Homemade Chinese Noodles From Scratch

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Make this most basic of Chinese noodles from scratch using just wheat flour and water in about 30 minutes. Involve the kids as it’s a great family-bonding activity and also great for their fine and gross motor skills.

Kids and I making homemade Chinese noodles
Noodle making with the kids

Noodles were one of those things I took for granted growing up. Whether, dried, frozen, or fresh, it was always readily available. Never in a million years did I every consider making it at home. No one I knew did it. My family also gave me the misconception that I needed this elusive ingredient called “kansui” to make Asian noodles which I now know is lye water but as a littlt kid, I thought it was “soap water” because the Chinese word for lye and soap sound the same and so put me off from wanting to make noodles.

But a few years back, when visiting my sister in Beijing, I took my first noodle making class and was totally amazed that noodles could be made from just flour and water. Who would’ve thought! No soap water needed. Once cooked, the noodles were so smooth and paired so well with the sauces we made and I even loved that they were perfectly imperfect from my uneven cutting skills.


 

It took me years before I got around to recreating that simple noodle recipe. When I saw how much my kids enjoyed kneading and playing with playdough, I realized that noodle-making was a perfect activity for my kids.

Now, they are the driving force behind my continuing to make homemade noodles and finding more recipes for us to create as a family activity.

Kids eager to make homemade Chinese noodles
Getting ready to portion the dough into two

How to Make Simple Chinese Noodles From Scratch

You’ll need the following:

  • 240 grams flour (2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup water
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Spoon or spatula or chopsticks
  • Measuring cup or kitchen scale. I prefer a kitchen scale (I have this OXO one) because it makes for more consistent measuring as a cup of flour can range anywhere from 100 grams to 300 grams depending on how lightly or tightly packed the flour is.)

Step 1.   Mix the flour and water in a large mixing bowl.

Start with 1/2 cup of water and start mixing with a spoon, spatula, or chopstick. If after a minute, you notice that the flour has not completely formed a dough, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time and continue mixing / kneading until a soft dough forms. Aim to keep the dough on the drier side than too wet.

Step 2.   Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until very smooth.

You can do this in the bowl if it’s large enough or on a clean work surface. The dough should not stick to your hands or the work surface, if it does, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough isn’t sticky. When it’s nice and smooth, pat it into a ball.

Step 3.   Rest the dough for at least 15 minutes

Wrap the dough in either plastic wrap or place it in a bowl covered with a damp towel so the dough does not dry out.

Resting allows the gluten in the dough to relax and makes it easier for you to roll out.

Step 4.   Roll and cut the dough. 

Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a clean work surface. Take half of the dough (return the other half to the covered bowl or re-wrap in plastic) and start rolling it flat and thin with a rolling pin (we bought a rolling pin at our cooking class as well as this similar one from Amazon).

Sprinkle and spread flour on each side of the dough if it starts to stick.

Rolling Out Homemade Chinese Noodles
Meticulous Noodle Maker

When the dough is rolled thin enough – we like ours about 1/8″ thick (3 mm) – sprinkle both sides of the dough liberally with flour.

Now gently fold the dough into layers for cutting. You can fold in thirds (like a letter) or if your dough is very long then you can layer into an “S” shape by rolling the dough onto your rolling pin and then unroll it back and forth into continuous “S” shapes.

Kids rolling out dough for homemade Chinese noodles
Sprinkling Flour and Rolling Dough

Cut the noodles to your desired size keeping in mind that the noodles will double in size when cooked. Again, we like ours about 1/8″ (3 mm) thin.

Sprinkle the cut noodles with flour and gently jiggle and shake them about so that they unfold into long beautiful strands.

Kids fluffing strands of making homemade Chinese

Step 5.   Cook the noodles.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and then add the noodles. Lower heat to simmer and swirl the noodles around with a heat-proof utensil. Cook noodles about 3 minutes and give it a taste to see if the noodles are soft and ready. If not, simmer for another minute and taste-test again. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water to rid any excess flour and so that they don’t stick together.

Serve immediately with soup or sauce. You can also store them in the fridge (covered) for a few days or freeze them. Do not defrost when ready to use or they will get gummy. Just reheat the directly in the sauce or soup.

Enjoy your rustic, homemade noodles and be sure to involve the kids. They love mixing, rolling, kneading, and especially the eating part!

My son, Wee Scotch, is 7 and is always keen to help. He takes the task very seriously and is meticulous in his rolling, flouring and cutting.

Li’L Ginger is 3 and sees it as an edible playdough activity. We give her small pieces of dough to roll with her tiny rolling pin and she usually just mimics what her big brother is doing. The children are often covered in flour as their  hands inevitably rub their little noses or scratch their heads.

The pride on their faces as they eat their own creations just floods me with endless joy. They like to think they can identify which strand of noodles were theirs and I play along and pretend that I can identify them too.

My son safely cutting homemade Chinese noodles
Cutting the Dough

Once you have cooked your noodles, use it immediately in your favorite sauce or soup or try it with some of my favorite recipes like my Vietnamese Chicken Curry Soup or my Stir-Fried Crabs with Ginger and Scallions.

