh in the salt. Make a well in the center and pour in about 3 Tablespoons of the water. With a fork or chopsticks, use a stirring motion (clockwise) to push dry flour into the liquid. When you have lots of sticky bits and yet lots of dry flour, add a little more water and stir (clockwise) some more. Repeat until the flour looks like coarse sand or even like gravel. At this point, you can gather up the mixture and press it into a ball. Knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. Cover it with a damp napkin and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Flatten the ball of dough and cut it into 16 equal pieces. Roll snakes with each piece of dough. Squish flat, stretching the ribbons as you work.
You can now add the noodles to your soup, or you can cook the noodles in a separate pot of rigorously boiling water, then divide them into serving bowls and add the soup.

Niboshi dashi
makes 4 cups

  • ♥ about 15 small niboshi
    (dried anchovies or sardines) (1 ½” long)
  • ♥ small piece of kombu (optional)
  • ♥ 4 ¼ cup water

Clean the niboshi: remove the heads and guts, which will make the stock bitter. Put water in a deep pot and soak niboshi for 30 minutes to one hour. Some people add a piece of kombu to the pot and remove it before the water boils. On medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, skimming off any foam rises to the surface. Stop the heat. Strain the broth through a kitchen cloth. Use immediately, or refrigerate or freeze.Things in the Soup:

  • 2 baby bok choy, cut into chopstick sized pieces
  • 3 ½ ounce package of enoki mushrooms, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 small carrot, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 1 thin yellow summer squash, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • ½ sweet red pepper
  • 3 or 4 small okra pods
  • 2 Tablespoons miso (I mixed hacho miso with white miso)
  • 1 green onion, green only, sliced into rings
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into chopstick sized cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated

A very thorough article about making pulled noodles, one I will use in future to make this dish, we hope, more successfully.

A very thorough article about making pulled noodles, one I will use in future to make this dish, we hope, more successfully.


7 thoughts on “Tenobe-Dango-Jiru

  1. These are really good videos. We have tried to make noodles 4 times now. Sometimes we come close but I never like them because they are still too grainy or too thick. I suppose it is like that video said, we are not kneeding it long enough? Well, we’ve always used white or wheat flour. This week we bought some high glutinous rice flour. Our next attempt will be with that.
    Ive also tried cutting like that woman. I cant cut in a straight line, like she can. Its really an art. Making noodles.

    • I can make ramen noodles, using a hand cranked pasta machine, but even the simple pulled noodles are a challenge. Next time I’ll use the Cuisinart or the Kitchen Aide to mix / knead the dough. The last two videos stress that the dough must be well kneaded…

        • LOL! That’s inventive!
          One could use a long knife like a guillotine. A Chinese cleaver, or other long knife: rest the tip above the dough and guide it down to slice the noodles in one go.

    • Not really. Just a bit like the Uyghur noodles has been my best effort. The Kitchen Aide is not really helpful in kneading. I think I never knead the dough long enough to get stretchy enough…

  2. Pingback: Homemade Ramen Noodles! | Tess's Japanese Kitchen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s