This Hu Tieu Xao Bo recipe features tender slices of beef, lots of veggies, and slurp-worthy flat rice noodles, all perfectly balanced in a savory sauce.
Hủ Tiếu Xào is a generic Vietnamese term that directly translates to stir fried rice noodles. Xao means "fried" and hu tieu refers to wide, flat rice noodles like the ones used in Cantonese Chow Fun or Thai Pad See Ew.
Every household in every region has its own version of Hu Tieu Xao. My family's version of Vietnamese Stir Fried Rice Noodles is highly influenced by my Teochew roots. We love our fried noodles with leafy greens and a bit of thickened sauce. It's a balanced meal all on one plate.
Ingredients for Vietnamese Stir-Fried Flat Rice Noodles
Hu Tieu Xao is one of those dishes that can be customized to your liking. I mostly use beef in Hu Tieu Xao but the type of protein you use in this recipe is really up to you. Chicken, shrimp or pork work just as well and is cooked the exact same way as beef.
For veggies, I like to use bok choy, carrots and bean sprouts. All of these can be substituted or omitted, depending on what you like. It's a great way to add vegetables to your meal and also to use up all the miscellaneous ingredients you have in the fridge.
The most important ingredient in Hu Tieu Xao are the rice noodles. The ones used in this recipe are wide or flat rice noodles. If you have access to fresh wide rice noodles, they're always preferred but if they're not available, dried rice noodles work as well. Just make sure they're the wide cut ones.
How to Make Hu Tieu Xao
Rice noodles need a little preparation prior to cooking. If you're using fresh rice noodles, you'll notice they come stacked in layers. Carefully separate the noodles layer by layer. They're easiest to pull apart when they're made fresh that day and still warm. If the rice noodles have been refrigerated, warm them up in the microwave until they're pliable and they'll become easy to separate. Pulling apart the noodles while they're cold will cause them to break easily and leave you with short strands of noodles.
If you're using dried noodles, soak them in hot water until they're soft and pliable then drain. They should resemble fresh rice noodles once they're fully reconstituted.
Lightly salt and pepper the sliced beef. If you're using a tougher cut of beef, lightly sprinkle some cornstarch and massage it into the beef. Allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Do the same if you're using chicken or pork.
1) Heat a wok or skillet, then add a tablespoon of oil. Allow the oil to heat up then add rice noodles. Toss well to coat the noodles in oil.
2) Leave the noodles untouched and allow it to lightly brown on one side. Flip the noodles over and do the same on the other side. Remove then set aside.
3) In the same wok, turn the heat to high and add another tablespoon of oil. Add the beef in a single layer and brown on both sides.
4) Turn the heat down to medium. Add the minced garlic and stir fry until it becomes fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
5) Add the carrots and stir fry until it begins to soften.
6) Add the greens and stir fry until the leaves begin to wilt.
7) Add bean sprouts, scallions and the sauce. Toss until the sauce is well incorporated.
8) Carefully pour in chicken broth and water and bring it to a boil.
9) To thicken, stir in cornstarch slurry a tablespoon at a time and allow it to return to a boil. Repeat until you reach your desired consistency.
10) Add the previously fried rice noodles. Toss well to combine but be careful not to break the noodles. Serve immediately.
- 5 oz beef, thinly sliced
- 1 lb fresh rice noodles (separated into individual strands), or reconstituted dried rice noodles
- 2-3 bok choys, sliced into 2" lengths
- 2 scallions, cut into 2" lengths
- 1 handful bean sprouts
- 1 carrot, sliced on a bias
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoon water
- Lightly salt and pepper the sliced beef and set aside.
- Combine the SAUCE ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together cornstarch and water for the cornstarch slurry and set aside.
- Heat a wok or skillet over high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and allow the oil to get hot.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add the rice noodles and give it a quick toss to allow the oil to coat the noodles.
- Leave the noodles alone until it gets lightly browned on one side. Flip and brown the other side. Remove from the wok and set aside.
- Turn the heat to high and heat another tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced beef in a single layer and leave it untouched until it browns. Flip the pieces over and brown the other side.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add garlic. Stir fry until it becomes fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn.
- Add the carrots and stir fry until it begins to soften.
- Add the bok choy and stir fry until the leaves begin to wilt.
- Add scallions, bean sprouts and the previously prepared sauce and toss until well combined.
- Pour in chicken stock and water and allow it to come to a boil.
- Give the cornstarch slurry a good mix then pour in a tablespoon at a time. Continue stirring the sauce to prevent lumps and allow it to return to a boil. Repeat until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Return the previously fried rice noodles to the wok and gently toss to combine. Be careful not to break the delicate noodles. Serve immediately.