Beef chow fun

Beef chow mai fun
Dry-fried beef hor fun
Alternative names Wide Flat Rice Noodle (American)
Course Main dishes
Place of origin Guangdong, Hong Kong
Main ingredients bean sprout, soy sauce. rice noodles, onions
Cookbook: Beef chow mai fun  Media: Beef chow mai fun
Beef chow fun
Traditional Chinese 乾炒牛河
Simplified Chinese 干炒牛河

Beef chow fun is a staple Cantonese dish, made from stir-frying beef, hor fun (wide rice noodles) and bean sprouts. It is commonly found in yum cha restaurants in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and even overseas, as well as in cha chaan tengs. Chow fun, or stir-fried hor fun (Shahe fen) noodles, is any number of different individual preparations (and could be compared to the number of pizza varieties in United States cuisine).[1]

The main ingredient of this dish is hor fun noodles, which is also known as Shahe fen, originating in the town of Shahe in Guangzhou. Hor fun wide rice noodles, or Guangzhou Shahe fen, is a noodle that is said to have originated in the town of Shahe, now a subdistrict of the city of Guangzhou, China. (Hinsbergh) It is a wide, flat noodle that is cut into shape (qiefen.)[2] The most common methods of cooking hor fun are in soup or stir fried. Hor fun can be dry-fried (fried without sauce) or wet-fried (fried with a sauce).

The meat is marinated first. Then, the beef is seared in the wok. Other ingredients and the hor fun noodles are added, then combined with the beef and sauce. The bean sprouts are then stir fried with the rest of the chow fun until they are tender and the dish is ready to serve. [3]

An important factor in the making of this dish is "wok hei" (鑊氣). The cooking must be done over a high flame and the stirring must be done quickly. Not only must the hor fun be stirred quickly, it must not be handled too strongly or it will break into pieces. The amount of oil also needs to be controlled very well, if not, the excess oil or dry texture will ruin the dish. [3] Because of these factors, this dish is a major test for chefs in Cantonese cooking.


The origin of chow fun is unknown, but there is a legend concerning the origin of dry-fried chow fun:[4][5]

Ban in Singapore

The Singaporean government once had legislation that banned Beef chow fun, out of the belief that it was too oily, and thus detrimental to human health. The ban has since been reversed.[6][7]

See also


  1. Tiffany Lam and Virginia Lau (24 July 2009). "Chow fun challenge". CNN Go. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  2. Yun Li; et al. (24 March 2016). "Traditional Chinese Rice Noodles: History, Classification, and Processing Methods" (PDF). China Highlights. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Beef Chow Fun Noodles (Gon Chow Ngau Ho)". AACC International, Inc. 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  4. "Your Favorite Origin Story of a Dish? My Example: Cantonese Dry Fried Beef Chow Fun and E-fu Noodles". 15 October 2009. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  5. "这些广州美食的传说,你可知道? (Do you know the legends surrounding these Cantonese dishes?)". VisitGZ (in Simplified Chinese). Tourism Administration of Guangzhou Municipality. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  6. Chung, Ray (21 April 2012). "Open Ray手記:愈禁愈幸福 (Open Ray Diary: The more they ban, the happier they are)". Oriental Daily (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  7. "向李光耀學習 (Learning From Lee Kuan Yew)". Ta Kung Pao (in Traditional Chinese). 18 December 2014. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
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