Here is a dish you often see in chinese restaurants or on some take-away menus – the Beef and Black Bean Ho Fun (flat rice noodles).
It is quite a common chinese dish but perhaps not as famous as its friends the sweet and sour chicken or the egg fried rice. It is, however, a firm favourite of mine. It embodies the core flavours of chinese cooking. Simple to make yet so satisfying to eat.
For those of you who enjoy your chinese food, here’s one simple recipe to try at home…
Serves 4 (Note: The quantity of each ingredient is a rough guide. I like strong flavours. So feel free to experiment and adjust to your liking accordingly)
- Beef – 500g – 600g (any tender cuts, suitable for stir fry)
- Ho Fun (flat rice noodles) – I recommend the freshly made ones from a rice noodle factory in Chinatown (£1 for a portion that serve 2)
- Preserved salted black beans – 2 or 3 tablespoon (available in chinese supermarkets)
- Red and green peppers – 1 each, diced
- Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves (I like my dish garlicky)
- Chilli (deseeded) – 2 large or 3 small (depends on how spicy you like your food)
- Ginger – roughly 2.5″ by 1″ piece (really depends on how much you like ginger)
- Coriander – a handful (for garnishing)
- Soy sauce – 2 tablespoons (1 for the marinade, 1 for cooking)
- Oyster sauce – 3 tablespoons ( to your liking)
- Shao Hsing wine (Chinese rice wine) – 2 dashes
- Black pepper
- Corn flour – 2 teaspoons
- Cut the beef into bite-size, thin slices (suitable for stir fry)
- Marinate the slices with black pepper, soy sauce and corn flour for anything between 20 to 60 minutes, depending on your schedule. The corn flour gives the beef a “silky” texture and thickens the sauce.
- Blend the garlic, chilli, ginger and black beans in a chopper / food processor until fine.
- Heat up some sunflower / peanut oil in your wok / frying pan.
- Stir fry half the garlic, chilli, ginger and black beans blend, until you can smell the ingredients coming together. Normally takes just a couple of minutes.
- Add the marinated beef, in batches. Then add the Shao Hsing wine. Stir fry until the beef if about 60% cooked. Remove beef from the wok.
- Heat up a little bit more oil and add in the rest of the garlic, chilli, ginger and black beans blend. Same step applies.
- Then add the diced red and green peppers. Stir fry until cooked through (I prefer my peppers soft rather than crunchy).
- After that, stir in the Ho Fun (flat rice noodles). Add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and a little water to make it more “saucy” 🙂
- Once the noodles appear soft and coated with the black bean sauce, add the beef back into the wok and give it a final stir through to make sure all the ingredients well mixed in.
- And finally, serve the dish with some chopped coriander, be prepared for seconds.