Sesame Liang Pi Noodles (麻醬涼皮)

Homemade Liang Pi noodles (涼皮) and wheat gluten (麵筋) perfumed with garlic and tossed in nutty, numbing sesame sauce & spicy, fragrant chili oil. A naturally vegan Chinese street food dish from the Shanxi Province.

The dish utilizes an ancient Chinese method for making seitan known as “washing flour,” or “洗麵筋.” It is basically making vital wheat gluten at home because you’re washing most of the wheat starch, and what you’re left with is just vital wheat gluten and protein. I love everything about this dish — you not only get a super simple homemade seitan/wheat gluten, but can use the wheat starch byproduct to make some of the most incredible homemade noodles.


Sesame Liang Pi Noodles (麻醬涼皮)

4 from 5 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: Street FoodCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium
Servings

3

servings
Prep time

2

hours 
Cooking time

25

minutes

Homemade Liang Pi noodles (涼皮) and wheat gluten (麵筋) perfumed with garlic and tossed in nutty, numbing sesame sauce & spicy, fragrant chili oil. A naturally vegan Chinese street food dish from the Shanxi Province.

Ingredients

  • Wheat Gluten (麵筋)
  • 480 grams (4 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 285 grams (1 cup + 3 tablespoons) water

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

  • Sesame Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese sesame paste (or tahini)

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan pepper (up to 1 teaspoon)

  • 1 teaspoon ground five-spice

  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) warm water

  • Toppings (per bowl)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chili oil (homemade recipe HERE)

Directions

  • Make the Wheat Gluten. In a big bowl, combine flour, water, and salt. Mix well and gather into a dough, adding water (one tablespoon at a time) as necessary. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until smooth. Let rest for 1 hour for the gluten to develop & relax. Once rested, place the dough into a large bowl of water and begin washing out the wheat starches. The water should quickly turn murky, but keep washing until the water appears as murky white as can be, about 5-7 minutes. Reserve the first batch of starchy water in another large bowl (for the liang pi noodles), replace with new water, and continue to wash the dough. Replace with batches of new water as necessary until the water runs clear. Once clear, the washing process is done.
  • Cook the Wheat Gluten. Start by spreading the wheat gluten into a flat layer. Make sure you really flatten it as it is integral Place the wheat gluten into your steaming device of choice, and steam on medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. It should feel firm and slightly springy, but not soft/gummy. Once cooked, remove the wheat gluten from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  • Make the Liang Pi Noodles. I usually do this on the next day, since you have to let the reserved starchy water have time to separate into its constituent starch and liquid layers (I let it set in the fridge overnight). Note: wait for 4-5 hours without disturbing the water if making on the same day. Once separated, ladle out the top layer of water, then slowly pour out any excess. Note: There is no concrete description for how thick the batter should be. Treat the first 1-2 noodle sheets as a diagnostic instead. Nonetheless, it’s better to pour out more water here, since we can always re-add water to our batter if necessary. Ladle batter into a lightly-greased, flat-bottomed round pan (or cake pan) so that it just fills the entire surface. Note: I use a 20 cm (8 inch) diameter pan, which yields 5-6 noodle sheets at the end. Steam on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes, or until the noodle sheet just turns translucent. Remove the sheet from the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter. Note: this is where you can check the consistency of the batter. If the noodle appears rigid and begins to crack, add more water to the batter. Likewise, if the noodle turns out soft & sticky, try to remove some water from the batter. To make noodles, simply cut the sheets into about 2 cm (0.8 inches) wide strips. Set aside.
  • Make Sesame Sauce. In a bowl, simply combine sesame paste (or tahini), toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, dark soy sauce, Sichuan pepper, five-spice, and warm water (from steaming the noodles). Note: adding warm water here helps the sesame paste to not seize up too much. Mix well and set aside.
  • Assembly. Place noodles in a bowl along with thinly sliced wheat gluten. Ladle over sesame sauce and a healthy amount of chili oil. Top with finely minced (or grated) garlic and scallions. Thinly sliced cucumbers and/or carrots are great toppings as well. Mix and enjoy warm.

Notes

  • Wheat Gluten/Seitan Preparation. There are many ways you can cook the wheat gluten: you can boil/bake it in a flavorful broth, or marinate and fry it with an umami sauce. For this recipe, I am showing the traditional way it is prepared for this dish: steamed and mixed in with the noodles.
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Gary
Gary
3 months ago

Your recipes are always so amazing. Can’t wait to try this one, too.