112 - These Noodles are Works of Art

By Mary Luz Mejia

Published: August 16, 2006 

You see a bowl of uniform-looking noodles and think "some machine probably whipped these up in minutes."

handpulling noodlesBut, if you happen to be dining in the Pacific Mall Sun's Kitchen, the fact is these machine-like noodles were completely and totally prepared by hand. Similar to Japanese ramen noodles, these Chinese "la-mian" or hand-pulled noodles are an art form.

The craftsmanship behind these particular Northern Chinese noodles belong to Ken Sun, who with his wife Amy own and run Sun's Kitchen.

It takes years to learn how to effectively and efficiently make these noodles, not to mention a bit of upper body strength. Wheat flour, salt and vegetable oil must be worked through thoroughly, the paste getting stretched in Ken's hands. He then gently shakes it up and down numerous times.

The middle of the piece is stretched down, after which it gets twisted, each time stretching and folding the piece of dough repeatedly until it is firm enough to be pulled into noodles.

The pulling action is what separates the strands of dough into noodles and it's like slam poetry in motion. Loud whacking noises and twisting motions result in the strings. Ken can cajole uniform noodles out of a blob of wheat dough like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Handpulled noodlesServed in big bowls brimming with savoury broths, chunks of meat, vegetables and tofu, one serving is a very satisfying meal.

You've got lists of options from which to choose and as you savour your freshly made noodle soup, just think: To the Chinese, noodles are symbolic of longevity. So toast yourself and eat Ken's work of art in style!

Sun's Kitchen
Pacific Mall
4300 Steeles Ave. E.
Markham, Ontario