Chinese Chow Fun Noodles with Beef

beef chow fun noodles in a cast iron skillet which is on a white tray with a blue dish towel and some scallions strewn around

5 from 1 reviews

An easy Chinese beef and noodle stir fry with rich dark flavorful sauce.

Adapted from a recipe in The Sweet Mandarin Cookbook



For the Beef and marinade

  • 3/4 pound beef sirloin or sirloin tips or (if you want to splurge) beef tenderloin, cut diagonal to the grain, into 1/8-inch slices. (see notes below for tips on how to slice beef thinly)
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch or corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Noodles and Vegetables

  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles (see notes)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions (5-6), thinly sliced crosswise (white and light green parts)

For The Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar


  1. Marinate the Beef In a small bowl, combine sliced beef, corn starch, sugar and salt. Toss to combine and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Soften the Noodles: Boil water in a wok or pot. Remove it from the heat and drop in the dried rice noodles. Allow the noodles to soften in the hot water. Follow the package instructions for timing.  Some rice noodles require only a 5 minute soak, others need up to 30 minutes. Drain the noodles in a colander, rinse with cold water, drain again and set aside.
  3. Make The Stir-fry: Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl: soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a Wok or large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the beef in a single layer. Cook the beef for 3 minutes or so, allowing it to brown on one side and then tossing it over to brown on the other, leaving the center medium rare. Transfer beef to a plate, add the onions and peppers to the pan and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until they start to soften. Return the beef to the pan, along with the noodles and sauce. Stir-fry everything for 2 minutes or so, tossing gently so you don't break the noodles, until everything is piping hot. Remove from the heat, add most of the scallions and toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with remaining chopped scallions.


Tip: Freeze the beef for 25-30 minutes before slicing it. It won't freeze solid, but it will firm up just enough to be stable and much easier to slice.

Note: Any rice noodles between 1/4-inch and 1-inch wide will work well in this dish. The wider the better for more traditional beef chow fun.

Note on doubling the recipe: Cook the beef in two batches, to insure quick and successful browning.

Keywords: Chinese rice noodles with beef, beef and noodles stir fry