Savoury tender beef stir fried with rice noodles kicked up with spicy XO sauce and the crunch of bean sprouts.
You are just going to love Beef Noodles with Spicy XO Sauce because it can be made from WOK to PLATE in less than 20 minutes. The spicy and savoury sauce with simple stir fry ingredients makes this that one dish that our whole family asks for time and time again.
I originally posted this Beef Noodles with Spicy XO Sauce recipe on September 25, 2012. Our family has made this recipe about a million times since then so I have a few recipe updates and helpful hints to share with you. In addition, this recipe deserves a photography overhaul.
This week my eldest son taught me about a new Chinese cooking condiment called XO sauce. You may ask how does your teenage boy know about new Chinese sauces… well you would be amazed the things that teenagers try when they have a new cute little Chinese girlfriend. Peer pressure in this particular case was a glorious event. Have you ever tried XO Sauce?
XO sauce is a very delicious sauce that was originally invented here in Hong Kong in the early 80’s. XO sauce is made of roughly chopped dried seafood, including scallops, dried fish and shrimp, and cooked with chili peppers, onions, and garlic. The term XO comes from the word extra old cognac. There is absolutely no cognac in the sauce but it is a symbol of wealth and prestige and let me tell you they charge enough for this sauce!!! There are two types of XO sauce regular and spicy and of course my boys love the spicy. You can buy XO sauce at your local Asian Food Store or even I see that Amazon has the spicy version for $8.23 USD or you can buy directly from Lee Kum Lee. If you living in Hong Kong like me, your whole world is one big Asian Food Store, I am so loving that!!!!
The cost was 99 hkd for a small little bottle. However the taste is worth every penny. The XO sauce is savoury, spicy, rich and has an interesting texture. I would describe it as a super kicked up sauce that is great with beef, pork, noodles and phenomenal on stir fried rice. You can make your own XO from scratch (Gluten- Free version) click here at New York Grub Street for details.
My teenager pulled me into a little mom and pop diner here in Hong Kong called, Dynasty Kitchen, and showed me a picture of the XO beef on the menu. We decided to sit down and share a dish of XO beef noodles so that I could do what I do best…re-engineer the product. I slurped the noodles, I savored the sauce, and memorized the flavors that were mingling in my mouth…Now I know why teenagers love this dish…
After our delicious lunch, I walked directly over to the local Park n Shop. While the flavors were still close to my memory, I purchased the items to try to recreate XO beef noodles in Bam’s Test Kitchen.
There are some helpful hints that will make your life so much easier when making this dish.
- Don’t over crowd your wok or frying pan as that is no longer stir frying but that is steaming and that will change the texture of your dish. Cook in small batches.
- Keep an eye on your noodles when you are pre-soaking them and don’t let them get too soft. Your goal is to have a noodle that is not as done as aldente as the noodles will be fried again and you don’t want them mushy.
- I used pad Thai style rice noodles for the Beef Noodles with Spicy XO Sauce dish. However, you could use any noodle you wish in this dish and have in your pantry. I am all about staying budget friendly and using up your inventory.
- If you need to adhere to strict gluten-free guidelines then pass on the XO sauce or make your own from scratch, pass on the oyster sauce and use tamari instead of soya sauce. If you want a little spice just add a dash of dried red chili flakes. (This is how I make my portions)
- Adjust your seasonings to your taste. If you like it more spicy add more spicy XO sauce. If you like it more salty add more tamari (soya sauce). If your used to having that Chinese balance in flavors you are probably missing the little bit of sugar that they always add in sauces and I left out intentionally.
- If want a more low carb version just load up on loads of veggies like bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas or baby corn, etc… and skip the rice noodles all together or just add a few to say that you did. Maybe even go for a fried egg on top…
- Be creative! Use what you have in your crisper and in your pantry and adjust the recipe to your needs.
When you eat noodles in Asia, the more you slurp your noodles the better. This savoury, spicy and delicious bite is for you!
Savory tender beef stir fried with rice noodles kicked up with spicy XO sauce and the crunch of bean sprouts.
- Beef Marinade
- beef - 1/4 pound of thinly sliced against the grain
- rice wine (shao xing) - 1 tablespoon
- tamari (soy) sauce - 3 tablespoons (1 tablespoons for marinade and 1 tablespoon for sauce)
- white pepper - 1/4 teaspoon or to taste
- cornstarch - 1 teaspoon
- Noodles and Sauce
- rice noodles - 100 grams
- water - enough warm water to cover the noodles to soak
- canola oil - 1 tablespoon
- onion - 1 cut into long slices
- garlic - 2 cloves minced
- oyster sauce - 2 tablespoons
- XO Sauce - 1.5 tablespoons or to taste (spicy or regular)
- sesame oil - 1 teaspoon
- Garnishes and Veggies
- mung beans (bean sprouts) - 2 handfuls
- green onions - optional (2 teaspoons) garnish
Step 1: In a medium bowl add your sliced beef, shaoxing wine, 1 tablespoon of tamari sauce, white pepper and cornstarch and allow to marinade with your rice noodles are soaking.
Step 2: Soak your dried rice pad thai (medium thick) noodles in a bath of hot water for about 3-5 minutes or just until they start to softened but not completely al dente as they will continue to cook in while they are fried. Rinse noodles with cool water, drain and set aside.
Step 3: Put oil in your wok (frying pan) and turn on medium-high heat . Once the temperature is at medium heat add the onions and garlic and fry for a minute just until the aroma hits your nose.
Step 4: Add your marinated beef to the pan and stirfry for a minute or two or just until turns golden brown. Remove beef and onions to plate and keep warm and set aside. (If you wanted to cook some other veggies then you would add them at this point)
Step 5: Add your presoaked noodles to the seasoned pan turn up the heat to medium high and about 1 tablespoon of water and move the noodles quickly around in the pan keeping them separated so they do not stick. (feel free to add a little more oil or a little more water just to prevent sticking and to confirm that your noodles are aldente- test a noodle)
Step 6: Add your beef mixture back to the noodles and add XO sauce, Tamari (soy sauce), oyster sauce, mung beans and mix until well incorporated.
Step 7: Serve Pan Fried Beef Noodles with Spicy XO Sauce with a sprinkle of green onions for garnish and get ready to make second helpings...