Learn how to make fresh hand torn noodles that are perfectly springy, chewy and toothsome with this easy to follow step by step guide! These no-fail homemade noodles are quick, easy and perfect for both noodle soups and stir fries. (Vegan + gluten free option!)
What are hand torn noodles?
Hand torn noodles are exactly what it sounds like– where the dough is torn by hand to make short strips of noodles. The best part? No special equipment or technique required– just some flour and water. Texturally, hand torn noodles take on a more springy, chewy and slightly soft texture and always served fresh as the tearing and cooking process happens simultaneously.
Types of Hand Torn Noodles & Inspiration
While there are many types of hand torn noodles from different cultures, today I’ll be sharing not one, not two but three variations of hand torn ‘noodles’ inspired by the ones I grew up eating from different regions of Japan:
- Hatto Shiru: A simple soy sauce based soup that originates from the Miyagi Prefecture in Japan. It is made by kneading a simple flour based dough, resting it, and then tearing flat pieces into soup. Hatto is sometimes also seen in stir fries or in sweet dishes with red beans or zunda (sweet edamame paste).
- Suito Jiru: A local dish in Iwate prefecture served in a soy sauce OR miso broth. The dough is torn into chunks or scooped with a spoon and dropped into broth. The texture is similar to thick udon noodles and is mainly seen in soups.
- Dango Jiru (gluten free): A dish that originates in Oita Prefecture (Kyushu) and served in a simple miso broth. The dough is torn or rounded into dango balls. A softer and chewier texture (much like mochi but springy-er).
They all have a slightly different textures and mouthfeels because of the type of flour used. They are all almost always served in either a soy sauce or miso based broth depending on the region, along with a variety of seasonal local vegetables. However, I’ve found these noodles to pair really well in any sort of soup or stir fry that calls of noodles. For example, in the photos shared in this post, I used a spicy hot pot broth and it is so satisfying!
And since you guys loved the scissor cut noodles I shared awhile back so I wanted to add a few more variation of easy homemade noodles to the collection! Plus, I’ve included a gluten free version adapted from the dango jiru.
P.S. When fall rolls around this year, I’ll share the complete recipe for the three types of soups! 😉
How to make hand torn noodles
Prepare the dough
I highly recommend weighing the ingredients with a scale for best results. The basic ratio of flour to water is typically 2:1 but will vary depending on the type of flour you use and the humidity/temperature of your kitchen. Start with lesser amounts of water and add 1 tsp as needed.
- Using a food processor: Add the flour, water, oil and salt to a food processor and blend until a dough forms. Take it out of the food processor and then knead it for a minute by hand. The dough should be soft, smooth and elastic-y. Then place the dough into a reusable plastic bag. Rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Mixing by hand: Add the flour, water, oil and salt to a bowl and stir with chopsticks. Once it gets shaggy, knead with your hands until a smooth dough forms (about 5-8 minutes). Store the dough in a reusable plastic bag and rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Resting the dough is crucial for fresh noodles as it relaxes the gluten making it easier to tear into thin strips.
Cook the noodles
- For noodle soups: Bring the soup broth to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high. Add root vegetables or onions if using, cover and cook for 5 minutes (or until 75% cooked). In the mean time, begin tearing pieces of the dough and flattening it with your hands. Bring the soup back to a boil, drop the noodles in and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Once they are almost done cooking (you can pick one up and check the texture of the noodles), add in vegetables that are quick cooking (mushrooms and leafy greens). Turn off the heat, remove from burner and serve.
- For stir fries: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Tear pieces of dough and drop them into the water. Cook for about 3 minutes or until they begin to float. Remove with a slotted ladle or skimmer and then drop them in ice cold water to stop them from cooking. Drain and use in stir fries. Tip: when adding to stir fries, add them last so they do not overcook.
Other variations of hand torn noodles & noodle soups from different cultures
I’d also like to mention different variations of ‘hand torn noodles’ from different cultures that I’ve tried because every cuisine has their own delicious version!
- Mian Pian – Chinese hand torn noodles! My grandma would sometimes make this for us in a sweet and sour tomato soup broth or stir fried with pepper hoisin sauce.
- Sujebi – Korean hand torn noodle soup in a light broth and lots of veggies (my mums friend used to make this for us in the winter and sometimes with kimchi so good too).
- Mee Hoon Kueh / Pan Mee – Originates from Malaysia but uses flour, (sometimes) egg and water. I’ve only tried the noodle soup variation but it’s also apparently really tasty stir fried!
- Hand torn pasta – I’ve also seen hand torn pasta floating around social media where the noodles are rolled out and either sliced with a pizza cutter or torn by hand and then served with bolognese, pesto and tomato sauce!
Do you have a hand-torn noodle kind of dish from your culture? I’d love to know!
More easy homemade noodles to try:
SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓
If you recreate these Hand Torn Noodles let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Fresh, chewy and toothsome noodles that are quick and easy to make for noodle soups and stir fries! Vegan + gluten free option.
Version 1 (firmer & chewy)
Version 2 (soft & chewy)
- 50g cake flour
- 25ml water
- pinch of salt
Gluten Free (soft & chewy)
- 1/3 scant cup glutinous rice flour (50g // to be precise, remove 1 tsp if measuring with a cup)
- 1.5 tbsp potato starch (15g)
- 3 tbsp + 1-2 tsp water (50-55ml)
- pinch of salt
To make the dough:
- Add the flour, water, oil and salt to a food processor and blend until a dough forms. Knead a few times to form a smooth dough. Alternatively, mix the flour, water, oil and salt in a bowl with chopsticks. Once it becomes shaggy, knead with your hands until a smooth dough forms. Place in a bag and rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, prepare your choice of soup and ingredients.
To use it in noodle soups:
- If cooking separately: Bring a pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, tear thin pieces of the dough. The dough should stretch by itself, but if you find it too thick flatten with your hands. Once the water comes to a boil, drop the noodles in and cook until they start to float (about 5 minutes). Strain and rinse in cold water. Add the cooked noodles at the end when your soup is ready to be served.
- If using directly in the soup: Bring the soup broth to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high for a soft boil. Add the proteins (tofu), root vegetables and any vegetables (onions) that take longer to cook. Cook for 3-5 minutes (or until they are half way cooked). Bring the soup back to a boil, drop the noodles in and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Once they are almost done cooking (you can pick one up and check the texture of the noodles), add in vegetables that are quick cooking (mushrooms and leafy greens). Turn off the heat, remove from burner and serve.
- Tip: At first, I highly recommend preparing the noodles before dropping them in so they cook evenly. Once you get the hand of tearing the dough, you can tear and place it into the pot as you go or have someone help you to speed up the process.
- Category: basics
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: vegan, asian, gluten free
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 2-2
- Sugar: 0.1
- Sodium: 156mg
- Fat: 2.7
- Saturated Fat: 0.4
- Unsaturated Fat: 2.1
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 38.2
- Fiber: 1.5
- Protein: 5.2
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: hand torn noodles, hand torn noodle soups, hand pulled noodles
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