The Hand-Ripped Noodle Empire That Took Over NYC — Handmade
Articles Blog

The Hand-Ripped Noodle Empire That Took Over NYC — Handmade

(dough banging) – We basically serve 3,000, 5,000 portions of noodles per day. All hand-pulled, so there’s
a lot of hands involved and a lot of pulling involved, lot of slapping of the
noodles involved with that. A lot of people don’t really know too much about the culture of
these type of noodles. They know of us as that noodle spot. They just think, “Those are
those wide hand-pulled noodles.” But actually, they’re biangbiang noodles. It’s made from wheat flour form the dough with cold water only. My father kept this store a secret. I didn’t know that he opened this shop until I got back to New
York from my winter break and he says, “I opened
a bubble tea store.” I was like, “What?” I was like, “We opened
a bubble tea store?” “Why are you selling bubble tea?” Because bubble tea is usually
opened by cooler people that are more in, knows
how to do marketing. But then it made sense once I got there. I realized that he was
selling food on the side, too. That came around 2005. I was eager to help out and to introduce his dishes to people. I was just like, “You gotta try.” “This is really good.” (dough banging) (dough banging heavily) Historically, Xi’an was the
capital of ancient China for 13 dynasties. A lot of history is there and also a lot of trading is there. That’s the starting
point of the Silk Road. As such, there’s a flow of
spices coming along from Central, South Asia, Middle East as well. All these things make
their way into our food and we use a lot of different spices. Our chili oil, for example,
has about 30 different proprietary spices, so
it’s a very complex flavor. Chili powder, minced garlic, and the oil has to be
almost at a smoking point. (sizzling) So Xi’an has a specific taste profile. Mainly spicy and sour,
all sorts of vinegar. Mm! It’s like yin and yang with us. I’m very detailed and meticulous. He’s more figure-it-out-as-you-move-along. Basically, not afraid of making mistakes. (dough pounding) He will push me to do things that I probably wouldn’t be comfortable doing. I think we have a good
friction going on between us, which actually helps the
business become stronger. My father grew up around cooking because me grandfather likes to cook. He always had this dream
of opening up a store that serves the type
of food that he enjoys, so it’s very personal, and it’s also for him to
connect with other people that feel the same way as him. Other immigrants that also
miss their hometown food. That was the goal back then,
that was the target audience. When we first opened, the
Liang Pi cold-skin noodles actually what made us famous in Flushing. It takes a lot of experience
to get it correct. This dish is made with
wheat flour, as well. There’s a whole different process with these type of noddles. We take the dough after
it’s formed and rested. We wash it in cold water. Literally wash it like you would do if you’re washing your clothes. You would think the dough
is what we would use fully for these noodles, but it’s not. The point is to get all the
starch out of the dough. All that’s left is this brain-like thing that’s actually the seitan,
the protein part of the flour. (water splashing) After you gather the mixture
from washing the dough, you have to let that
liquid sit in your fridge for at least eight hours in
order for the starch to settle. You have to take out just
the right amount of water so that your mixture
is the right viscosity. Put the pans in the steamer. These sheets are what you
would cut into ribbons to use for your noodles. It’s a very difficult-to-come-by
type of thing. People come from out of
state on the weekends to buy a bunch of it to
take back home to eat. The seitan that we had before, just gonna slice them into small pieces. We’re gonna add some
garlic pureed with water. A couple ounces of our
proprietary Liang Pi sauce, which is mostly vinegar and
a little bit of soy sauce. We’re gonna do some chili seeds. Chili oil, blanched bean sprouts. A little bit of cilantro. This is what drove the lines in Flushing out onto the street during summer time. Historically, there’s
been a disconnect between what is actually eaten in China and what is found in the U.S. Back then, in New York, it’s mostly focused on Cantonese cuisine. Maybe a little bit of Sichuan. In recent years, I think
a lot of the influx of other immigrants from
other parts of China came to the U.S. and that helped drive the knowledge of Chinese food up. I think another big thing
that triggered the change was the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When this happened, the
spotlight being on China, drove a lot of the buzz about finding different regional cuisine. It’s more about, hey let’s
bring stuff from China over, not just dwell on the idea
of what Chinese food is, and because of that, people
have higher expectations for Chinese food in the U.S. now. (sizzling) The longevity of noodles,
like the name suggests, is all about good luck, good fortune. Everyone wants to live a long life. We like to use our concubine chicken. It’s a very long, thin noodle. It can be as long as, I think
I did the calculation before, it’s about 600 feet. This dish is typically
served at special occasions, such as someone’s birthday or New Year’s. – One noodle, only one noodle. – I was always taught to
never cut the noodles. Whether it’s with the longevity noodles or with any other noodles, you bite it off or you just chew it off. The noodles signify a long life and if you cut it, you
know what that suggests. Of course it’s superstition, but you have to respect
the culture behind it because it’s more profound. It’s not just something that you can whip up in a few minutes. Because it’s played a part in getting our food known in New York City, it’s looked upon with a lot of respect by a lot of people,
especially Chinese people. Now we have 15 locations. We tend to be very hands-on. The design of the store is not very fancy. It’s something that a
amateur made, which is me, because we have no investors. Still feels like a family operation. My concern is just are we still doing the same level of work, serving the same type of
food through these years? We sell a very handmade
high-quality type of food that we can be proud of and leaving a legacy of Chinese cuisine.

