Quite a while ago, I was invited to share a post of landscape photography based on the idea of photography being able to tell stories. Photography to me is one of those things I LOVE doing but I’m not the best at (like honestly I don’t even know half the settings on my camera.) Photography is one of those things I’ve always been fascinated by because of its ability to capture visible memories, moments in time, convey all sorts of emotions and be able to evoke different meanings associated with every photo, which is unique to each individual. Inspired by this post, I wanted to combine my love of food and sharing recipes with all of you with a story that’s very close to my heart.
My Grandma’s homemade egg noodles (or as I like to call them, my Ah-Ma’s mian/蛋面).
My Ah-Ma’s egg noodles are something that I’ve grown up eating. I’ve seen them as a massive treat, as I would only see my grandparents (Ah-Ma and Ah-Here as I would call them) once, or if I’m lucky, twice a year and we would always make noodles together. Some of my favourite childhood memories were making noodles with my grandparents. I was always known to scarf down a bowl of them so fast
One of my favourite memories is being three, in the kitchen and insisting that I could roll out the noodles at the thickest setting. Of course my three year old non-existent muscles couldn’t handle it, and my Ah-Here would place his hands over mine and help me turn the handle, and it would make me feel so strong and accomplished doing so (even though I didn’t actually do anything). Now that he’s in a better place, these noodles are heavily associated with many childhood memories and memories with him, so they’re a meal very close to my heart.
They take a while to make, a lot of effort, labour and most of all a lot of love. It’s a recipe very close to my heart; not because it’s some secret recipe but because of the many memories I have associated with them; and I thought I’d share the recipe with you.
This is my family’s machine that we use to make our noodles. It’s actually a pasta machine by the brand Macarto, and despite all the ones that they sell that do all of the rolling for you automatically, I still love this machine. It’s been in our family for probably decades – definitely longer than I’ve been around, as it was bought in South Africa before my family moved to Australia. It’s one of those items that goes to show that quality really does override the price, as it’s still holding up well after so many years. (As a matter of fact, they actually still sell this exact machine at Harris Scarfe!) You will need a sort of pasta maker for this recipe (:
- 1kg plain flour
- 7 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of water
- Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Sesame Oil/any kind of oil
- White Pepper (measurements vary depending on amount of noodles made, this is just the plain flavouring we use and I’m used to)
- Make sure you have a large bench space cleared and clean, and your pasta machine is clamped down to your bench top tightly (I place cards or thin pieces of wood in between to avoid damaging my bench top).
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together.
- Add the eggs and stir until it forms floury crumbles.
- Add in 1/4 of the water at the start and mix if it’s too dry. The texture you’re trying to achieve is crumbly and floury, and should only half stick together when compressed in your palm (I forgot to take a photo, because my hands were all floury, so sorry about that!) You don’t want to add too much water.
- Split the dough into 4 parts, and knead each one on a clean, lightly floured surface. This will take some time, but you want your dough to come together into one ball, and the texture should be elastic and smooth.
- Set your machine on 1, and roll out your dough a couple times, folding it over and rolling it until it seems smooth. Dust it with flour if necessary to avoid it sticking to the machine.
- Move your machine up to 2, and roll out your dough until it’s smooth, dusting with flour when necessary. Ensure you don’t over flour, or under flour your dough, and you guide it through with your hand as you turn the handle. You can stop here, or keep moving up to make the noodles as thin as you prefer. (I generally go to 3, but I decided to make a size 2, 3 and 4 thickness to show you the difference).
- Once the dough is all rolled out and smooth to your liking, you can start to roll your dough through the pasta attachment. Make sure you guide your dough in straight and you do it slowly.
- Once your noodles have reached your desired length, you can cut them. Spread them out on a clean surface and using a hairdryer, dry them on a low setting immediately. This is to prevent them from sticking. Make sure that you don’t dry them too little, or dry them too much that they become crisp and dry. (It’s best to have a second person for this job).
- Once you’ve made your way through all your dough, you can place all your noodles into tubs and freeze for later, and cook one box now!
- In a pot of boiling water, place noodles for about 1 minute, watching constantly and checking. Once they are cooked, take them out and immediately drizzle with sesame oil and toss to avoid them from sticking.
- Add soy sauce, oyster sauce and white pepper to your liking, tasting to see how you like it and consume immediately
- Make sure not to add too much water when making the dough. It will look really crumbly, floury and look like it won’t even come together because only half of it is barely sticking together. TRUST ME IT WILL. If it doesn’t, you can always add more water later.
- Make sure you dust your dough down to prevent sticking. We use a new dish cloth and fill it with flour, and tie the top with an elastic band and just puff it up and down the dough as shown. Don’t over flour your dough though!
- Make sure to hairdry them immediately after cutting, otherwise THEY WILL STICK.
- Feel free to double the recipe, as these will go fast. Also, try not to eat them all in one go. When I was a kid I could totally eat two of these bowls easily, but now I have to be a bit more careful about where all those carbs go… ):
If you do make these, please share with me on any of my social medias or let me know in the comments, I’d love to see them/know what you thought of them! I really hope that this post inspired you to try out this lovely recipe, inspired your landscape photography (even if it’s just of food!), or made you really hungry!
I really hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!
– Jess x