One of our ultimate favourite takeout Chinese stir-fry dishes made at home!! We’re so excited to share this recipe with you as we finally figured out how to get the same flavours and textures as the Beef Chow Fun from our favourite restaurant. It’s really not that complicated and all you need is a few key ingredients!
Getting the Perfect, Tender Beef
One of our biggest pet peeves from takeout Beef Chow Fun Noodles is that the meat tends to be dry and the texture is just not quite right. The secret to a perfectly tender beef in Chinese cuisine lies in the one and only: cornstarch. Just look at that beef!
Seriously though, we’ve tried cooking it with and without cornstarch, and boyy just this one ingredient makes all the difference! We also added a little bit of baking soda as it helps with the tenderizing effect. But if you don’t happen to have any baking soda in your pantry, then cornstarch alone is more than enough to get you that perfect, tender beef slices.
Creating those restaurant-style flavours
Another pet peeve of ours: bland rice noodles. If you want to make these homemade Beef Chow Fun noodles as good as your favourite takeout place, then you gotta get the right ingredients for your sauce!
First things first: don’t skip on the dark soy sauce. This is what’s gonna give your dish that strong flavour and beautiful dark brown colour that you want. We love using light soy sauce whenever we cook, but in this case, the flavours of light sauce are too tame for what we want.
Shaoxing wine is made of fermented rice and is widely used in many Chinese stir fried dishes. It’s often substituted with dry sherry due to their similarity in flavours, and is an excellent flavour enhancer. Oyster sauce, on the other hand, is a viscous, dark coloree sauce that adds some salty, savory flavours and that extra oompf to your dish.
And the one flavour that you get from a takeout stir fried dish that you cannot seem to get at home: the charred wok flavour. It really does make all the difference. Although we can’t get exactly that without a high burning stovetop and a proper wok, we can kinda recreate that by letting the noodles and veggies fry on the wok without stirring until the bottom part develop a char that adds so much flavour to your dish!
We’ll sure be using these tips for our next stir-fried dishes! Especially the cornstarch and the beef, it’s like figuring out a hack for cooking!
We hope you enjoy and happy cooking!
Beef Chow Fun (Stir-Fried Wide Rice Noodles)
- 3/4 pound beef flank sliced thinly
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp shaoxing wine
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
Stir Fry Noodles
- 10 oz dried wide rice noodles
- 1 1/2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 1/2 yellow onion cut into long strips
- 2 scallions cut into long strips
- 4 bunches baby bok choys
- 2 cups bean sprouts
In a mixing bowl, combine the sliced beef, dark soy sauce, and light soy sauce. Add the cornstarch and mix well until every slice is coated. The mixture should be sticky. Separate the beef slices that stick to each other and let marinade for at least 10 minutes.
To prepare the sauce, combine dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and sugar in a bowl and mix well until the sugar is fully dissolved. Set aside.
Cook the dried wide rice stick noodles according to packaging’s instructions (Our wide rice stick noodles needed to be boiled for about 4 and a half minutes). Drain off excess water and pour cold water over the noodles. Add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the noodles and mix well to avoid them from sticking to each other.
In a large pan or wok, heat about 1 and a half tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add the beef into the pan and cook for about 1 minute each side or until cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large pan or wok, heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir fry until fragrant and tender. Add the onions and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the baby bok choys and stir fry until they are fully cooked and the onions are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Place the cooked ingredients on one side of the pan to make place for the noodles. put heat on high and and add another tablespoon of vegetable oil and add the cooked noodles. Toss the noodles in the pan gently using tongs for about 30 seconds until they are well combined. Pour the sauce mixture over the noodles and mix well with tongs until all the noodles are uniform in color. Add the bean sprouts and and toss gently. Add in the cooked slices of beef and mix well. For a bit of char, let the ingredients sit for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on the pan without stirring. Remove from heat and serve.