Learn how to make traditional Cantonese beef chow fun in under 1 hour! The recipe combines thinly sliced marinated steak with bean sprouts, and wide rice noodles. For best results, cook this dish over high heat; when you cook the dish on a low heat, water comes out from the ingredients, diluting the sauce. Cooking guidance provided below!

beef chow fun with a fork in the noodles

As you get older, it’s interesting to see what you like now versus what you liked as a kid. There were so many foods I didn’t like growing up. Like carrots, most types of che, corn, and this dish beef chow fun. In many cases, I still don’t like those foods, but in a few, I’ve changed my mind! This dish is one of those instances! I don’t know how or why I changed my mind, but I just know I like beef chow fun now. 🙂 And because I didn’t like this dish until recently, I had never made this dish before writing this blog post, so this recipes comes with a major assist from my mom. I hope you enjoy this easy Chinese meal idea!

close up of beef chow fun

What is beef chow fun?

Beef chow fun, sometimes called Gon Chow Ngau Ho in Cantonese, is a traditional pan-fried Cantonese noodle dish that involves stir frying beef, wide rice noodles (hor fun), and bean sprouts together in a big wok. Beef chow fun is one of the most popular easy beef dinner dishes in Cantonese cuisine. Similar to other stir-fried Chinese dishes like homemade beef and broccoli, it is traditionally cooked over high heat, so it comes together really quickly.

Like every Chinese dish, there are variations in the ingredients used. My mom adds onions and green onions to the stir fried noodles as well as oyster sauce to the beef marinade. Additionally, she uses whatever rice noodles that are available to her. For this version of beef chow fun, she used smaller rice noodles instead of the wide rice noodles traditionally used. In addition to the ingredients, my mom also uses a large sauce pan instead of a wok to make the dish.

What is the difference between chow mein and chow fun?

This is a common question on stir fried Chinese noodle dishes. The main difference between these two Chinese noodle dishes is chow mein uses thin yellow noodles while chow fun uses thin, wide rice noodles.

beef marinade ingredients

Ingredients, Substitutions & Adjustments

Beef Marinade

  • Ribeye steak – We used ribeye steak because frankly, it’s our favorite cut of steak. You can also use beef flank as a substitute.
  • Soy sauce – Adds color and flavor to the steak. For a gluten free substitute, use tamari.
  • Corn starch – Helps make the beef tender and helps it brown. A good substitute for corn starch is tapioca starch.
  • Granulated sugar – Adds a bit of sweetness to the marinade.
  • Pepper for seasoning
  • Oyster sauce – Adds some umami flavor to the dish. If you don’t have oyster sauce, use soy sauce instead, and for a gluten free substitute, use tamari.
  • Vegetable oil – This helps make the beef tender. Use any kind of neutral oil for the marinade.
  • Garlic – Adds more flavor to the marinade.

Chow Fun

  • Rice noodles – Traditionally, beef chow fun is made with wide rice noodles or hor fun, but for this recipe, we used thin rice noodles instead because that is all we had in the kitchen. I think you should use whatever you can find or is available to you, but I wouldn’t use rice noodles that are super thin like vermicelli noodles.
  • Soy sauce and dark soy sauce – Adds color and flavor to the dish. To make the chow fun gluten free, use tamari instead.
  • Bean sprouts – Bean sprouts add texture to the dish and is one of the traditional ingredients used in this dish.
  • Yellow onions – Adds a bit of sweetness to the dish. A good substitute is white onions.
  • Green onions – Adds color and flavor to the dish.
Marinated beef with noodles, sauces, veggies, and bean sprouts

How to make my mom’s easy beef chow fun recipe

This stir-fried Cantonese noodle dish is simply so easy to make. First, prepare the beef marinade. Add all the ingredients in the marinade to a large bowl. Mix and let it marinate for 30 minutes. Soak the noodles in warm water until soft. Drain the water and set the noodles aside. Heat 2 tbsp of oil over high heat. Use a large sauté pan. Add in the rice noodles and soy sauce. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the noodles are brown and cooked through. Next, add the dark soy sauce and sauté the noodles for another 2-3 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and sauté for another 3-5 minutes until the bean sprouts are soft. Empty the noodles onto a plate and set aside.

Heat another tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes until shiny. Add the marinated meat and sauté for 3-5 minutes until brown. Add the noodles back to the pan and mix everything together. Lastly, add the green onions and mix. Remove from the heat and serve!

beef chow fun in a large plate

Tips on how to make the perfect beef chow fun

Marinate the beef for longer to achieve the best flavor

The longer you marinate the beef, the more time the marinade will have to seep into the beef.

Cook beef chow fun over high heat for the best results

Cooking this dish over high heat allows everything to cook properly without the sauce becoming too watery. When you cook this dish on a low heat, water comes out from the ingredients and stays in the sauce.

How do you eat beef chow fun?

You can eat this dish as is, but my family likes to dress it with a bit of black vinegar and sriracha. We mix a little bit of sriracha with black vinegar and then drizzle it over the noodles before we eat. I think the vinegar provides a bit of a kick to the noodle dish!

beef chow fun with a fork in the noodles

Did you make this dish?

If you made this dish, I would love to see!

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beef chow fun

Get the Recipe:
How to Make Homemade Beef Chow Fun

Learn how to make traditional Cantonese beef chow fun in under 1 hour! The recipe combines thinly sliced marinated steak with bean sprouts, and wide rice noodles. For best results, cook this dish over high heat; when you cook the dish on a low heat, water comes out from the ingredients, diluting the sauce. Cooking guidance provided below!
4.60 from 10 ratings

Ingredients
 
 

Beef Marinade

Chow Fun

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Add all the ingredients in the marinade to a large bowl. Mix and let it marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Soak the noodles in warm water until soft. Drain the water and set the noodles aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil over high heat. Use a large sauté pan. Add in the rice noodles and soy sauce. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the noodles are brown and cooked through.
  • Add the dark soy sauce and sauté the noodles for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Lastly, add the bean sprouts and sauté for another 3-5 minutes until the bean sprouts are soft.
  • Empty the noodles onto a plate and set aside.
  • Heat another tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes until shiny.
  • Add the marinated meat and sauté for 3-5 minutes until brown.
  • Add the noodles back to the pan and mix everything together.
  • Lastly, add the green onions and mix.
  • Remove from the heat and serve!

Notes

  1. Marinate the beef for longer to achieve the best flavor – The longer you marinate the beef, the more time the marinade will have to seep into the beef.
  2. Cook beef chow fun over high heat for the best results – Cooking this dish over high heat allows everything to cook properly without the sauce becoming too watery. When you cook this dish on a low heat, water comes out from the ingredients and stays in the sauce.
  3. How do you eat beef chow fun? – You can eat this dish as is, but my family likes to dress it with a bit of black vinegar and sriracha. We mix a little bit of sriracha with black vinegar and then drizzle it over the noodles before we eat. I think the vinegar provides a bit of a kick to the noodle dish!
Calories: 669kcal, Carbohydrates: 98g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 69mg, Sodium: 1375mg, Potassium: 557mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 155IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 61mg, Iron: 4mg
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