Dry Stir-Fry Beef Chow Fun Recipe

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Like with people, every dish tells a story. Whether it is about the origin, legends, or nostalgic memories, you will be surprised what you could find out from a humble dish like Dry Stir-Fry Beef Chow Fun.


If you asked ten Cantonese whether they like eating Dry Stir- Fry Beef Chow Fun, nine would tell you they are in love with it. It is a popular dish that is eaten everywhere from grandmas’ dining tables to high-end restaurants.


According to the legend, the dish was born during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938 while the Japanese army was invading Guangzhou.


Xu Bin was a Chinese businessman, and he had a porridge and noodles food stall on Yangxiang Road in Guangzhou.


Originally, Cantonese made Stir-Fry Beef Chow Fun with sauce and then thickened it with cornstarch. And one day, Xu Bin ran out of cornstarch. A Japanese commander arrived at the food stall and ordered the Chow Fun.


Xu Bin’s father, Xu Bocao told the commander that they ran out of Chow Fun. The commander did not believe Xu Baocao and thought that they were not willing to serve him. So he pulled out his gun and threatened to kill the father.


Xu Bin immediately went back to the kitchen and cooked the Chow Fun without the sauce for the commander. Surprisingly, the commander enjoyed it so much that he went back every evening and ordered the same dish.


Since cornstarch was not easy to find back in those days, Xu Bin started to serve this Chow Fun in his food stall, and he named it Dry Stir-Fry Beef Chow Fun. From there on, this dish becomes more and more popular everywhere.


My love for the Dry Stir-Fry Beef Chow Fun started when I was just a few years old. My mother brought me with her on a business trip to Hong Kong. I ended up feeling under the weather and did not want to eat anything.


My mother’s colleague ordered the Chow Fun for me. At first glance, I did not think that I would eat it. I hesitantly put one tiny bite into my mouth and tried out the taste. Then I looked up at my mother’s colleague like she was so brilliant like no others. And immediately I dug right back into the pile of Chow Fun.


The next thing anyone noticed was that I emptied the entire dish. From then on, it has become one of the to-go dishes whenever I eat Cantonese food.


As to our recipe today. It turns out to be just splendid. The texture of the noodles has a “Q texture” to it. It is kind of like the al dente texture of the pasta. But they are chewy and yet soft and smooth. The beef is tender and juicy. The entire dish is highlighted with a lightly charred taste from the cooking it in high heat. I hope you enjoy this recipe!


Serving: 2 people

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes



1 pound of flat iron steak, thinly sliced against the grain

1 package of fresh hor fun noodles, 2 pounds

1/4 onion, sliced

1 cup of bean sprouts

1 bunch of scallions

4 tablespoons of vegetable oil


Beef marinade:

1/2 of egg white

1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

A pinch of white pepper

1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil



2 tablespoons of light soy sauce

1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

A pinch of white pepper

1 teaspoon of sugar


Season 1 pound of thinly sliced steak meat with 1/2 of an egg white, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, a pinch of white pepper, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well. Coat with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. And mix well. Marinate for 15 minutes.


To make the sauce, add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce, a pinch of white pepper, a teaspoon of sugar



Microwave 1 package of fresh hor fun noodles in a microwave for 1 minute to make them soft, and carefully separate the noodles. If they are still hard, microwave the noodles for another minute and separate the noodles again.


In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil, transfer the noodles in the pan, and pan fry in high heat until the aroma comes out for about 2 minutes.

Put aside.


In the pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil, put in the marinated beef inside, and cook in high heat until medium well. Put aside.


In the pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil, transfer 1/4 of an onion and cook until aromatic. Add 1 bunch of scallions, the white parts, and cook until the aroma comes out. Add 1 cup of bean sprouts, the hor fun, the beef slices, and the sauce. Quickly stir fry in high heat until combined, but be careful not to break the noodles. Lastly, add the green parts of the scallions.



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  1. Fred says

    Hi CiCi,

    This is one of my favorite dishes and I definitely want to prepare it soon. One question though: how much does your package of hor fun noodles weigh?

    Thanks and kind regards,


    1. CiCi says

      Hi Fred,

      Great question. I should be a little more clear on the recipe next time. 1 package is 2 pounds. 🙂

  2. Brian Wong says

    Hi Cici, im usually pretty picky about asian recipes but all of your pictures of your recipes look spot on, I’ll be trying your recipes soon!

    1. CiCi says

      Hi Brian, I love taking pictures of my food, as much as cooking, and eating them. Maybe that’s why they look good. 😉

  3. Brian says

    I just watched the utoob video, flat iron steak is so yummy, I’ll have to try that in chow fun, I usually get something cheap like sirloin.

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