Hoisin Beef. When you want something special but all you got is the cheapo tube of mystery ground chuck with the picture of the meat on the tube which you hope the meat inside will actually resemble and not the pink goo they make the pretend burgers out of at McYouKnowWho’s.
Is that what you seek? If so, fear not! Franglo’s got you covered. You will need the usual battery of Asian flavor potions outlined below but if your fridge can comply you have a quick ‘n easy Chinese supper coming up.
Your first question may run along the lines of, “What’s Hoisin?” Name of a place or perhaps a mythical Mrs. Hoisin who fed travelers with hearty piles of beef noodles, or….or…how about, nobody knows other than it seems to come from the Canton province in the south. The original recipe for hoisin sauce had a black bean or wheat sauce base “with some kind of dried/fermented seafood element added for extra umami flavor.” Those seafood embellishments were scaled back and ultimately eliminated due to their expense so now it’s perfect for vegetarians, just not with this recipe…
To get started you will put a little oil in a wok or fry pan and start cooking the ground beef. The trick to this prep is to cook the meat until the moisture from the beef largely evaporates. This should happen before you add the other ingredients so that the sauce will be thick and unctuous.
While this is browning chop and grate the veg and measure out the various sauces. Once the meat is fully browned start adding the veg. Onion first then garlic then cabbage then carrot. Next come the flavorings. Mix all together and set aside.
Now you will do the noodles and as for noodles, I prefer the egg type but really any round narrow one will do. My usual was not available at the store so I purchased this festive Filippino brand below:
I have never heard of a noodle referred to as an “excellent flour stick” but I suspect that hiring translators was low on the priority list of the Excellent Flour Stick Company. We can only guess. What we don’t need to guess is boiling them. It’s easy. Do it in plenty of salted water for slightly less time than package instructions direct then drain. You will add it at the end to the stir fry and it will cook for a couple of minutes while it’s being coated with the sauce and soaking up all that good flavor.
And that’s it. Unless you’re from Louisiana or Hunan province and want to add a teaspoon or so of chopped red pepper like the extra ones I have featured in the photo.
Start to finish it’s better and much faster than takeout so enjoy!
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 tablespoon hot red pepper, finely diced (optional)
- 8 oz round egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp dark sweet soy sauce
- 1 tsp white vinegar (or cider vinegar)
- ¼ cup finely sliced green onions
- sesame seeds, to serve (can be black or white)
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the ground beef & spread it out in the pan. Let it cook until the juices evaporate at least 5-7 minutes and the beef starts to brown.
- Next add the onion and stir-fry for a minute. Add the garlic and stir-fry for half a minute.Then add the cabbage and stir-fry for another 20 seconds. Then mix in the carrot until wilted. Cut the heat and set aside.
- Cook the noodles in boiling water according to package directions. This will be different depending upon whether the noodles are fresh or dried. Drain and add to the pan with the beef. Turn the heat back to high and add the oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, dark sweet soy sauce and vinegar. Toss until well combined.
- Top with the sliced green onions and sesame seeds before serving.