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The Hirshon Chinese Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles - 热干面

The Hirshon Chinese Wuhan Hot Dry Noodles – 热干面

  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 0 hours


  • Fresh -or- par-cooked thick alkaline noodles (碱面), or thick fresh spaghetti or fresh ramen noodles ~150g per serving.
  • Sesame Oil (麻油), 1 Tbsp.
  • ***
  • For the Lushui spiced braising liquid:
  • Beef for the Lushui Spiced Braising liquid: one beef bone cut into 2-3 pieces, preferably with marrow
  • 100200g beef brisket (牛腩) -or- plate (坑腩) -or- scraps
  • ***
  • Aromatics for the Lushui Spiced Braising Liquid:
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 ½ inches ginger (姜), thinly sliced
  • 8 scallions (葱), white part only. (save the green part of those scallions for later as a noodle topping)
  • ***
  • Liquids for the Lushui Spiced Braising Liquid:
  • 33 ½ pints (1.5-1.75L) water
  • ¼ cup liaojiu (料酒) a.k.a. Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ cup light (regular) soy sauce (生抽) – try your best to submerge the beef bones, but try not to go too much over 4 pints of liquid total else you’d have to adjust the other ratios.
  • Spices/Seasonings for the Lushui Spiced Braising liquid: ½ tsp. whole Sichuan peppercorns (花椒)
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed (茴香)
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves (丁香)
  • 3 star anise (八角)
  • 1 cinnamon/cassia stick (桂皮)
  • 2 dried bay leaves (香叶)
  • 1 black cardamom pod (草果), slightly crushed open
  • 20g slab sugar (红糖) -or- dark brown sugar
  • ***
  • Sesame sauce:
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. sesame paste (芝麻酱), preferably black sesame paste
  • 3 Tbsp. hot, boiled water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • ***
  • Homemade chili oil -or- Laoganma Chili Crisps in Oil.
  • Dark Soy Sauce (老抽). To be tossed in the final noodle dish.
  • Spicy Preserved Radish (辣萝卜干) -or- Sichuanese Zha Cai (榨菜). To be tossed on the final noodle dish.
  • Chopped pickled long beans, suan dou jiao, 酸豆角 if you can find it, which is unlikely. Substitute pickled dilly beans
  • Shanxi Dark Chinese Vinegar (陈醋/香醋). To be tossed on the final noodle dish.
  • Peanuts, 30g, toasted and pounded. To be tossed on the final noodle dish.
  • Garlic, 2 cloves minced, combined with 1 Tbsp. hot, boiled water. To be tossed on the final noodle dish.
  • Sliced Scallions. To be tossed on the final dish. Green part only, using the parts that we didn’t use when making the lushui spiced braising liquid.
  • White pepper powder. To be sprinkled on the final dish.
  • Five Spice powder. To be sprinkled on the final dish.
  • Minced Cilantro. To be sprinkled on the final dish.
  • Accent seasoning powder (aka MSG). To be sprinkled frugally on the final dish. Remember not to go too heavy when using MSG and try to not leave it out, this is street food and it always uses MSG when bought that way in Wuhan!


  1. Par-cook the alkaline noodles until al dente, adding a bit of cool water right whenever the pot’s coming up to a boil. We’re aiming to keep the water here right under boiling, adding a bit of cool water whenever you’re starting to see some heavy bubbles.
  2. This technique helps keep the alkaline noodles from getting soggy. For reference, for us getting to al dente using this method took ~6 minutes, but please taste your own noodles while cooking. You might be working with a different noodle thickness or your water temp might be slightly different.
  3. Quickly strain the noodles, then place on a bamboo strainer or baking sheet that’s been placed in front of a fan. Bamboo strainers are great for this but so long as you did a solid job straining a baking sheet would be fine too. We used a mechanical fan here (quickest and easiest solution), but if you want to go real old school you can use a hand fan as well.
  4. Add the 1 Tbsp. of toasted sesame oil to the noodles, then continuously shake and pull the noodles upward to cool them down. ~3 minutes or so, then set aside. If you’re familiar, this is actually the exact same method that’s used for Sichuanese cold noodles. For Sichuanese cold noodles, this is a nice technique because the starch rubs off a bit and creates an irregular surface for the sauce to cling to. Here, it’s beneficial because the sesame oil will absorb into the noodles and get a real nice flavor. I also think that the starch helps bind with the sauces to create a nice creamy consistency.
  5. Start the Lushui spiced braising liquid: fry the aromatics, then add in the liaojiu wine, the water, the spices, the soy sauce, the beef bones/scraps, and the slab sugar. Add about 2-3 tbsp of peanut oil to a pot over medium heat. Fry the aromatics for ~1-2 minutes until they start to smell real nice, then hit it with the wine. Give it a mix, then go in with all the aforementioned ingredients.
  6. Bring the lushui up to a boil, then down to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat for ~90 minutes. Minimum cooking time here is ~60 minutes to infuse the spices into the liquid, but to fully impart the beefy flavor it can go up to a few hours if you have the time.
  7. Strain the lushui, setting aside ¼ cup per serving of noodles and saving the remainder. The remainder freezes nicely for future meals.
  8. Make the Crushed Peanuts: Over medium-low heat in a cast iron pan, toast the peanuts for 3-5 minutes until they’re starting to pop and get nice and brown. Take off the heat, peel, and transfer to a mortar. Pound til crushed.
  9. Make the garlic water: mince two cloves garlic and combine in a bowl with one Tbsp. hot, boiled water. Set aside for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  10. Make the sesame sauce: In a small bowl mix the hot boiled water in with your sesame paste one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly. Once thin and resembling a sauce-like consistency, season with salt and sugar.
  11. When you begin stirring in the hot, boiled water, at first it feels like you’re almost working backwards – the sesame paste is going to look like it’s actually getting thicker. Just work through it, stirring and adding all the water, then season.
  12. Slice the scallion greens.
  13. Going one serving at a time, re-heat the noodles by dipping in boiling water for ten seconds. This is what makes this dish hot dry noodles and not… cold dry noodles. A quick ten second bath is enough, then transfer to a bowl.
  14. Assemble. Use a bowl that’s large enough for comfortable mixing.
  15. Sprinkle a bit of MSG over the noodles. Don’t go with too heavy of a hand.
  16. Sprinkle over a touch of white pepper powder.
  17. Sprinkle over a slightly more generous bit of five spice powder.
  18. Add on a small handful of scallions.
  19. Add on a roughly equal amount of spicy preserved radish.
  20. Add on a roughly equal amount of crushed peanuts.
  21. Toss on ~1 tsp of minced garlic, and sprinkle over ~ ½ tsp. of garlic water over the noodles.
  22. Toss on 1 tsp. to 2 Tbsp chili oil. Add enough to get anywhere from ‘mild’ to ‘medium’ according to your taste buds.
  23. Add ½ tsp. dark Chinese vinegar.
  24. Pour ¼ cup of the lushui spiced braising liquid all over everything.
  25. Add in 2 Tbsp. of the sesame sauce.
  26. Add in 1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce.
  27. Add minced cilantro to taste.
  28. Mix well, and devour.
  • Category: Recipes
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