Crispy Noodle With Beef in XO Sauce

Chow Mein has got to be one my favourite dishes to order whenever the family eats out at a Chinese restaurant. For such a long time I accepted that this was something that I couldn’t cook at home… until now.

This recipe is basically a Cantonese Beef Chow Mein recipe with strong umami flavours thanks to the XO sauce. Considering I cooked this in a frying pan, it tasted pretty good and close to the real thing. It would have been even better if it was cooked in a wok. Regardless of what you use, the key is to have things prepared in advance ready to go, kind of like what you would do with stir fries. There is a process to cook this and it looks like a lot of ingredients but it’s mainly a mix together and cook recipe. Trust me, it’ll be worth it in the end.

Prep and Cooking Time – 40 minutes | Serves – 4 to share


– Vegetable oil for frying (4-5 Tablespoons)
– 500g Cantonese style egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
– 10g ginger, julienned
– 1/4 brown onion, thinly sliced
– 2 bunches of baby bok choy, sliced length-ways

For the Beef…
– 350g rump steak, thinly sliced
– 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
– 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
– 1/2 Tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
– 1 Tablespoon water

For the Gravy…
– 2 Tablespoon corn starch mixed with 1/4 cup of water
– 2 Tablespoon oyster sauce
– 1 Tablespoon XO Sauce
– 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
– 3/4 cup of water

Method – Preparation Steps

Marinate the beef…

Place all the beef ingredients into a bowl or zip lock bag and marinate. The longer you leave the beef to marinate, the more tender and flavoursome it becomes. A 24 hour marinating time is ideal.

Prepare the gravy…

Mix all the gravy ingredients into a bowl, ensuring there are no clumps or lumps. Set aside.

Method – Cooking Steps

Heat 4 Tablespoons of oil into your wok on medium to high heat. Once it is really hot, place cooked noodles into the oil. Leave untouched for a minute before turning it over. Repeat this 4-5 times until noodles are crispy (if they become a bit burnt, that’s OK, just lower the heat a bit). When fried, spread them out on your serving plate.

Add the remaining Tablespoon of oil into the wok and set to medium to high heat. Add julienned ginger and cook in the hot oil until golden.

Add beef strips and cook for 2-3 minutes, depending if you like medium rare. Then add the onions and continue cooking for another 2 minutes.

Give the gravy ingredients in the bowl a quick stir before adding to the wok. As the sauce heats up, it will start to thicken so use your spatula to stir the sauce.

Add the baby bok choy and coat the gravy on everything for about a minute. When the sauce becomes thick and shiny, it means it is ready for serving.

Pour over prepared plate of noodles.

Notes and Variations

XO Sauce can be found at your local Asian gourmet stores.

If you cannot source XO sauce, you can replace it with the same amount of oyster sauce.

You can use any vegetables you like for this dish. Broccoli and capsicum are also great vegetables to add to this dish.

* Inspired and adapted from Pups With Chopsticks’ Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein recipe *

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