Enjoy!

If you’ve mastered this recipe, then check out my tutorials for making Ramen Noodles (the easy way) and for making silky-smooth slurp-worthy Udon Noodles (using a non-traditional ingredient).

My son safely cutting homemade Chinese Noodles
My Son Safely Cutting Noodles with a Dough Scraper

Making Homemade Chinese Noodles From Scratch

Homemade Chinese Noodles From Scratch

Course: Noodles
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 227kcal
Author: Ginger and Scotch
Make this simple Chinese noodle from scratch using just flour and water in about 30 minutes. Involve the kids as it's a great family-bonding activity and also great for their fine and gross motor skills.
Print Recipe

INGREDIENTS

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix the flour and water in a large mixing bowl: Start with 1/2 cup of water and start mixing with a spoon, spatula, or chopstick. If after a minute, you notice that the flour has not completely formed a dough, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time and continue mixing / kneading until a soft dough forms. Aim to keep the dough on the drier side than too wet.
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until very smooth: You can do this in the bowl if it’s large enough or on a clean work surface. The dough should not stick to your hands or the work surface, if it does, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough isn’t sticky. When it’s nice and smooth, pat it into a ball.
  • Rest the dough for at least 15 minutes: Wrap the dough in either plastic wrap or place it in a bowl covered with a damp towel so the dough does not dry out. Resting allows the gluten in the dough to relax and makes it easier for you to roll out.
  • Roll the dough: Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a clean work surface. Take half of the dough (return the other half to the covered bowl or re-wrap in plastic) and start rolling it flat and thin with a rolling pin. Sprinkle and spread flour on each side of the dough if it starts to stick. When the dough is rolled thin enough – we like ours about 1/8? thick (3 mm) – sprinkle both sides of the dough liberally with flour. 
    Now gently fold the dough into layers for cutting. You can fold in thirds (like a letter) or if your dough is very long then you can layer into an “S” shape by rolling the dough onto your rolling pin and then unroll it back and forth into continuous “S” shapes.
  • Cut the noodles: Using a sharp knife (or a dough scraper for kids), cut your layered dough to your desired size keeping in mind that the noodles will double in size when cooked. Again, we like ours about 1/8? (3 mm) thin. Sprinkle the cut noodles with flour and gently jiggle and shake them about so that they unfold into long beautiful strands.
  • Cook the noodles: Bring a large pot of water to boil and then add the noodles. Lower heat to simmer and swirl the noodles around with a heat-proof utensil. Cook noodles about 3 minutes and give it a taste to see if the noodles are soft and ready. If not, simmer for another minute and taste-test again. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water to rid any excess flour and so that they don’t stick together.
  • Serve immediately with soup or sauce: You can also store them in the fridge (covered) for a few days or freeze them. Do not defrost when ready to use or they will get gummy. Just reheat the directly in the sauce or soup.

NUTRITION

Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 2.9mg
How to Make Homemade Chinese Wheat Noodles From Scratch

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21 Comments

  1. can you use white whole wheat flour? or add vital wheat gluten to the whole wheat flour? the store didn’t have more AP flour… thank you!

    1. Yes, you can double the recipe. I do that very often so I have noodles for a few meals instead of just one meal. Kneading time remains the same.

  2. Thank you! My three children loved working together, and even my 2 year old was able to contribute. So easy & fun. We will be making this a regular event! Oh, we served them stir fried with veggies & crispy salmon, delicious! Soft and perfect noodles.

    1. Thanks! One of the things that I miss living so far away from my family are my family’s recipes. So I hope that I can instill a love of our food and culture to my kids as well.

  3. Thank you for this recipe, I do make my homemade pasta and the idea of making also homemade Chinese noodles is very appealing. My 10 years old might join me, but I am sure my 17 yrs old will only join for the eating

  4. Wow, I had no idea making noodles could be so easy, and with only flour and water! I like the idea of “rustic” looking noodles, that they don’t have to be perfectly identical. These noodles sound like a great versatile base for many different sauces, veggies, etc! It is so great to be able to involve the kids so they can learn while helping make dinner!

    1. I love the rustic-ness of these noodles! For those who prefer a more perfectly formed noodle, my Udon tutorial has consistently turned out perfectly smooth and straight strands – not that they need to be perfect but I just marvel at the fact every time.

    1. Thank you! My kids love this recipe because they get to use the rolling pin. But lately they’ve been gravitating towards the other noodles like ramen and udon because they get to use the pasta machine!

  5. Your kids are adorable! How fun. My son loves to cook with me– but he’s two and really just makes it infinitely more messy! But he loves being on the counter and breaking eggs and stirring the bowl, so I let him!

    1. I think it’s important to encourage kids to be interested in the kitchen and cooking. My 3 year loves to “help” and we give her a small portion of dough to roll out herself with her little playdough rolling pin. Then we pretend to find the strands of noodles she “made” in her bowl of soup – she gets a kick out of it and so do we.

    1. I have yet to make Italian pasta myself but my husband and son have had great success. Thanks to them, I felt inspired to learning and teaching how to make all these Asian noodles.