Ground Beef with Beijing Sauce Over Noodles


Ground Beef with Beijing Sauce Over Noodles

As promised, I’m doing a series of simple Chinese dishes as we lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I’m hoping to post a new recipe at least 4 times a week, though that might be a little ambitious and make my family very hungry for something like spaghetti or meatloaf. This dish, Ground Beef with Beijing Sauce over Noodles is so flexible – you can use ground turkey, chicken or even pork. If you don’t have Chinese noodles, serve over rice or any type of pasta. The greatest thing about this recipe is that the entire thing comes together in 15 minutes (if using noodles) and costs around $5 to feed a family of 4. How can you beat that?! Normally, I’d serve this over rice, but I had some of these wonton noodles leftover from my Crab and Pork Wonton Noodle Soup recipe that we’re currently testing for my Steamy Kitchen cookbook. (Come take a look and join the testing group if you’re interested!) So, as thrifty as I am, I’ve served this over noodles instead of rice. You can do either. There are certain dishes that my Mom always says in Chinese, “goes very good with rice,” meaning, You’re gonna eat A LOT of it and won’t be able to stop. This is one of those dishes where before you even know it, you’ve eaten the entire pot with rice or noodles!

This recipe is adapted from Chinese Rice and Noodles: With Appetizers, Soups and Sweets, published by the famous Wei Chuan Cooking School.

Bean Sauce

There are several different kinds of bean sauce, the one I used is “ground bean sauce” made by Koon Chun, the “ground” referring to a smooth paste vs. having whole soybeans inside the sauce. Either one is fine. If it doesn’t say “ground,” chances are that it does include whole soy beans inside the sauce. If you prefer spicy, you can use the “hot bean sauce.”

On using frozen vegetables

I always have a package of peas/carrots in the freezer. One, they’re cheap; two, they are almost just as nutritious as fresh vegetables; and three they require no cooking. I also use the frozen vegetables for fried rice, ma po tofu (recipe coming) and anytime I’m being a total lazy fart and don’t want to go to the store. There are many different kinds of dried chilies, most Asian markets will have a finger length dried chili – about the size of your pinky. Though if you look in the dried chili section of your regular supermarket, you can use any of those. In a pinch, just use a teaspoon of regular chili flakes.

Ground Beef with Beijing Sauce Over Noodles

If you don’t have bean sauce, you can substitute with hoisin sauce or oyster sauce and omit the sugar. To save time, boil your noodles according to package instructions while you’re cooking. I’ve added dried peppers, but of course you can leave out if you’d like. If you enjoy spice, try the “hot bean sauce” instead of the regular bean sauce, add more dried chilies and leave the seeds in or use chopped fresh chilies instead. (For GF – Ground bean sauce I use (see above) contains wheat flour. Here is a list of GF products from Lee Kum Kee – use the oyster sauce instead of bean sauce. Or, you can increase the soy sauce amount and just leave out the bean sauce. Serve over your grain of choice)

serves 4

For the sauce
1/4 cup stock (chicken/beef/veg)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground bean sauce
1/2 tablespoon cooking wine
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/4 cup minced onions
4 dried chili peppers, cut in half, seeds shaken out/discarded
1 pound lean ground beef or chicken
1/2 cup frozen vegetables (I used carrots and peas), no need to defrost
1/2 cup chopped baby corn (1/2 can)
1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon cool water, mixed in small bowl
cooked rice or noodles

Mix the sauce ingredients together, set aside. In a wok or large saute pan over high heat, add the cooking oil. When the oil is just getting hot, add the garlic, onions and the chili peppers, fry until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add the ground beef and stir fry for 1 minute until browned.

Add the frozen vegetables and baby corn and stir well. Pour in the sauce and turn the heat to medium. Bring sauce to a boil.

Pour in the corntarch/water mixture and continue to simmer for another 30 seconds, until sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust for seasoning – you may add a little more soy sauce if needed. Serve over noodles or rice.


Beijing Olympics

Olympics You must click over to James in Beijing’s site to see what this silliness is all about ***

Other great Chinese dishes

Martin Yan's Pan Seared Steak Rolls Martin Yan’s Pan Seared Steak Rolls

Baby Back Ribs with Orange Ginger Glaze</a Baby Back Ribs with Orange Ginger Glaze

Stir Fried Shrimp, Eggs and Peas + Stir Fry Secrets Stir Fried Shrimp, Eggs and Peas + Stir Fry Secrets

Pan Fried Shrimp and Pork Potstickers Pan Fried Shrimp and Pork Potstickers

Xiao Long Bao Xiao Long Bao – Steamed Shanghai Soup Dumplings

Comments 31

  1. Syd

    I appreciate all the substitution tips you’ve given.