100 thoughts on “The Hand-Ripped Noodle Empire That Took Over NYC — Handmade

  1. I make these Noddles all the time since watching there how to video several month ago, so happy they have a few spots in Seattle now I've been three times already!

  2. Everytime I eat here I think about Anthony Bourdain, he put this place on the map, hidden secret until he showed the rest of the US how incredible these noodles are. Rip 🙏

  3. Hey! I started making biang biang mian myself. How do you get them from the cut dough pieces to these squares? Do you use a machine for that or? Anyways my last try tasted awsome and I wil try the second noodles from the video too. Thank you and good look in NYC!

  4. omg whattt this shop existed for sooo long and eater is just reporting about it now??? i feel like im in a time travel lol

  5. smh, wtf is "Hand-Ripped" noodles, it's "Hand-Pulled" noodles..

    The technical Chinese direct-translation is "Hand-Worked" noodles, but I'm not arguing for that one,

  6. I like how the Chinese version of what is street side hot dog or a 3 dollar burger is made to sound so cool and difficult :') This stuff literally sells for one or two dollars in China

  7. Like
    Back me

  8. Wow.. Loved it. Just WoW. 👍👍👍👍👍
    Food doesnt need to be too complex to be delicious enough.. Thats what this episode made me feel.
    Im sure gonna try this restuarant this winter.

  9. Oh my god. I used to eat these type of noodles almost everyday while I was in China. I miss them soooo much now. Like seriously miss them. They were so good.

  10. I get respect8ng your heritage but the CCP in China is awful they force harvest organs from political prisoners have 1 million Muslims in internment camps, no freedom of speech, Winnie the Pooh and South Park is band. They steal EVERYTHING, south China’s sea included. It’s crazy how uneducated people support China. How can you support murder stealing and sex trafficking. Yes that happens too because of the now 2 child policy which used to be 1 which led to a huge overpopulation of men. Take the culture, not the politics.

  11. Xian Kitchen
    300 Barber Ct, Milpitas, CA 95035
    (408) 526-1500

    is a restaurant in San Francisco Bay area with same kind of food. Very authentic. I went there several times. Their hand pulled noodle was very chewy with great lamb soup. Their starch noodle, Liang Pi or "cool skin", is also very good with great sauce.

    They have another location in nearby Fremont.

  12. Many comments say the noodle looks good. You really have to chew on it to know how great it is. It feels very different than other Chinese noodles which are Cantonese.

  13. Even though it taste much better but the tradition of doing these is disappearing at a rapid rate. All down to money. Takes longer and to find someone that can do these is very hard

  14. I used to live across the street from their shop in East Village. I’d eat there once a week. Definitely a must try if you visit NYC!!

  15. It's very good, I had it many times in UES, not all locations are the same, if you go in a location and you don't see a bunch of Chinese cooking the food it's not as good…

  16. So his dad took the initiative to open this place, raise the money to start the place, didn’t even tell his son about it until he decided to move back to New York…

    So why are we talking to this kid?

  17. The Handmade slap (Biang Biang) noodles are so unique that the most complex written Chinese character derived from it. That’s the respect these XA noodle commands.

  18. I love you and your Dad. He had a dream and wanted you to be a part of it. Now you’re CEO w/ 15 locations. Good job!

  19. Eater NY had called Xu’s Public House the most compelling newcomer yet in the luxury Chinese dining scene. My review of its dim sum offering last month supported Eater NY’s claim, but what about its dinner offerings ? Watch my latest upload and find out 😊

  20. Overrated and overpriced. Thats what happens when a place blows up they stop caring about the quality. You want the real thing just go to China this stuff is very expensive flavorless.

  21. I wish more Americans are granted the freedom to travel by their authoritarian Govt so they could visit X'ian in China for these authentic noodles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top