Uyghur Noodles Laghman Recipe
Laghman or laghmen is one of the most famous dishes of Uyghur, Uzbek, Kazakh and Kyrgyz cuisines. In summary, it can be said to be hand pulled noodles served with a meat sauce. The sauce and service may vary according to the cuisine. For example, in Uzbek cuisine, it is made more juicy and usually by adding potatoes, while in Uyghur cuisine, the sauce is dehydrated to a large extent.
Since the Uzbek version looked like pasta in a forest kebab to me, I tried to work as close to the Uyghur version as I could. It's not that I don't like forest kebab, but the idea of the combination of sauce with tomato paste and pasta and the visuals I saw did not whet my appetite. In the Uyghur version, I could not fully adhere to the recipe, I made or had to make a few changes on my own. First of all, I would like to talk about the changes I had to make. In the original recipe there are two ingredients that are not easy to find and cannot be used in other recipes; chinese lettuce and chinese black vinegar. I didn't use the Chinese lettuce. If you want to use it, you can use a handful of finely chopped pieces. Instead of Chinese vinegar, I used balsamic vinegar, which is stated to be a good alternative in several sources. If you have a chance to find black chinese vinegar, you can use the same amount as balsamic vinegar.
I did not use the usually used green beans in accordance with my own taste. I actually used it in one of my trials, but I didn't like it. As I mentioned above, beans also taste like stewed green beans with meat and I don't like this tomato paste taste with pasta, so I didn't include it in the recipe. You can use it if you wish. You can cut 7-8 green beans into two or three and add them together with the peppers.
How to Make Uyghur Noodles?
Unlike fresh pasta and Turkish home made pasta eriste recipes, lagman is made without eggs and is shaped by hand. Although the preparation phase seems difficult, with the help of oil, it extends very easily. The most important trick is to use plenty of oil. Of course, before that, it is of great importance that the dough is soft enough to roll out but hard enough not to spread.
To make lagman, the dough is first formed into thin cylinders, just like when making simit or pretzels. After the cylinders are abundantly oiled, they rest for a while to soften. After they are softened, they are thinned out by pulling them as if spinning a yarn from wool. Thinned noodles are wind around two hands like a hank yarn. Noodles wrapped in two hands are tapped on the counter with quick movements, making them even thinner. After all the dough is made into noodles in this way, it is cooked immediately. In fact, all of them are easy steps, but since these are not used in other recipes, it can be difficult to understand or visualize by reading. Therefore, if you wish, you can watch the video.
Enjoy the recipe...
For the noodles;
- 2 cups of flour,
- 3/4 cup of water at room temperature,
- 1 teaspoon of salt,
- Sunflower oil.
For Meat Sauce;
- 500 g lamb meat, chopped,
- 1 onion, chopped,
- 1 red pepper, chopped coarsely,
- 2 green peppers, chopped coarsely,
- 2 cloves of garlic,
- 1 chili pepper or 1 tablespoon of hot pepper sauce,
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (Chinese black vinegar),
- 1 cup of boiling water,
- For the meat sauce, heat a large pan on the stove,
- Add the meat and stir fry on high heat until it releases its juice,
- Add the oil and chopped onion and stir fry until the onions soften,
- Add the coarsely chopped peppers and mix,
- Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly,
- Add sliced garlic, thinly sliced chili or hot pepper sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and water and mix,
- Close the lid and cook until the water thickens and then turn off the heat,
- For the noodles, mix the flour and salt in a bowl,
- Add water little by little and knead until you get a non-sticky dough,
- Take it on the counter and knead for 5 minutes,
- Put it back in the bowl, cover it and let it rest for 15 minutes,
- Flatten the dough with your hands and cut it into 6 thick strips,
- Press the strips with both hands on the counter and turn them into pinky finger-thick wicks/cylinders with back and forth movements,
- Cover the wicks with oil and place them on an oiled tray, starting from the middle and wrapping them around,
- Cover it with cling film and let it rest for 15 minutes,
- Pull out the dough pieces and thin them,
- Wrap them between your two hands and hit them on the counter,
- Boil plenty of water in a large pot,
- Place the noodles in the boiling water and stir immediately so that they do not stick,
- Once it boils, add 1/4 cup of room temperature water to the pot,
- When it boils again, add 1/4 cup of room temperature water again,
- When it boils again, turn off the heat,
- Drain the water and rinse with running water,
- Take the noodles on serving plates and share the heated meat sauce over or mix them with meat sauce and serve.