Re Gan Mian is a famous dish from the city of Wuhan (fI) in the Chinese province Hubei (V). With a population of 9.8 million, Wuhan rivals the size of New York City. Re Gan Mian is one of "China's five famous noodles". This instructable will teach you how to make Hot and Dry Noodles so you can experience a part of Chinese History and Culture!
Step 1: Gather the Materials
You will need:
-- Thin Spaghetti
-- Black Pepper
-- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
-- Sichuan Peppercorns
-- Vegetable Oil
-- Dark Soy Sauce
-- Sesame Oil
-- Sesame Sauce (Tahini Dressing)
Most of these ingredients can be found at any Oriental food store.
Note that Dark Soy Sauce is different from regular Soy Sauce (the kind that you can buy at many Western grocery stores -- it will specifically say "Dark" Soy Sauce on the bottle. Dark Soy Sauce has a darker color and contains much less salt than regular Soy Sauce.)
Step 2: Make the "Spicy Oil"
This recipe will make more spicy oil than you need to make one meal for two, You can save it in the fridge for later.
Mix one tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes and a half teaspoon of Sichuan Peppercorns in a small bowl that can withstand the heat of hot oil. Then use a small skillet to heat a quarter cup of vegetable oil at high heat until the oil is very hot. You should be able to see a little smoke coming off of the surface of the oil. Be very careful not to touch the oil at this point, as it will be very hot!
Turn off the heat and carefully pour the hot oil into the bowl containing the red pepper flakes and Sichuan Peppercorns. Let the bowl sit for about 10 minutes before touching it. If you need to touch the bowl, use a baking mitt to protect yourself from the heat.
Step 3: Boil the Noodles
Boil the noodles normally as if you were making spaghetti.
Fill a large pot about halfway full with water and put it on the stove at high heat. Wait for the water to begin boiling, then dump the noodles in with a tiny bit of salt. Wait for about 12 minutes (or until the noodles become soft) and turn off the heat. Drain the excess water.
Step 4: Prepare the Sesame Sauce
The Sesame Sauce is extremely thick. It needs to be diluted a little bit.
For two servings, mix one and a half tablespoons of Sesame Sauce with two tablespoons of water and one teaspoon of vegetable oil. Use a spoon to mix them together until there are no longer any clumps in the sauce. This step can be performed while boiling the spaghetti.
Step 5: Mix the Ingredients
The last step is to mix all the ingredients together to make the sauce and pour it over the noodles. It is best to mix the sauce for each serving individually.
Find a bowl that is slightly larger than one serving to mix the ingredients in. It is much easier to mix the sauce in a bowl than on a plate. Put one serving of spaghetti in the mixing bowl. First put on about a teaspoon of spicy oil. Put more if you like spicy food, or less if you don't like spicy food. Then add black pepper to taste (just a small pinch will do). Add about a teaspoon of dark soy sauce. This is primarily to give the noodles their color, so add more if you want it to have a darker color. Finally add the sesame sauce. Divide it equally between each portion. Mix all the ingredients together in the bowl with a pair of chopsticks, then transfer the Hot and Dry Noodles to a plate to serve with a pair of chopsticks and/or a fork.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can try to add some rice vinegar (NOT white vinegar) or some chopped chives for a more authentic taste!