Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fu-un - Cyndi Lauper

Especially when it comes to cooking and baking! I recently got the cooking and baking itch and have been cooking at every opportunity possible. It's a learning process since I'm not a natural cook by any means. No recipe = no cooking! My dad is an awesome chef, but all his recipes are seasoned with "you just guess" or "you just taste it". Say whaaa?! I couldn't ever tell what the missing ingredient was so I gave up cooking all my dad's recipes. How I miss home cooking... Anyway, thankfully, the recipes I've been making recently actually turned out well (minus a few overcooked meats and vegetables here and there... Hey! I said it was a learning process okay! Slow and steady wins the race right?). So maybe there's hope for me to eventually learn my dad's recipe! Yay! Until then, I'll stick to known, pre-measured recipes. First up, last night's dinner of beef chow fun!

This recipe caught me by surprise because when I read the title, I expected beef flat noodles (幹炒牛河) and the hubby and I LOVE that! It's a common staple we order at a Chinese restaurant, but I should have known because this recipe calls for black bean sauce and there's none of that in beef flat noodles. And the title was called Beef Chow Fun, not Beef Flat Noodles. Oh well. Once again, people - learning process!!

The recipe was adapted from Healthy Weight Healthy Heart

8 ounces wide rice noodles (I used pre-cooked rice noodles)
1/2 cup Shao Hsing or dry sherry (I didn't have either so I used rice wine vinegar instead)
4 teaspoons black bean-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons canola or peanut oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 12-ounce bag fresh Asian stir-fry vegetables
1/2 cup water, divided
8 ounces sirloin steak, cut into thin slices

Firstly, I cut up all my vegetables and meat. I left out the bag of vegetables because the hubby doesn't like veggies, but how I wish I could have added them. I LOVE me some veggies! Meanwhile, I did slice up some green onions for presentation. It's an Asian dish right - green onions / scallions are a must! Since I somewhat, but not really cheated by buying pre-prepped/cooked noodles, I just peeled each noodle bundle into individual strips and was good to go! Talk about a time saver and quicker to having dinner ready to eat. Plus, I didn't have to play the guessing game of when the noodles were cooked al dente. Efficiency for the win!

I know the noodles aren't peeled. but I forgot to take a
picture of the peeled noodles so just use your imagination
for this one mkay? Thanks!

Oh, and if you're curious as to what type of noodles I bought:

Then I prepped my sauce by combining in a small bowl the rice vinegar, black bean sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, and corn starch; set it aside.

Now onto cooking like a pro! Heat up some oil in the skillet over medium-high heat (oil is the only ingredient I never measure and just eyeball) then reduce the heat to medium. Add the ginger and cook for about 20 seconds (the recipe says 30 seconds, but mine started burning around 20. It could be my oil was too hot though. Oops!).  

Toss in the onions and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes or until they're softened.
See, burnt ginger - oops! Don't do that! 

Once it's all cooked, transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the noodles.

Return the skillet to the stove, heat up some more oil in the skillet, add the steak, and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. It will still look a bit rare in the center, but since you'll be combining all the ingredients soon and continue cooking, you don't want to overcook the meat and have it come out tough and chewy. Like mine did. Do as I say, not as I do! Stir the reserved sauce and add it to the pan. Stir the sauce with the meat until it has slightly thickened.

Crazy steam action. Maybe the temp is too high??

Toss in the noodles and vegetables to the pan along with 1/4 cup  of water. Toss everything to coat it with the sauce and everything is heated through. Then, transfer everything to a plate, top with scallions, and consume!!

See! Peeled noodles!!

For a non-chef like me, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this recipe turned out! Next time, I would add in some red pepper flakes to give it some spice, but since I didn't realize it till the cooking fiasco was finished, I just added Sriracha sauce instead.

What's your favorite recipe, and do share because I'm looking to expand my cooking repetoire!


  1. OOoh, looks so yummy and authentic! I'm impressed! :)

  2. This recipe looks fantastic-- I'm going to try this soon! Please post more recipes-- I'm hopeless in the kitchen and always looking for more inspiration!



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