This quick and easy Beef Ho Fun recipe is made with succulent beef, flat rice noodles ( Sa ho fun ) with delicious homemade sauce. One of the best Chinese stir fry rice noodles recipes that you can prepare with simple ingredients. Perfect weeknight dinner ready in 30 minutes!
We love to cook rice noodles in many different ways. If you love hearty beefy noodle soup, you will also love to try out our Chinese Beef Noodle Soup served with flat rice noodles.
What is Beef Ho Fun?
'Beef Ho Fun' is savoury Chinese rice beef and noodle stir-fried dish and is also known as Beef Hor Fun or Beef Chow Fun. This Cantonese dish is originated in Guangzhou China. It’s become one of the most common dishes in Chinese restaurants and takeaways in the UK and across the world.
You must have heard and are familiar with different Chinese noodle dishes such as Beef Chow Mein, Beef Lo Mein, Chicken Chow Fun, etc. And it's a little confusing to pick them rightly by names if you are not very familiar with the Chinese names. Basically, for you to easily remember, Chow Mein or Lo Mein is the wheat/egg noodles (round and yellowish in colour mostly).
While Chow Fun, Mei Fun, Chow Hor Fun, Hor Fun, and Chow Mei Fun are all different names for the same rice noodles. Flat and sometimes cut shortly, cooked in either dry or gravy. In general, if you see ‘fun’ in a noodle dish name, it is rice noodles included!
Why you would love this recipe
- It's incredibly easy to make at home with simple ingredients. You can buy all of the ingredients used in this recipe at local groceries and supermarkets. Create authentic Chinese dishes at home with minimum hassle!
- A healthy, nutritious, family-friendly recipe that all kids and adults can enjoy.
- Taste just like you have had at your favourite Chinese restaurant. When you make it at home you can add more meat, noodles, or vegetables according to your preference.
- A foolproof, simple recipe that we have tried so many times, and our friends most requested rice noodle dish.
What do we need
All you need is fresh or dried chow fun noodles, beef steak, vegetables, and a handful of classic Chinese sauces.
Ho Fun Noodles - Starting from the noodles, you can use either fresh rice noodles or dried rice noodles for this recipe.
Dry wide rice noodles are available in most supermarket Asian aisles and Chinese groceries. For fresh ones, you can find them as “hor fun noodles” at the Chinese/Oriental grocery store.
If you are in Asia, you can easily get at the local wet markets or Chinatown.
Protein - Beef is most commonly used with hor fun noodles. I recommend using tender steak cuts such as rump, sirloin, tenderloin, rib eye, or flank steak. If you are not a beef fan, feel free to add your favourite protein, meat, or seafood.
Vegetables - The fun part comes with selecting the vegetables! Bean sprouts, garlic chives, and spring onions are essential for the authentic beef ho fun dish but you can add any stir fry vegetables of your choice.
How to make the best Chow Fun sauce?
For the frying sauce, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, Shao Xing wine, sesame oil, sugar, and white pepper are mixed together to make it taste sweet and savoury same time. It looks like a load of sauce ingredients but trust me, this homemade sauce mix is better than any store-bought stir fry sauce you have ever tried!
How to make it
- First, cut the beef into thin slices or strips against the grain. Marinate the beef with light soy sauce, Shao Xing wine, corn starch, sesame oil, and baking soda. Mix it well and set it aside for 15 minutes.
- Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Drain the water out, rinse with cold water and set it aside.
- Combine all the stir fry sauce ingredients in a small bowl, mix it well until sugar is dissolved, and set it aside. Gather and prepare the vegetables.
- Heat the wok over medium-high heat, and drizzle 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Add marinated beef slices and flatten them at the bottom of the pan and let it sear for 1-2 minutes. Once the beef is nicely charred, flip the beef slices and continue to stir fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan and set them aside.
- Reheat the remaining wok over medium-high heat, and drizzle more oil if needed. Add onion slices and stir fry for a few seconds. Follow with the finely chopped garlic and ginger and continue to stir until fragrant.
- Bring the heat to high and placed the rice noodles in the wok. Pour the sauce mixture in and stir it well. Place the beef back in the wok and follow by the spring onions and bean sprouts. Toss everything well and continue to stir fry for another 1-2 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.
- Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately.
- Preparing Rice Noodles: If you use fresh noodles, you can rinse them with hot water or blanch them in warm water for 1-2 minutes until the noodles separate before cooking. Or you can also heat it up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
- If you use the dry noodles, you can follow the instructions on the package and make sure not to over boil them since they still need to be fried in the wok later.
