We all love the taste of Asian food, whether it is edamame, hoisin duck or mung bean soup, there are so many dishes to choose from!
But one dish that you might not find on your local Chinese menu is Ho Fun noodles. But what are Ho Fun noodles?
Ho Fun noodles are made with flat noodles as opposed to the usual thin, circular kind. The best thing about this dish is how simple it is to make, as well as how you can customize it.
This is traditionally a Cantonese food, although you can find it in America under the name ‘chow fun’.
So how can you make this dish for yourself at home? What are the nutritional benefits of consuming ho fun?
What can you add to it to make it even more scrumptious and healthy? Well, read our in-depth expose of the ho fun noodle!
Why Should You Eat Ho Fun Noodles?
Ho Fun noodles are extremely healthy for you to eat, coming very low in carbs and calories and very high in protein (see also “15 Best High Protein Low Calorie Recipes To Try Today“).
The recipe we’re about to give you is brimming with vegetables and other goodies, although you can add and subtract whatever you like.
This dish is also vegetarian, so if you are wondering what to feed your herbivore pals at your next dinner evening, then Ho Fun noodles are the way to go.
However, you can add chicken or duck if you want to ‘meat up’ this dish.
Let’s have a look at the nutritional profile of Ho Fun noodles. These stats are based on a 570g serving:
- 415 calories – this makes Ho Fun noodles a great stomach filler that won’t leave you feeling sick.
- 15 grams of fat – 23% of your daily recommended allowance
- 3.7 grams of saturated fat – 19% of your daily allowance
- 0.5 grams of trans fats
- 89 milligrams of cholesterol – 30% of your daily allowance
- 2531 milligrams of sodium – 105% of your daily allowance
- 351 milligrams of potassium – 10% of your daily allowance
- 45 grams of carbohydrates – 15% of your daily allowance
- 1.6 grams of dietary fiber – 6% of your daily allowance
- 5.7 grams of sugar
- 23 grams of protein
As you can see, ho fun noodles keep the carbs low and the protein high. This is great if you want a tasty snack that will build muscle.
You could make this one quickly after you have been working hard at the gym. It’s so quick to make that it’s not a meal that will keep you on your feet for hours.
This is also a gluten-free dish, so if you have any intolerances, then you can always opt for this one.
What Kind Of Noodles Work Best With Ho Fun?
The best type of noodles for this meal is rice noodles. Rice noodles are traditionally a lot thinner than noodles that are made from eggs. When you cook rice noodles, it is almost like you can see through them.
There are two types of rice noodles that we would recommend using with your Ho Fun noodles dish:
- Pre-cooked Flat rice noodles – These noodles can be found in most world food sections at your local supermarket. They are already floppy, as they have been cooked, which means that you can warm them up in no time at all!
- Dried Flat Rice Noodles – As you might already have guessed, these noodles need to be soaked in hot water before you add them to your stir-fry mix. These are more common in most supermarkets, which is not always the case for Asian foods.
You could use egg noodles if you don’t have any rice noodles to hand. However, this would not make it a traditional ho fun noodles dish. For those that crave the authentic Asian experience, always pick rice!
What You Need To Make This Ho Fun Noodle Dish
Now let’s move on to the recipe for Ho Fun noodles. Before you start prepping your ingredients, make sure that you are working on a clean surface to avoid cross-contamination.
If you are adding meat to this dish, make sure you keep it separate from your veggies.
Here is a list of ingredients that you’ll need for ho fun noodles:
- Wide Rice Noodles – This is one of the key elements of Ho Fun and really what defines the dish. Because of the increased surface area, these noodles will cook slightly quicker than the traditional rounder noodles.
- Green onions – this gives the ho fun its unique taste, with a little bit of a kick that lingers on the palate.
- Garlic – it is hard to fault the taste of garlic, being very aromatic, it gives this dish its body and flavor.
- Bean sprouts – if you like a little bit of crunch to balance out the softness of the noodles and the cooked vegetables, then you can’t go wrong with some bean sprouts. However, if you don’t like crunch, then you can always leave them out.
- Bok choy – This is one of the deep green vegetables that traditionally goes with fun ho noodles. However, you can pick and choose whatever vegetables you like, whether it is broccoli, cauliflower, or spinach. If you want a real health injection, then we’d suggest all three!
- Shiitake mushrooms – this is what really gives this dish body, being a great substitute for meats like beef and chicken.
- Stir fry sauce – the type of sauce that you use is up to you, but we would recommend that you go with a sauce that brands itself as something traditional. You can also add a sauce that comes with a little bit of oyster in there too.
There are plenty of other optional ingredients that you can add to this dish. Here is a list of extras that you can throw in the pan:
- Beef – whether ground or shredded, beef will certainly transform the entire flavor of this dish into something a lot smokier.
- Chicken – again, this is a slight deviation away from the definition of this dish. However, shredded chicken will really soak up the flavors of the sauce, making a very sumptuous and protein-packed final meal.
