Chinese Hand-Pulled Noodles in Beef Broth

Hand-pulled noodles are a tradition from Lanzhou in Northwest China. Called "lamian", the 6- to 9-feet-long noodles are made simply with water, flour, and patience! Served with a delicate beef broth, this is a truly special Chinese regional dish.

close up on a hot pot of beef broth
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Additional Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 55 mins



  • 1 gallon water

  • 2 pounds boneless beef shoulder, cubed

  • ¼ cup sliced fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons Szechuan peppercorns

  • 2 dried tsaoko

  • 2 pieces dried mandarin orange peel

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons salt, or to taste


  • 8 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 ½ cups water

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil


  • 1 pound daikon (white radish), peeled and sliced

  • 3 stalks green garlic, chopped

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 8 drops chili oil, or to taste (Optional)


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add beef, ginger, Szechuan peppercorns, dried tsaoko, dried mandarin peels, and bay leaves; bring soup back to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 2 hours.

  2. Discard whole spices. Season beef broth with salt to taste. Cover and keep warm.

  3. Place flour in a large bowl and gradually mix in water. Mix until dough comes together; knead until smooth, 15 to 20 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

  4. Knead dough again for 2 minutes; cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

  5. Knead dough one more time for 2 minutes. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 3/8-inch-thick sheet. Brush both sides of each sheet with oil. Stack sheets together; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

  6. Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add sliced daikon and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain well; set aside. Save water to cook the noodles.

  7. Place 1 sheet of dough on a cutting board and slice into 1/8-inch-wide strips. Take one end of a strip in each hand and stretch it until it is 30 to 35 inches long. Fold it into thirds and stretch again to the same length; shake and slap against the counter several times to lengthen it to 2 to 3 yards. Drop it into the boiling water. Add 2 to 3 more strips of noodles to the boiling water; cook until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer drained noodles to a serving bowl.

  8. Repeat the process with the remaining sheets of dough. Pour beef broth on top of the drained noodles and top with cooked beef, daikon, chopped green garlic, cilantro, and chili oil.

Editor's Note:

This recipe appeared in Allrecipes Magazine and was modified to include star anise and cinnamon in the broth. Please note differences in total time when following the magazine version of this recipe.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

671 Calories
15g Fat
101g Carbs
29g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 671
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 1816mg 79%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 29g
Vitamin C 19mg 97%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 9mg 48%
Potassium 485mg 10%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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