- Do not skip the beef marinating process, it is called meat velveting and is essential in Chinese and Oriental cooking.
- Seafood hor fun is another good choice for a beef substitute. I will share with you how to make delicious seafood hor fun, so stay tuned!
- For a vegetarian option, you can use firm tofu, and vegetarian oyster sauce in the sauce mix will do great.
- In addition to bean sprouts and spring onions, you can use bok choy, napa cabbage, sweet cabbage, thinly sliced carrot, baby corn, or Chinese broccoli.
Traditionally Chinese ho fun dishes are prepared on high heat wok to sear the meat but we can make it happen with the equipment we already have in our kitchen. I used a large non-stick wok in this recipe. You can use any of your favourite wok, skillet, or frying pan, just make sure to cook it on high heat.
Ho Fun noodle is made of rice flour, salt, water, and cooking oil. All of these ingredients are mixed into a batter. Then make it into thin sheets by steaming them, then cut them into thin slices.
Ho fun noodles are naturally gluten-free but the soy sauces, oyster sauce, and Shao Xing wine might contain gluten. Use tamari instead of soy sauces and add gluten-free oyster sauce and gluten-free rice wine. Make sure to check the bottle ingredient list before use.
More delicious ho fun ( rice noodles ) recipes
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Beef Ho Fun ( Beef Chow Fun )
- Large wok/pan Non-stick or traditional carbon steel wok
- 250 gram Beef Steak About 8.8oz ( Rump, sirloin, flank, rib-eye, etc )
- 120 gram Dried rice noodles Dry flat rice noodles ( wide/10mm ) See details in note
- 2-3 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 100 gram Bean sprouts
- 3-4 Spring onions Green onions/ Chinese chives, cut 2-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp Ginger Finely chopped/minced
- 3-4 cloves Garlic Finely chopped/minced
- ½ Onion Cut thin slices
- 1 tsp Light soy sauce
- 1 tsp Shaoxing cooking wine Chinese cooking rice wine or rice vinegar
- 1 tsp Sesame oil
- 1 tsp Corn starch or potato starch
- ½ tsp Baking soda
Stir Fry Sauce
- 3 tbsp Oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp Light soy sauce
- 3 tsp Dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine Chinese cooking rice wine or rice vinegar
- 2 tsp Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- ½ tsp White pepper
- Cut the beef steak into thin slices. Mix well with the ingredients in the beef marinate list. Set aside and marinate for 10-15 mins.
- Soak the dried rice noodles in the hot water for 10-15 minutes then drain the water out. Or you can prepare according to the packet instructions.
- In a small bowl, add all the stir fry sauce ingredients. Mix it well and set it aside.
- Heat the wok over medium-high heat, and add 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Stir fry the marinated beef slices by flatten them at the bottom of the pan and let it sear for 1-2 minutes.
- Then flip the beef slices and continue to stir fry for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the cooked beef from the pan and set them aside and keep it warm.
- In the remaining wok drizzle 1 tbsp of oil and heat the wok over medium-high heat. Add onion slices and stir fry for a few seconds. Follow with the finely chopped garlic and ginger and stir it well until fragrant.
- Bring the heat to high and placed the rice noodles in the wok. Pour the sauce mixture in and toss it well.
- Place the beef back in the wok and follow by the spring onions and bean sprouts. Combine everything well and continue to stir fry for another 1-2 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through.
- Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine - substitutes are dry sherry wine, or mirin Japanese cooking wine. If you do not consume wine in your cooking, you can use rice vinegar instead.
- Fresh Rice Noodles - Fresh rice noodles, you can loosen it by blanching in the hot water for 1-2 mins, drain and rinse with cold water. Then strain the water out and mix with a teaspoon of sesame/vegetable oil.
- Dried Rice Noodles - you can boil the noodle according to packet instructions. Drain the noodles, rinse in cold water, and strain the water out. If the rice noodles are too sticky, drizzle some vegetable oil and toss the noodles well.
- Spring onions ( green onions ) - You can either use Chinese chives or spring onions.
- How to make it hot? If you like spicy, you can add a teaspoon of chili oil to the sauce mixture.
- Can you reheat it or freeze it? You can reheat it over the stovetop or in the microwave with a splash of water. As rice noodles can be dried after a few hours. Do not recommend freezing but you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days in an air-tight container.