The art of noodles

The man slaps a lump of white dough on his metal work surface. Behind him, his wife tends to bubbling pots of miso soup, and dunks metal nets of noodles into boiling water. He sprinkles some flour on top of the dough and begins to stretch it from both ends, until it has white streaky lines that threaten to split. He continues to pull until it is as long as the workshop surface, then he drops it, takes a knife and cuts them neatly into five equal sections. Discarding four, he works on the selected piece, pulling and wrapping around one stationary hand until the dough becomes stringy. Two more rounds and the noodles have taken shape, all in the space of a couple of minutes. He tosses the noodles to his wife, who drops them into the water whilst she prepares the bowls, adding oily red Harissa paste and spices to the crispy wanton packages, and mixing in sweet green and red chillies. Thirty seconds later, we are handed two bowls of flavoursome miso soup the colour of strained tea, with large white fleshy dumplings sunk at the bottom like ghostly ships. The noodles are topped with meat strips covered in black sauce. The next customers have already sat down beside us with their chopsticks and miso soup spoons ready. Fast food at its best.

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