I got hooked with beef chow fun the first time hubby ordered it at this Chinese restaurant and the first bite into this beef chow fun was simply unforgettable. Beef chow fun is a popular Cantonese dish. I would say this is the Cantonese style of “char kwe tiau/ stir-fried flat rice noodles”. The char kwe tiau in Southeast Asia does not normally use beef. Of course you can throw in whatever you like, but in general, there is no beef in the dish, mainly seafood, pork or just with eggs.
Beef chow fun is made of ho fun or sometimes known as sha he fun, from a town called Sha he in Guang Zhou, China, which is pretty much flat rice noodles.
The most important thing in making beef chow fun, like in making char kwe tiau as well if I must say, is what they call “wok hei” in Cantonese. Wok hei pretty much describes that “smoky” flavor resulted from cooking in high heat. It’s not burning taste for sure. This “smoky” flavor can only be created by cooking with a cast-iron wok over very high heat. That’s what makes a beef chow fun taste so good and unforgettable to me.
I think I managed to impart some of the wok hei, but it’s not as strong as the one we had from the restaurant. The heat from our stove is definitely not “hot” enough, even though it’s on its highest. I would imagine using ceramic-top stove will be quite a challenge to create “wok hei” too. I think one needs to get a special burner that can generate a really high heat, beyond the one we use at home to really impart that smoky flavor. Regardless, I’m very happy with the result of this beef chow fun.
Simple and yet so..so…so…again, so good!!!
- 1 lb fresh wide flat rice noodles (they are usually pre-cut, separate them by the strands)
- ½ lb beef sirloin (freeze in the freezer for about 15 minute and cut very thinly)
- 1 lb beansprouts
- 4 stalks of spring onion (cut into 3-inch pieces)
- Vegetable oil for stir-frying
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- I found it helpful to put the sirloin in the freezer for 15 minutes before cutting. This help me to cut it thinner. Once you've cut them, put all the marinade ingredients and let it marinade for 30 minutes
- Preheat the cast-iron wok on high heat until really hot. You can start seeing smoke rising from the wok. Add in about 2 Tbsp of oil and add in the beef slices. Don't stir and let them cook for about 1 minute and then a quick stir to separate them and dish out and set aside. Do not overcook the beef
- If you properly season your wok, it should be pretty smooth and non-stick. Scrap any crust off the wok, if any. Heat the wok back until it's stonking hot and smoking again, add in 2 Tbsp of oil and add in the noodles and stir fry quickly for about 20-30 seconds. Don't over stir the noodles or they will break apart and turn choppy. Pour in the sauce and give it a stir and cook for another 30 seconds. Add in spring onions, a quick stir, have a taste and add more soy sauce or oyster sauce if needed
- Add in the beef slices and stir fry again for another 30 seconds. Add in the beansprouts. Turn off the heat. Stir to mix everything. Dish out into serving platter and serve immediately