Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • - We are here at Xi'an Famous Foods

  • to figure out what's behind

  • one of New York's most iconic noodle dishes,

  • the famous hand-pulled lamb noodles.

  • - I'm very excited to check it out, so let's go.

  • (upbeat music)

  • - Lamb is something that we use a lot in our dishes,

  • not just in our spicy cumin lamb dishes.

  • Lamb is also used in other things like our

  • lamb pao mo soup and other lamb, you know,

  • there's like an iron pot lamb that's very popular in Xi'an.

  • There's just a lot of lamb.

  • There's a Muslim population there

  • and that's historically because of the trade,

  • the Silk Road, and different people coming through.

  • We take a small part of that tradition.

  • We don't cook Halal food.

  • We do have heavy influences from that type of cuisine.

  • So, we use a lot of lamb.

  • Working well with the spices, there's like a

  • new flavor-- - It really stands up to it.

  • It's not chicken. If it were just on chicken

  • then you would taste just the spice.

  • - It was you and your dad that started

  • the business together, right?

  • - He started the business back in 2005.

  • I was still in school, and then after four years,

  • I joined the business because I just thought

  • (there's)such an opportunity here.

  • - Alright, Jason. We are dying to know.

  • What is behind your lamb dishes?

  • - I'm going to ask our central kitchen chef, Mr. Wang,

  • to help us cut this apart.

  • He's very familiar with all of our operations here,

  • and he still personally cuts a lot of the meat himself.

  • - Jason, I notice we're keeping all these

  • nice kind of fattier bits here.

  • - That's a great question and a lot of

  • our guests actually are probably going to be like,

  • "Aw man, they use the so much gristle and crap?"

  • It's just because you need that fat in order to,

  • when you're cooking on a wok, everything's going to shrink.

  • All the fat's going to turn to oil,

  • and you really want that lamb oil

  • in order to give it that flavor.

  • - Do you predominately only use lamb shoulder?

  • - Any parts of lamb, honestly, that has

  • that mixture of fat and lean meat.

  • - [Ben] It really does give you that kind of

  • natural balance of a decent amount of fat,

  • but it's also a hard working muscle.

  • You get a lot of flavor out of it.

  • - We're just going to marinate this a little bit.

  • It helps to tenderize the meat.

  • It gets some of the unpleasant gaminess out of it,

  • but we just have to give it a better texture

  • as well when we're cooking it.

  • - What's going to go in our marinade?

  • - Salt, cooking wine. We have starch here and some oil.

  • Looks like we have enough lamb for our dish later.

  • Alright, we're going to bring it over to our store

  • here that's attached to our central kitchen.

  • We going to cook this in our wok,

  • and then we're going to do the noodles,

  • and you know, it's lunchtime.

  • Cool, let's do it.

  • (upbeat music)

  • We just heat the wok up really hot.

  • - [Ben] So, that's like already sizzling hot

  • within like seven seconds.

  • First thing in is the meat, give some of that fat

  • to render down and crisp up.

  • - The oil that we added before doesn't give it that flavor.

  • So, really, the oil from the fat

  • will be able to achieve that.

  • Right now, Wang's adding the chili oil.

  • That's the house made chili oil that we use.

  • - It's not a competitive thing like in New York

  • where people are like militant about their favorite pizza

  • joint or anything like that is it?

  • - It's very, very competitive.

  • It's very competitive.

  • Like in China, your family name on the chili oil.

  • You'll have a picture of your ancestor on the bottle.

  • You can go to the Chinese grocery stores and you'll see.

  • If you go to the dining restaurant,

  • you're gonna see a lot of, like a huge menu.

  • You're like wondering, "How do they ever cook

  • all these items, right?"

  • "Do they ever cook all these items?"

  • They probably don't get requests for a lot of them

  • very often, but it's important for Chinese chefs

  • to typically have a large menu.

  • To show that they can do everything.

  • - I never even thought about why a Chinese menu

  • would be long. Much less, that it is a point of pride.

  • It's like do you have people come in and by like,

  • "Can I get some pork lo mein?"

  • - We, still get some of those.

  • Some people who ask for french fries.

  • Some people ask for chicken wings.

  • I think thankfully because we're in a big city,

  • and we do have a lot of exposure to different cuisines.

  • So, people sort of understand.

  • How do you measure up with the food

  • that's actually in Xi'an, right?

  • That's another sort of question,

  • and I'm very confident about it

  • because the thing is you can't find this food in Xi'an.

  • When I say that it almost seems counterintuitive

  • like Jason are sort of admitting your food is not authentic?

  • What is authentic?

  • Is it authentic because like, well, I'm from there.

  • I cook food that's with that taste profile.

