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I like making 拉面 at home. To make 拉面 you need 拉面剂. But the effect of 拉面剂 doesn't last too long.

On 淘宝 you can also buy 拉面改良伴侣. 拉面改良伴侣 makes the effect of 拉面剂 last longer and improves the texture and "stretchability" of the 面团.

On the packet of 拉面改良伴侣 it says: 增筋增弹看得见 I am having trouble translating this into English!

筋: (7) 加强物、加固物 [reinforcement]。如:钢筋
面筋: gluten
弹 dàn: (can't be dàn on my 拉面改良伴侣 packet)

  1. 可以用力发射出去的小丸;装有爆炸物可以击毁人、物的武器:弹丸。子弹。弹雨。枪弹。氢弹。导弹。手榴弹。原子弹。
  2. 古代指以竹为弦的弓:“左挟弹,右摄丸”。

弹 tán:

(4) 用手指拨动而演奏 [play] (You cannot strum 拉面 like a guitar!)

增筋: make stronger??
增弹: increase the "playability"
看得见: visible, visibly

Is it reasonable to say 增筋增弹看得见? I think it should be 增加柔软度,增加弹性

What is the best way to translate 增筋增弹看得见

面团增筋剂 is translated as "dough strengthening agent" but in fact, it does the opposite: it softens the dough by acting on the gluten molecules, with the result that the dough can be pulled into long strands very easily. Without 拉面剂, the dough is very hard to pull and tends to break if pulled hard.

有人想要一碗拉面吗?

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    彈 refers to 彈性 (elasticity, flexibility). Noting that gluten (麵筋) is viscoelastic, 增筋增彈 means to increase the dough's elasticity/flexibility - allowing treated dough to be pulled and stretched easier to make 拉麵.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Apr 8 at 9:17
  • Just to add the mix: 筋度 refers to what might be called "level of gluten development". Naturally this is most clearly related to elasticity. The flexible/elastic difference as used in materials science can be expressed as 柔性 vs 彈性; however I would argue that this definition of flexibility / 柔性 is pretty marginal.
    – Michaelyus
    Commented Apr 9 at 16:41

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Yes, it's totally reasonable. I know nothing about dough science. But I do know the ideal state of a good dough for making 拉面 is when it resembles a rubber band, stretchy yet durable.

  • 增筋: to strengthen the durability of the gluten
  • 增弹: to increase the elasticity of the dough

The common compliment words for good noodles are 弹牙、筋道(or 劲道). I'm a rice guy, so I personally don't understand the subtle difference of these words. To me they all roughly refer to the "chewiness" of 拉面.


Some extra words on 弹:

Notice the 弓 radical in 弹. As a verb 弹(tán) originally means "to shoot a ball off a slingshot", as a noun 弹(dàn) it means the ball used as a projectile.

弹(tán)弹(dàn)弓 = to shoot a slingshot

弹琴 = to play a string instrument, 弹 (tán) here should be more precisely translated as "to pluck"

弹橡皮筋 = pull and release a rubber band

As an adjective it refers to the "bounciness" or "elasticity" of a tightened string or an inflated ball.

You get the idea. Chinese is very figurative.

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  • I have never tried to make rice noodles! Will look into it! You should add 0.5% 拉面剂 by weight of flour. If you add too much, the dough becomes so fluid, if you hold it above the table, it will flow down under gravity! That is the effect of 拉面剂. 拉面改良伴侣 makes the dough texture better. You can pull finer noodles which won't turn into mush!
    – Pedroski
    Commented Apr 8 at 16:28

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