Let’s just get this out of the way – this dish is not technically Beef Chow Fun because I used a thinner rice noodle than Chow Fun Noodles. Other than that, the flavors are the same.
Chow Fun Noodles are awesome! They are chewy and thick like pappardelle pasta (about 1/2″ thick) and I really enjoy them. I especially appreciate their texture in this dish and have made it “properly” a bunch of times now. We didn’t have any in the pantry, however, when my husband suggested I make this for him (and you) with Pad Thai noodles Everyday Maven style, I thought that was a great suggestion!
The irony is that a couple of the other ingredients here are specialty ingredients so unless you have them in your pantry (dark soy sauce, fermented black beans, oyster sauce, mirin) like I do, you are going to have to hit up the Asian Supermarket anyway. Alternately, you could order online.
For us, we are big fans of this dish and while I have to say I do prefer the fresh Chow Fun Noodles, I really liked making it with these dried Brown Rice Pad Thai noodles for two huge reasons:
1. once you have the other ingredients in the pantry, it’s much easier to make this on a whim without having to make a special trip to pick up fresh noodles and
2. I prefer a brown rice noodle overall and so far, I have only found them in Mei Fun (super thin, like vermicelli) and Pad Thai cuts.
Any way, if you like Chinese food, or if you’d like to experiment with a dish that most people would like (even those that aren’t too into Chinese flavors) you seriously need to make this.
- Oyster Sauce is such a great ingredient to have in the pantry but you really need to shop around to find a natural version. I like this one but haven’t seen it in the store – I usually order it online. Whole Foods Market (at least here in Seattle) also carries one or two MSG-Free options (one I have shown in the prep photo – Kikkoman Blue Label).
- Dark Soy Sauce is also called Double Black Soy Sauce.
- A little bit more about Fermented Black Beans.
- Mirin is Chinese Rice Wine (not Rice Vinegar!)
Adapted From: Andrea Nguyen’s Viet World Kitchen Beef Chow Fun Recipe
- 8 ounces dry brown rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1.5 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ¾ pound flank steak or london broil, partially frozen for easier slicing
- 4 scallions, cut into 1¼" pieces, white and greens separated
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and minced
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon coconut palm sugar (or natural sugar)
- 1.5 teaspoons (regular) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Mirin (rice wine)
- 2.5 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, smashed with knife blade
- 8 ounces bean sprouts
- 2 tablespoons safflower (or canola) oil, divided
- Place the dried rice noodles in a large bowl or pot and cover with very hot water by a couple of inches. It doesn't have to be boiling, just let your faucet run for a few minutes until it is super hot. Let the noodles soak while you do the remaining prep work or for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
- Combine cornstarch, dark soy sauce and sesame oil in a medium bowl until completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Remove the partially frozen beef from the fridge and cut into 2" wide strips. In my case, I only had to slice my meat in half lengthwise to achieve this. Proceed to slice the 2" strips into ¼" thick slices.
- Place the sliced meat in the bowl with the cornstarch mixture and toss until well coated. Set aside.
- Mince garlic and ginger root. Slice scallions into 1¼" pieces and separate the whites from the greens. Smash the sliced scallion whites with the back of your knife and combine with the minced ginger and garlic.
- Combine white pepper, sugar, regular soy sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce and water in small bowl.
- Finally, measure fermented black beans and use the back of your knife to smash them into a chunky paste.
- Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Allow to get very hot and add 1 tablespoon of the safflower (or canola) oil. Add ginger, garlic and scallion whites. Cook, stirring constantly for 15 to 30 seconds, until just aromatic.
- Move to the side of the pan (that gets less heat) and add in marinated, sliced meat in a single layer. Sear for about one minute and toss in smashed, fermented black beans. Cook, stirring, for another minute and transfer to a plate.
- Drain rice noodles from soaking liquid. Reheat pan over high heat, add in remaining tablespoon of oil and then drained rice noodles. Sear noodles, for 1 to 2 minutes (they may stick a bit and get crusty, that is OK).
- Add in bean sprouts and cook with noodles, stirring for 1 minute.
- Now, add in beef and green onions along with remaining liquid seasoning mixture. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring to combine, breaking up any crusty bits on bottom of pan or wok.
- Divide into four servings and Enjoy while hot! I like to serve some Hot Chili Oil on the side.