Restaurant: Cafe 88
City: Oakland, CA

I had a family-style lunch with the family and a friend at Cafe 88, a Hong Kong style cafe. I picked beef chow fun, since it’s been a while since I last had it, and ho fun is one of my favorite type of noodles.

beef chow fun

Ho fun with beef, bean sprouts, and onion. My dad said ho fun is tricky to cook with; you don’t want to overcook it or have it drenched with sauce, and it’s best cooked using the wok. The ho fun here was cooked perfectly.

Beef chow fun is a staple Cantonese dish, made from stir-frying beef, hefen (wide rice noodles) and bean sprouts and is commonly found in yum cha restaurants in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and even overseas, as well as in cha chaan tengs (literally ‘tea restaurant’). The main ingredient of this dish is ho fun noodles, which is also known as Shahe fen, originating in the town of Shahe in Guangzhou. The most common methods of cooking ho fun are in soup or stir fried. Ho fun can be dry-fried (fried without sauce) or wet-fried (fried with a sauce). Dry-fried beef ho fun is made by first stir frying beef strips until they are half-cooked. Bean sprouts and onions are then fried in oil. The ho fun is added and stir fried very quickly, along with soy sauce and heated oil. Finally, the beef is added. 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 ho 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, or the extra oil or dry texture will ruin the flavor. Because of these factors, this dish is a major test for chefs in Cantonese cooking. (Wikipedia)