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Lamian is the name of hand-made or hand-pulled Chinese noodle. It is also the name of the dishes that use these noodles.

Etymology and preparation

Dishes using lamian are usually served in a beef or mutton-flavored soup (湯麵; pinyin: tāngmiàn), but sometimes stir-fried (炒麵; pinyin: chǎomiàn) and served with a tomato-based sauce. Literally, 拉 (lā) means to pull or stretch, while 麵 (miàn) means noodle. The hand-making process involves taking a lump of dough and repeatedly stretching it to produce a single very long noodle.



Small restaurants serving Lanzhou-style lamian are very common in eastern Chinese cities. They tend to serve a variety of low cost meals, with a choice of lamian, 'daoxiaomian' (刀削麵, knife-sliced noodles) and perhaps Xi'an-style 'paomo' (泡饃, steamed bread). Noodles may be served with beef or mutton, either in soup or stir-fried. Many of these lamian restaurants are owned by Hui ethnicity families from Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang , and serve only halal food (thus no pork dishes).

Another typical variety of lamian is Shandong lamian (山东拉面), from the eastern province of Shandong.


Lamian was introduced in Japan (Chinatowns of Kobe or Yokohama) during the Meiji era. Ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters lamian (拉麵).


The Korean term ramyeon (라면) is derived from lamian.

Central Asia

In Central Asia the dish has thicker noodles and is significantly spicier, and is known as laghman. It is most popular in Kyrgyzstan, where it is considered the national dish. It is also popular in Northern Afghanistan, where chick peas are added to it and in the Chitral and Gilgit regions of Pakistan where it is known as Kalli or Dau Dau.


See also

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