Overcooked COVID 19 Edition: Sending Love and Noodles

 

Photo of Hands Grasping Flour

(source: PEXEL.com)

As the shelter in place plan is activated, home cooking has becoming the top priority of many households. Here, Stanford Polymer Collective together with The Big Nano are rolling out a series of food science blog where you can follow the video to cook with your loved ones, and learn some polymer knowledge along the way.

 

Today we are starting with the signature Chinese hand pulled noodle and the secret behind why they are stretchy. In the days to come, we are going to cover not only noodle, but also bread, mochi and even drinks. You can also refer to our past blogs about Boba Tea (Break Boba 1, Breaking Boba 2) and chocolate (The perfect chocolate for the perfect one).

Image result for biang biang noodle stretching(source: tastecooking.com)

Have you wonder why the noodle does are so so stretchy? The secret is in the oil! As the above video shown, the dough used for hand stretch noodle are soaked in oil.

The oil molecule get in between the flour molecules and separate from each other. Because of the extra space, the flour molecules can move easily between each other. As a result of that, the dough becomes very stretchy. Note Mar 20, 2020

Similarly, water molecule can also get in between the flour molecules and soaking the dough in water will have similar effect as soaking in oil. However, because water molecule travel rather fast, so the dough only need to soak in water for a very short period of time for it to become stretchy. If you soak more, your dough may be gone : (

I encourage you to compare how the dough has changed when you soak it in the water, oil, or just let it rest for 5 minutes. Let’s see which one makes the most stretchy dough.

Stay home and be safe and healthy everyone!

Published by

Huang Zhuojun

I'm a Ph.D. student, studying Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University.

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