  • If you mean authentic meaning you can find the same food

  • in any of these stalls that you walk into

  • you can find the same taste?

  • Then I guess we're not authentic.

  • I'm not so much worried about knowledge.

  • You know, I want people to know what is in Xi'an.

  • I want people to travel over there and then come back

  • and be like, "Oh, okay, this is different, but you know what

  • I can appreciate the differences."

  • - It's your interpretation,

  • and that's what makes it interesting.

  • - It is true to like your family. It's what you ate.

  • It's true to like the trade routes that went through there.

  • Is it more important that it's authentic?

  • Or is it more important that it's like honest,

  • and that you're trying to do something good.

  • - Yeah, is it more important that it taste good?

  • At the end of the day, do you enjoy it?

  • I'm gonna pull some noodles.

  • This is just dough. Nothing special about it.

  • So, what I'm doing is kinda pulling on it.

  • At the same time, hitting it.

  • Just kind of slap it on the surface like that.

  • Overall, you just rip it in half.

  • And that's the noodle.

  • Usually, I'm just gonna drop them right in the water

  • because they can't stay too long after being pulled.

  • Do you guys wanna give it a go?

  • He's pushing a little hard, look like he's a,

  • - Pushing a little hard, but he's

  • - But, he's pretty fast. He's pretty fast.

  • - Look at that, look at that, wow.

  • Great motions, actually.

  • - Well enough?

  • - Looks like he's, no it looks perfect. Yeah.

  • - Wow.

  • - Looks like he's been doing this for a while actually.

  • Oh, no. (laughs)

  • So, we're gonna take the middle part like a string cheese,

  • and just rip it in the middle.

  • - Look at the landing. He's stuck the landing.

  • - This is awesome. I'm never going home.

  • (laughs)

  • - This is fun as hell.

  • - So, it looks pretty good.

  • We fished these out, and they are ready to go.

  • Freshly cooked lamb from before.

  • I got the cabbage, here, and it's blanched.

  • And we've got some scallions, and chive flowers,

  • and celery mix.

  • And then, we are gonna dress it with the

  • most important things: the noodle sauce and the chili oil.

  • (upbeat techno)

  • - That is so good!

  • I love this dish!

  • - Oh, man.

  • - Yeah, the chili oil is so nice.

  • - We're super generous with the cumin,

  • but it just works in this case.

  • - The shoulder is the perfect cut for it too.

  • It has texture. It's gonna go well with the noodles.

  • But, because there's fat to it too,

  • it stands up to that spice.

  • Even for this, you see the imperfections and you can tell

  • that somebody actually made it which is awesome.

  • That's what you want out of food.

  • - Every part of this dish is made by our own recipes.

  • And the noodles are made to order

  • because that's the only way it can be made.

  • I wish I could make the noodles ahead of time.

  • That would save a lot of trouble.

  • It's one of the special things about us though.

  • So, it's something I probably wouldn't change.

  • - It's perfect for New York.

  • You order your food.

  • You get it in three to five minutes. It's affordable.

  • But, like, all of this stuff is actually made here.

  • - If you guys ever travel to like any part of Asia

  • everything's so fast, and it's just any minute

  • that you waste it's like lost money, pretty much, right?

  • For the guest or for your yourself or whatnot.

  • That sort of mentality was like something

  • even back in the days when we were in Flushing.

  • We didn't have a PR system.

  • You had to memorize all the totals.

  • For example, if you ordered two dishes,

  • I had to remember it was you that ordered those two dishes.

  • And add together the math.

  • And I'll be like you were before him.

  • You know, it's crazy.

  • But, that was kind of the culture

  • that our business was built on.

  • - So much fun to learn about

  • a serious New York City iconic dish.

  • - I appreciate you guys coming, and you know,

  • you guys were really good with the noodles.

  • That was the most surprising part of it all.

  • I was like you know, you guys are gonna be pretty good

  • in the meat rooms, but I don't know about the noodles part.

  • But, wow, you guys are good.

  • - What time do I show up for work tomorrow?

  • - Let's get here at nine, I think?

  • - Okay, cool. This is better than the Meat Hook.

  • - The commute shouldn't be that bad. (laughs)

  • - If you enjoyed this video, maybe you will also enjoy

  • some of the videos from our good friends over at Vox.

  • - [Narrator] Your oven to 350 degrees

  • is sort of a basic requirement for baking in America.

  • Our ovens even do it automatically as we turn them on.

  • But, have you ever stopped and asked yourself.

- We are here at Xi'an Famous Foods

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US oil chili oil authentic fat xi chili

The Secrets Behind New York's Most Famous Spicy Noodle Dish — Prime Time

  • 892 9
    Samuel posted on 2018/08/08
Video vocabulary