Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beef Ho fun (Beef with rice noodles and onion).

Beef ho fun is one of my favourite Chinese takeaway meals.  A brilliantly made beef ho fun can make me feel happy all day.  I thought that it would be simple to replicate, but my first attempt was a complete failure and my second attempt was just a bit off.  On the third attempt my family was a bit dubious (and sick of their third exposure to poor beef ho fun in three weeks) but it came out fantastically. 

I prefer it with fresh rice noodles.  You can find these in the bigger Asian grocery stores, in the fridge.  You want the wide (1.5cm) noodles.  You can buy a pack of dried rice noodles.  I have trouble getting these blend well with the meat - they can get a bit sticky.  It is still nice, but I was going for beef ho fun perfection so feel obliged to mention my picky noodle requirements.

I would give this a go with chicken or firm tofu.  Beef though, for me, is the standard.

Beef Ho Fun.

Beef marinade:

Per 500grams of rump beef (cut in strips across the grain):

3 TBSP light soy sauce
4 tsp cornflour
4 tsp rice wine (really cheap and available at Asian grocery stores)


One onion, sliced
Four spring onions (white bits cut in half): chop in 5cm lengths.
Two big handfuls of mung beans

For cooking:

1.5 tsp finely minced garlic
roughly one inch square knob of ginger, sliced into matchsticks then diced.
1.5 TBSP vegetable oil (for cooking the beef)
1.5 TBSP vegetable oil (for cooking the noodles)   *Adding a couple of drops of sesame oil is nice.

One bag of fresh rice noodles (or dried rice noodles, cooked then drained).  Enough noodles for four people.

Marinade the beef for at least an hour.  Heat a wok to a very high temperature and stir fry the veges.  Stir the onions and spring onions for four or five minutes then add the mung beans.  Cook for a further two minutes then remove from heat and cover.  After five minutes put the veges onto a plate and return the wok to a high heat.  Once the wok is hot add 2 TBSP of oil and cook the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds.  (At this point you may like to drain the marinade from the beef - this makes a 'dry' ho fun.  Equally you can cook the marinade with the beef and have a 'wet' or gravy version. Add the beef and leave to sizzle for a couple of minutes.  Stir fry until cooked through.

In a clean wok heat the oil on a medium/ high heat.  Add the noodles.  Leave them for about a minute before stirring.  Your aim is to get a few crunchy/ well seared noodles and the best way to do this is to leave the noodles.  You need to concentrate to make sure that they don't get burned.  Once the noodles have been heated through and you have a few crispy bits add the vegetables and meat.  Stir through and serve.

I am undecided on adding a big twist of freshly ground black pepper at the end.  I like pepper a lot, but may over-use it when cooking myself.  Taste the dish and decide for yourself!

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