I've written abut how the ubiquitous "Lanzhou Lamian" noodle shops of Shanghai made me a confirmed noodle lover with their on demand hand pulled noodles. Contrary to popular belief, "Lanzhou Lamian" doesn't refer strictly to a noodle making technique, nor to the place where the technique originated; the term is inclusive of a method of preparation of a "clear broth" (清湯, qing tang) soup which has been a traditional medium for showcasing hand-pulled noodles for over 100 years. The very subtle broth, said to be devised by one Ma Baozi in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, has an obvious purpose: to stay out of the way of the handsome fresh hand-pulled noodles, so they can be appreciated on their own merits. In a way, Lanzhou lamian is the polar opposite of Japanese ramen, where the broth is all-important and the noodles are almost an afterthought.
|Lanzhou Lamian in Shangha|
If you are in the mood to savor the glorious, glutenous, wheaten goodness of hand-pulled noodles for their own sake, "Beef Noodle Soup" at China North Dumpling is what you need. If you are craving an aggressively broth and showy toppings, no soup for you.
Where slurped: China North Dumpling, 1311 Noriega St., San Francisco