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.
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
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Beef Chow Fun
- 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
- 3/4 pound flank steak or london broil partially frozen for easier slicing
- 4 scallions cut into 1 1/4" pieces, white and greens separated
- 3 medium cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger root peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 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 1/4" 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 1 1/4" 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.