The puller's fingerprints leave miscroscopic rigdes in the dough to give the noodles amazing texture

Here in China, if it’s someone’s birthday, tell them to go eat noodles. Really! As in 生日快乐!吃面!– shēng rì kuài lè! Chī miàn! — Happy Birthday! Eat Noodles!  Let me explain. Noodles are long, and longevity is good! So eat long noodles, and you’ll live long —> happy birthday, and many more!


There are many many many kinds of noodles in China, so today I’ll start with the most basic ones: 拉面 — lā miàn — pulled noodles. Hand pulled noodles, to be precise. The noodle pull is much too swift to be captured on camera in low light.  A most excellent place to go see noodles pulled right in front of your own eyes is Noodle Bar, a small, simple and lovely place. Check it out if you’re even in town. If you’re not, watch noodle pulling once removed right from where ever you are! For your viewing pleasure, here’s how noodles are pulled:



  • In part one of the noodle saga,  the dough is pulled, twisted and slapped hard on the counter-top.
  • In part two, a rectangular hunk of dough is pinched off from the earlier twisted log, nudged on the long sides then magically looped around fingers and pulled into long long noodles.


The noodles get plopped into a delectable broth, and at Noodle Bar, you can choose different kinds of meats or mushroom to top your noodles, and you can get your noodles either thick or thin. Thin means one extra pull pass, but thick is just much more delicious.

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One Response to “Chī Fàn — Happy Birthday Noodles”

  1. Lima says:

    I love this. I want a t-shirt that says “Happy Birthday! Eat Noodles!” on it with appropriate graphics. Something to think about if/when you go commercial? ;)