Monday, August 20, 2012

Mom's Spicy Beef Noodles

This is my mom's beef mee goreng (literally "fried noodles") recipe with my own twist. She used to make this for Xmas dinner along with chicken curry to go with the roast turkey and stuffing. Yes, interesting combination but noodles and chicken curry are absolute holiday requirements in our household. Mashed potatoes with gravy are so boring and over done.

In this dish, thick yellow noodles are fried with red chilies, tomatoes, eggs and bean sprouts; tossed with fork tender chunks of braised beef and chopped fresh coriander leaves and then finished off with a squeeze of lime juice. It's spicy, tangy and satisfyingly beefy, which makes it a great dish for a festive dinner party.

First, prepare the beef. The beef takes a few hours to cook so it has to be prepared ahead.

2 lb beef chuck/shank/brisket
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
4 whole star anise
4 whole cloves
¼ cup of dark soy sauce
¼ cup of rice wine
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 cups of water or just enough to submerge the beef

Throw everything into a pot and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and let it simmer, covered, for about 2½ - 3 hours till the beef is tender.When it's done, put the pot in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour to let it cool. The beef is easier to slice when it's chilled. If you try to slice the beef when it's still hot, the meat will crumble and fall apart.

Slice the chilled beef thinly across the grain. Then set aside and start on the noodles.

Blended ingredients:
2 shallots
3 red chilies
4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of belacan (funky shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of coriander powder

About 2lb of fresh Chinese egg noodles (2 packages)
1 tomato, diced
2 eggs, beaten
About 2 cups of bean sprouts, washed and with the roots snapped off
A handful of chopped fresh coriander
1 sprig of curry leaves
¼ cup of the braising liquid from the cooked beef
Juice from 1 lime
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
Salt to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the noodles for a few minutes before draining.

Roughly chop the shallots, chilies and garlic and toss them into a food processor or a Magic Bullet along with the shrimp paste, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Blend into a thick paste. If you're having trouble blending the ingredients, add about 1-2 tablespoons of water at a time to help move it along.

Heat up the oil in a wok on medium heat. Fry the blended ingredients for a couple minutes until they start to brown and smell awesome. Then stir in the diced tomato and curry leaves and stir-fry for a second before turning up the heat and throwing in the noodles.

Stir-fry the noodles until they're well coated with the spices, making sure to scrap off any of the caramelized bits that are stuck to the bottom of the wok. With the spatula, push the noodles aside and make room for the eggs. Pour the eggs into the free space and wait for few seconds before covering them completely with the noodles. Then continue to stir-fry so that the eggs are cooked and mixed well with the noodles.

Season the noodles and give it a taste. Once you're satisfied with the amount of seasoning, stir in the bean sprouts, chopped coriander and beef. Give the noodles a quick stir-fry, gradually adding the beef braising liquid so that the noodles don't dry up. Once you've added the bean sprouts, don't fry for longer than 2 minutes or the bean sprouts will be overcooked and soggy.

Put the noodles onto a platter and finish it off with a squeeze of lime juice. The lime juice will cut through the spiciness and give the noodles a light citrusy tang.


  1. This looks so yummy! I need to learn how to cook for college, so I'm sooo going to try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks! Let me know how it turns out. You can skip the shrimp paste if you don't have it.