Some may think noodles for breakfast might be a bit too punchy, but it’s very common where I’m from! Back home in Hong Kong, noodles are in fact a popular breakfast option on the menu at traditional canteens and restaurants. Satay beef noodles soup (沙嗲牛肉麵) is one of them. It’s not just for breakfast but also popular as a quick no-fuss lunch or on the afternoon tea menu. Although nowadays, just my personal preference, I’d keep it as just a lunch option rather than breakfast.
A lot of the time, a classic satay beef noodles soup is served with instant noodles. But it can be found served with thin rice vermicelli noodles too, or simply order a different type of noodles by request. When I was younger, I would pick the curly instant noodles in a heartbeat, simply cooking a pack of instant noodles and making the satay beef as a topping. Nowadays, I prefer something lighter and would make it with thin rice vermicelli noodles with a simple chicken broth as the base. There’s no right or wrong – just do whatever you fancy!
How to make Hong Kong Style Satay Beef Noodles
- Beef Slices
- Garlic, Onion – the aromatics
- Satay Sauce
- Peanut Butter
- Oyster Sauce
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Rice Vermicelli Noodles, Chicken Broth – alternatively, just use a pack of Nissin instant noodles
For the beef marinade:
- White Pepper
- White Sugar
- Light Soy Sauce
- Sesame Oil
- The concept of the dish is essentially a satay beef stir-fry and top it over a bowl of noodles. As per any traditional Chinese stir-fry, you first marinate the meat with the standard ingredients, i.e oil, salt, sugar, light soy sauce, and cornstarch.
- Cornstarch, in particular, adds a light coating over the meat and basically prevents the meat from overcooking against high heat. It is very common in Chinese cooking as a very hot wok is typically involved. That is also the trick to keeping the meat soft and tender in any form of stir-fries.
Stir-fry & Sauce
- After that, it’s all about stir-frying and the sauce. You’d want to cook the meat first and then remove it from the pan/wok to work on the sauce in order to avoid any overcooking. No one likes tough meat.
- The sauce is just a simple process of sauteeing garlic, onions (or shallots if you like), and then a mix of satay sauce, peanut butter, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce. You can use any brand of your choice for the satay sauce, which can be commonly found at Asian supermarkets.
Light soy sauce is thinner in texture and generally a little saltier to taste. Whereas dark soy sauce tends to be thicker, darker in colour, with a subtle sweetness undertone and carries a more full-bodied flavour.
I always like to use both when cooking Asian dishes. For this recipe specifically, light soy sauce plays a role in seasoning the meat through the marinade. Whereas dark soy sauce has been used to add a full-bodied touch to the sauce. Both are essential in Chinese cooking.
- As mentioned, you can use a pack of instant noodles as your noodle base. Or, as written for this recipe, use rice vermicelli noodles and a simple chicken broth made from chicken bouillon. It is entirely up to your own preference. If using instant noodles, Nissin sesame oil instant noodles (the original flavour in a red packet) is the most common pick at traditional Hong Kong-style canteens/restaurants.
- To serve, simply serve the satay beef over your bowl of noodle soup. Give it a little mix and slurp away! Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped/sliced spring onions if you like.
Hong Kong Style Satay Beef Noodles Recipe
- 100 g Beef Slices
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- ½ Onion finely chopped
- 3-4 tbsp Satay Sauce
- 1 tsp Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp Oyster Sauce
- 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 bundle Rice Vermicelli Noodles* soaked in water for 20 minutes until softened
- 1½ cup Chicken Broth* made from chicken bouillon
- Spring Onions sliced, for garnish
For the beef marinade
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp White Pepper
- 1 tsp White Sugar
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- Mix beef with all the marinade ingredients. Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.100 g Beef Slices, ½ tsp White Pepper, 1 tsp White Sugar, 1 tsp Cornstarch, 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce, 1 tsp Sesame Oil, ½ tsp Salt
- Heat cooking oil in a pan/wok over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated beef slices until browned. Remove from pan/wok and set aside.1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- In the same pan/wok, add more oil if needed and turn down to medium heat, cook garlic for 1-2 minutes until golden and fragrant.3 cloves Garlic
- Add in chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes until golden and starting to soften.½ Onion
- Mix together satay sauce, peanut butter, oyster sauce and dark soy sauce. Add into pan/wok and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.3-4 tbsp Satay Sauce, 1 tsp Peanut Butter, 1 tsp Oyster Sauce, 1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
- Stir in water and allow to bubble for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Add more water (1-2 tbsp a time) if it gets too dry at any point.¼ cup Water
- Toss the beef back into the pan/wok and stir-fry for a few minutes until combined. Remove from heat.
- Prepare your noodles by making the chicken broth from chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil and add the softened rice vermicelli noodles. Alternatively, if using instant noodles, cook your noodles according to package instructions.1½ cup Chicken Broth*, 1 bundle Rice Vermicelli Noodles*
- Top the satay beef mixture over the noodle soup. Give it a little stir, garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.Spring Onions
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