    BTW, my 5 yr old nephew wanted to watch the video of your boys and the garbage can over & over.

  2. Sarah Marie

    I just cooked a recipe from that book last night and marked THIS one to try soon!

    –by the way, your photo is way better than the one in the cookbook; I don’t know why they didn’t pick out those shriveled peas.

  3. Nate

    It certainly looks like it goes (too) well with rice. I would have to use brown rice to make it healthier, and even then limit myself to two rice bowls-full.

    I’m feeling like you could put in ground Sichuan peppercorns into this dish. Probably because it looks a little like the Pockmarked Old Lady’s tofu.

  4. ruth

    yay for chinese dishes!!! i need to learn to cook more in that direction. i have that same book, but was intimidated to cook from it. love your commentary/adaptations with it. makes it seem more “do-able”. (and i agree, your pics are much better than the book’s.) =)

  5. lifeinrecipes

    Don’t hate me for the gross adulteration, but I’m going to make this tomorrow using ground mock meat as a meal for my vegetarian clients…..I know, I know, I know, but it looks so good and they will love the sauce. Then I’ll make it the GOOD way for us!

  6. Marie

    Happy to see a new way (at least, for me) to use ground beef! I love using it, but have been wanting to try something besides spaghetti and burgers.

  7. Jude

    Lots of people I know seem to dislike baby corn in anything. I think it’s great — adds good texture or something.
    Thanks for including the exact bean sauce brand you used. I get so overwhelmed at the local asian groceries when in the bean sauce aisle.

  8. James in Beijing

    I am a big fan of your blog, but would like to make a small correction–Northern Chinese food is far from spicy, in fact it is fairly common for northern Chinese to “dumb down” Sichuan food since they cannot handle the spice.

  9. wmw

    I love noodles and this one looks so delicious. It’s 1.17 am now and I feel so deprived!!! :p

  10. Paula

    Another terrific dish! Thanks so much for the g/f heads-up because my youngest is a gluten free-er. Appreciate info on bean paste, too. Your mom is right … I could eat a lot of this! Yum!

  11. courtney

    Great recipe and value. I got to get testing again . I will have you know I have made the wings a few times!

  12. Cakebrain

    Oh, I have that cookbook too (among the hundreds in my collection!) I’ve had success with many of the recipes. It’s great! I’m glad you made that recipe as I’ve been eyeing it. Looks delish! Trouble is, my girls don’t eat ground beef, or wonton noodles, or frozen veggies, or anything hot. I’d have to adapt the heck out of it. What a bother to make stuff for them!

  13. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    This is one of those all-purpose sauces I like to use for pasta or rice, because it can accommodate anything I have leftover in the fridge. I keep a jar of the same ground bean sauce in my pantry at all times!

  14. cookinpanda

    Such a great and versatile recipe. These tips can be applied to so many similar dishes. And the bean sauce is always a staple in my kitchen.

  15. Carolyn Jung

    This is why I could never give up carbs _ recipes like THIS. Yum. Soft, warm noodles topped with a thick, meaty sauce _ it’s a carb lover’s dream dinner. I can’t wait to try making it at home.

  16. City Girl DC

    This is like, exactly what I eat all the time! So easy. And you can change up the meat/veggies in all kinds of ways. Can’t wait for your ma po tofu recipe!

  17. Kristen

    We have so much ground beef around here (hubby’s family owns a farm) and I am always looking for different things to use it with. What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Michelle

    I made this the other night and it was very tasty! I wanted to use some of my bean chili sauce and this was the perfect recipe. I even substituted vegetarian ground “beef” and it was really good. :D

  19. Connie

    This is a serious bowl of comfort food. I just made it in literally 15 minutes and it’s soooo tasty. Thanks again for another great recipe!

  20. HoneyB

    I have made two of your dishes in a row. Last night was your Shrimp in Coconut Sauce – used coconut rum instead of cognac and it was fabulous! Tonight I made this dish. Used Venison (ground) as that is what we have in our freezer. My thoughts was the sauce would take that gaminess out and it did! My black bean sauce had chili so it was on the spicy side, but SO edible! We love it! This is a definite keeper as is the shrimp dish! Thank you SO much and I’m on my way to buy your book!

  21. Evelyn

    May I ask if this “bean sauce” in mandarin is Dou Ban Jiang?? There are so many types of Chinese sauce being translated into “bean sauce” that I can never tell which is which… Thank you!!

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