One of my favorite all-time Chinese dishes is your typical and very common Beef Chow Fun or Beef Chow Mein. For those that don’t know the difference, Chow Fun is the wide rice noodles and Chow Mein is thin egg noodles. From the picture above, you can see that it’s not neither one of the noodles because when I went to the store to get some Chow Fun, they ran out. This noodle was the only type that they had left. Even though the package said it’s “Chow Fun”, I knew it wasn’t really Chow Fun. I mean, c’mon, I am The Noodle Guy after all.
After having my dinner mind set to have Beef Chow Fun, I decided to buy this noodle anyway and make it from a recipe I found online. To be honest, to my fans and followers, I would have to say that I shouldn’t have made it with this type of noodle. I should have just waited the next day until my grocery store restocked with the real Chow Fun. The noodles really make a difference with this dish. So if you do plan on making this, make sure you find the wide, flat rice noodle that is usually next to the refrigerated produce and/or noodles section. It’s fresh and wrapped in saran wrap with a Styrofoam bottom.
- 8 ounces flank steak
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons dark (thick) soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 pound fresh chow fun rice noodles (pre-cut to 1/2 inch wide)
- 3 green onions, cut into 1 1/4-inch lengths
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light (regular) soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon fermented black beans, smashed or mashed with a knife blade
- 3 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and drained well
- 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- Cut the beef with the grain into 2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer to a bowl. Add the cornstarch, dark soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir or massage to coat the meat well. Set aside.
- Separate the noodles into strips. Some may break into shorter lengths. Set aside on a plate. Smack the white sections of the green onion with the flat side of the knife, then put into a small bowl; add the ginger and garlic. Keep the green sections in another bowl to add separately.
- In a small bowl, stir together the white pepper, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, and water. Put this seasoning liquid near the stove with all the other ingredients.
- Heat a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes in 1 to 2 seconds. Swirl in 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the ginger, garlic, and crushed sections of green onion. Stir-fry for 15 seconds, until aromatic, then bank on the side. Add the beef, spreading it out into a flat layer. Sear, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Add the black beans, then stir-fry the beef for 30 seconds, until barely cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Rinse and dry the pan well.
- Reheat the pan over high heat, swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, then add the noodles, spreading them out to a thick layer. Sear, undisturbed for 1 minute, until a tad crusty. Dump in the bean sprouts, then vigorously stir-fry for 1 minute, until the sprouts have slightly softened. Some noodles may stick to the pan.
- Return the beef and any juices and add the remaining green onion sections. Stir to combine, then pour in the seasoning liquid. Stir-fry for 1 minute to heat through and finish cooking the beef. Pile onto a platter and serve immediately.