Noodles fried in lamb fat at the end of jingisukan (literally, Ghengis Khan) mutton barbecues are usually considered just a part of the cleanup process. To me, however, they’re the star of the show. And after watching the Oscar-nominated “Drive My Car” recently, I was inspired to make a meal merging Japanese, Chinese and my own Kiwi elements.

Homemade noodles are daunting, but not that difficult. If you can embrace the idea that inconsistency in width is a good thing, then the pressure is off. Lose yourself in the meditative process. Biang biang hand-pulled noodles from Shanxi are simple and delicious. The word “biang” also shoulders one of the highest stroke counts for a kanji, 56 — twice in a row! I’m not often thankful for katakana, but in this case it’s a godsend.

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