- Tofu – this is a great one for vegetarians and vegans. Not only is tofu a very versatile foodstuff, but it is packed with natural protein. However, make sure that you don’t cook it too much before throwing it in your pan.
- Sesame seed oil – sesame seed oil has that roasted flavor that can add that little extra sparkle to your ho fun dish, although we would recommend being careful with the amount that you put in.
Quite a range of possibilities for this dish, right? Now that we’ve spoiled you for choice, let’s get stuck into how to make this dish.
Ho Fun Recipe
- Heat up your pan – take a large stir-fry pan and heat up some oil on a medium setting. You can use regular vegetable oil or even avocado oil if you want to be super healthy.
- Adding broccoli – if you are putting in broccoli, then add this at the start, as it takes a little longer to cook than a lot of other vegetables.
- Add your onions – sauté your green onions with your garlic for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms – throw in the mushrooms and mix them all together. Cook them for a few more minutes until the mushrooms turn darker in color.
- Add the bok choy – throw in the bok choy and cook until the leaves shrink and turn a darker shade of green.
- Add the bean sprouts and rice noodles – these will cook in a super-quick time, so you’ll need to add these ingredients at the end. Keep tossing or stirring the ingredients until everything is mixed well.
- Add your stir fry sauce – throw in some stir fry sauce and keep mixing your ingredients together. Your rice noodles might start to stick to the bottom of your pan. If this happens, then add some water and reduce the heat of your hob.
- Serve your ho fun – serve your ho fun immediately out of the pan while they are still hot. Slice up some more green onions for a topping. You can also add a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
And that’s it! This is why this dish is so popular in China as well as in America because it is ridiculously simple to make and comes with an intense flavor coupled with plenty of healthy ingredients.
What Happens If You Make Too Much Ho Fun? – Storage In the Fridge And Freezer
If you are storing your ho fun, then you should wait for it to cool first before slinging it in the fridge, where it can last upwards of 3 days.
This is because the ingredients are largely vegetables and can lose their flavor a lot quicker.
The rice noodles might also get congealed if you put them in the fridge for a few days. You can easily restore them to their old life, however. All you have to do is put them in the microwave for a few minutes before eating them.
You can put these noodles directly in the microwave. Make sure that you set it to medium heat and keep checking on it as it reheats. You can also cook it in a pan.
Just add some boiling water and cook on medium heat until the noodles separate, and you can smell the veggies.
We would strongly recommend not storing this in the freezer. The extremity of the cold temperature will cause the rice noodles to break up and the vegetables to lose a majority of their flavor. This dish is best enjoyed fresh and hot from the stir-fry pan.
How Can You Cook Your Ho Fun Within An Inch Of Perfection?
Here are some tips that we’ve gathered to ensure that your ho fun will turn out nothing short of perfect:
- Remember not to overcook the noodles – Make sure that these noodles still have a bit of bite to them as you boil them. This is because you will be heating them further in the wok or pan and you won’t want them to start breaking apart.
- Slice up your vegetables – if you are going to be adding things like broccoli and onions, you’ll want to make sure they are diced and sliced finely before adding them to your pan. This makes them far easier to cook, especially broccoli, which can be tough.
- Warm up the stir fry sauce – you’ll have to make sure that the stir fry sauce is nice and warm before adding it to the pan. If it is cold, then it might reduce the temperature of the whole dish.
- Cook your meat before adding it to the dish – you’ll want to make sure that you cook your meats before adding them to the pan. If you throw your beef and chicken in cold, then it will take longer to cook, which might result in your other veggies and rice noodles getting burned.
If you follow some of these tips, then you will avoid some of the more common mistakes when making this dish.
Bear in mind the order of the vegetables that you’ll be adding, as some will cook faster than others and you’ll want to get the timing just right.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Other Similar Rice Noodle Dishes Can I Make?
Here are a few more noodle dishes that you can try:
- Yaki Udon – thick noodles made from wheat that are cooked tenderly with mushrooms and cabbage.
- Spicy Noodles – (see also: Delicious Warming Spicy Chili Oil Noodles)this is ideal for those who like their noodles to have a little kick to them.
- Drunken Noodles – made with rice noodles, chicken thighs and oyster sauce, this is perfect for those who like to quench their thirst with an Asian dish.
- Teriyaki Noodles – a noodle dish made with mouth-watering teriyaki sauce, these are quick and simple noodles to make.
- Mie Goreng – this is made with egg noodles, soy sauce and chicken breast, making it the ideal healthy snack a few hours before the gym.
Is Ho Fun Vegan?
Yes, this is vegan as the noodles and the veggies do not contain any animal products.
So, there you have it, a very delicious Asian dish that you can whip up in hardly any time at all. This sumptuous ho fun will linger on the tastebuds, and you can alter the above recipe, cooking it in a larger wok for a party of people.