Header image: Ronnie Foo
Beef chow ho fun (gon chau ngau ho/干炒牛河) is my all-time favourite noodle dish, and it’s very important for me to be able to cook this well so I can enjoy it fresh at home.
One of the crucial things to get right is to make sure the beef is super tender, even if you’re using an economical cut. The trick is to velvet the beef before marinating it by using baking soda – sprinkle half a teaspoon of baking soda on the beef before marinating, rub in and leave for 30 minutes. Afterwards, rinse and pat dry. After cooking, the beef will be like velvet.
If your bean sprouts are too spindly to hold up to the heat and are becoming mushy, try adding them after the last step, when all the frying is done. The residual heat from the noodles will wilt them without turning them soggy.
You will need a big wok to make this dish!
Ronnie’s beef chow ho fun 干炒牛河
Serves: 2 –4 (depends how much you like it!)
Prep time: 40 minutes (including marinating)
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 160g rump steak, cut into thin slices
- 500g fresh ho fun, room temperature (I use the VSW Food brand)
- 5 tbsp cooking oil (or lard)
- 5 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 white onion, sliced thick
- 1 tbsp cooking caramel sauce (karamel masakan)
- 4 tbsp light soy sauce
- 60g bean sprouts
- 30g Chinese chives, sliced to match the bean sprouts
For the marinade:
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- Velvet the beef (refer to the above comments) and then marinate for 10 minutes using the marinade ingredients in the recipe.
- Heat up your wok and add the oil. Add the garlic and fry it to infuse the oil. After the garlic is slightly brown, remove it.
- Add the onion and fry for 1 minute, then set aside. Place the excess oil into a container for later use.
- Add the beef and fry for 3 minutes, searing the meat on each side for about a minute, then set aside.
- Add your saved oil back into a HOT wok and add the room-temperature ho fun. Leave for a minute – do not stir! – until it’s slightly burnt (if the wok is sufficiently hot, the noodles won’t stick).
- Then GENTLY stir around with a pair of chopsticks until the ho fun begins to wilt (don’t stir too much or the noodles will break apart; if they still break apart, try a different brand next time).
- Add the light and dark soy sauces and stir-fry for a minute.
- Return the beef and onion to the wok and fry for another minute. Add the bean sprouts and chives. Fry for a further minute or so and you are ready to serve!
Originally published March 18, 2022
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