Chinese beef noodles
This is my husband’s recipe and I LOVE it. The flavours in this dish remind him of his old life when everyday there were seriously tasty meals to be eaten with his family in Hong Kong.
I love stir fry noodles, but all my attempts ended up with a big lump of strange tasting sticky noodles stuck to the pan. I just couldn’t seem to create the slightly crisp but soft flavoursome piles of golden noodles, tender strips of marinated beef and crunchy green vegetables that I’ve ploughed my way through in the small cafes in Chinatown.
My husband taught me how to make this dish properly…….it’s all about the technique, of course it is! Marinating the beef, frying it for a few minutes and leaving it to rest, make it mouth-wateringly tender. Rinsing the noodles after you’ve cooked them with lots of cold water removes the starch so when you stir fry they don’t stick and form an unmovable mountain in the middle of the pan.
Shaoxing rice wine vinegar is a phenomenal ingredient. It adds flavour and tenderises the meat. It’s easy to get hold of as lots of supermarkets sell it and it’s such a useful store cupboard ingredient.
But, best of all my little boys can’t get enough of this dish. They are obsessed with noodles. I started feeding my sons this dish towards the end of weaning when they were at least 11 months as there is quite a lot of salt in soy sauce.
The final addition to my plate of noodles is Chiu Chow chilli oil (made in China by Lee Kum Kee). This is the best chilli oil I’ve ever tasted. It’s not one of those chillis’s that is just a big hit of heat but has a full rounded flavour from the added garlic, soy and sesame oil. Chilli is the one thing I miss about cooking for my very young children, but this oil is perfect as you can add a little bit to your plate and get your chilli high.
Miraculous ingredients: rump steak (grass fed and/or organic), shaoxing rice wine vinegar, Clearspring dark or tamari soya sauce, Clearspring sesame oil, Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce, Lee Kum Kee chiu chow chilli oil
Chinese beef noodles
1 rump steak (300-350g)
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine vinegar
5 tablespoons dark or tamari soya sauce (Clearspring)
2 tablespoon sesame oil (Clearspring)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ginger, grated (approx. 5cm piece)
4 nests of Chinese egg noodles (1-2 nests per person)
200g fine green beans
175g baby sweet corn, cut in half lengthwise
100g tender stem broccoli, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
5 tablespoons oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee)
Chiu Chow chilli oil (Lee Kum Kee)
Marinade the beef at least one hour before cooking, a few hours is even better. Trim off the fat and white sinew from the steak and slice as thinly as possible across the width (grain) of the steak. Put the sliced steak in a zip lock food bag and add all the Shaoxing rice wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of soya sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, the garlic and ginger. Seal the bag and squish well with your fingers.
Cook the noodles to the manufacturer’s instructions. Drain the noodles in a colander and run cold water over them for a couple of minutes to wash away the starch. This step is vital as it will stop the starch sticking the noodles together and creating a big lump in the middle of the pan when you stir fry.
Boil the sweet corn and broccoli for 3 minutes and drain.
Heat a dry wok or very large frying pan on a high heat for 5 minutes. When the pan is very hot, add the groundnut oil and steak slices (shake off as much marinade as you can and retain the excess for later) and fry for a couple of minutes. Once the steak has browned, remove to a warm plate and leave to rest.
Add a bit more oil to the pan and stir fry the vegetables until they colour slightly, about 5 minutes. Beat the egg, push the vegetables to one side of the pan and pour the egg in. Mix the egg so it scrambles and then mix the scrambled egg into the vegetables.
Add the noodles, fried beef and all the excess marinade to the pan. Mix together and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the oyster sauce, remaining soya sauce and sesame oil, mix and stir fry for few minutes. Serve with some Chiu Chow chilli oil for heat and spiciness.
Preparation time 10 minutes, marinating at least 1 hour, cooking 20 minutes, serves 4