Beef Hor Fun

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

A well-seasoned wok and high heat are crucial to the success of this hawker classic. When preparing this dish, avoid the common practice of tenderising the beef with baking soda; it gives the beef an acrid edge and, if left on too long, an unnatural, cottony soft texture. Rice wine and pounded ginger have enough tenderising power on their own.


  • Liquid lard or cooking oil 3 Tbsp
  • Fresh hor fun noodles 450 g (1 lb)
  • Baby or young kai lan (Chinese broccoli) 100 g ( oz), washed and separated into individual leaves
  • Garlic 3 cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salted black beans 2 tsp, coarsely chopped

    Beef Mixture

  • Well-marbled beef 250 g (9 oz), thinly sliced across the grain
  • Shaoxing rice wine 2 Tbsp
  • Superior light soy sauce 1 Tbsp
  • Superior dark soy sauce 1 tsp
  • Pounded ginger tsp
  • Cornflour (cornstarch) 1 tsp
  • Freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp
  • Sesame oil 1 tsp


  • Beef stock (see Note) 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup)
  • Oyster sauce Tbsp
  • Superior dark soy sauce 1 Tbsp



  1. Prepare beef. Mix beef well with rice wine, light and dark soy sauces, ginger, cornflour and pepper. Stir in sesame oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate, refrigerated, for at least 20 minutes and up to 3 hours.
  2. Mix all ingredients for sauce together and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp lard or oil in a wok over high heat. Fluff hor fun noodles with your hands to loosen and separate them, and work out any clumps. Add noodles to wok and toss vigorously until slightly browned and scorched on the edges. This pre-frying adds the smokiness essential to this dish. Dish out onto a plate and set aside.
  4. Add remaining lard or oil to wok. When hot, add kai lan and fry until barely tender, then dish out onto the plate of hor fun and set aside.
  5. Add garlic and black beans to wok and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add marinated beef and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, until beef is lightly cooked.
  6. Return hor fun and kai lan to wok and fry for 30 seconds, then drizzle sauce mixture over and fry vigorously for a final 30–45 seconds. The finished hor fun should be fragrant and moist but not wet. Dish out and serve immediately with condiments.

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