Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Beef Chow Fun (Stir-fried Rice Noodles with Beef)

I have half a packet of fresh rice noodles and beansprouts leftover from my attempt at char koey teow (failed, but I’ll write about it. For now I feel like writing about an experience that actually didn’t fail) and Beef Chow Fun seems to be right for a quick weekend lunch for all the ingredients I have.

(marinated beef, spring onions, red capsicum)

This is enough for two:

  1. 250 g. fresh rice noodles*
  2. 100-150 g. of beef  (rump, sirlion, non-stewing cuts.), sliced into bite-sized pieces
  3. 3 spring onions, chopped into long strips
  4. 1/2 red capsicum, sliced into thin strips
  5. 3 cups of beansprouts
  6. 1 tsp of chopped garlic
  7. 1 tsp of chopped ginger
  8. 2 tbsp of light soy sauce**
  9. 2 tbsp of oyster sauce
  10. 2 tsp of corn flour
  11. 1 tsp of sesame oil
  12. a pinch of sugar
  13. fresh coriander, for garnish (optional)

(fresh rice noodles)

First of all, what’s really important in this dish is that the wok or the frying pan must be very hot. The noodles need to be mildly charred to give it the full ‘breath of a wok’ effect which you need in all stir-fried rice noodle dishes. What I do now, since my wok is out of commission and my stove isn’t a killer, I fried the noodles in two batches on my $4 Ikea non-stick pan on my hottest hob, which worked out rather well. Note that the ingredients are for two serves so you’ll need to halve things if you do two batches.

First of all, marinade the beef with1 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of light soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, corn flour, garlic and ginger for about 1/2 hour. Or if you’re in a hurry, just marinade for however long it takes to slice other veggies and separating the rice noodle strands.*

Heat your frying pan or wok on very high heat. Add a tbsp or so of vegetable oil to the frying pan when it’s hot. Add the capsicum strips and stir-fry for a few minutes. Add the beef and cook until the meat is nicely browned. Add the rice noodles to fry. Keep the heat as constant as possible. This means after adding new ingredients, make sure the pan is reheated before you add the next ingredient. Keep stirring. Add beansprouts, the rest of the soy and oyster sauces. Add spring onions and stir for a minute and then turn the heat off. The whole process shouldn’t really take more than 4-5 minutes for one serve.

* You can fresh rice noodles at supermarket or Asian grocery. Microwave them on high for a minute or so to warm them up before separating the sticky strands one by one so you don’t end up frying a cake of noodles. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a satisfactory shortcut.
** I do believe the traditional Cantonese method includes dark soy sauce so you end up with noodles that darker and a little bit sweeter (such as Vegie Hut) but I prefer without. If you like, substitute add 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce to the noodles when frying instead.