A couple smiling at a ball game

Betsy and Mitch Twin Cities, MN – Born: USA

Betsy came walking into my life through our now-husbands relationship, childhood friends. She has a way of making you feel comfy, like cozy by the fire comfy, and her presence in my life has been nothing less than joyful and friendly. Mitch and Betsy are foodies to the core and you know how excited that makes us whenever we get the opportunity to cook for them or eat something they have made.

Though we are miles away, we find it fun to talk food and I couldn’t help but want to interview Betsy, to get to learn about her a bit more. This recipe she shares is one she grew up with and one that I am excited to try. Her Chinese heritage and family’s love for cooking has made a mark on her that she will continue to pass on. Scroll down and learn a bit more about her and the delicious Beef Chow Fun recipe she has chosen to share with you.

Ethnography Questions

  1. What is the one meal that you can always count on to bring your family back to the table?

Beef Chow Fun, but the kind that my mom makes. She would buy fresh thick rice noodles from a local grocery store. Her homemade version of this is less greasy than what you would find at a restaurant so we would eat it as a full meal. This brought our family back to the table because there were plenty of foods that some of us liked but this was one that we ALL liked, even my nieces eat it now too. I would request this meal when I would come home to visit. It is one of those dishes that you want to share, not one I want to eat alone.

  1. What is your fondest memory of food from your childhood?

There are two that came to mind, the first, our Christmas meal. It was the same meal we would always have for the holidays, about 80% of it was. We once had changed it because we had a visitor on Christmas and it made me angry knowing that it would not be the same as I had expected all the years prior. We would accommodate others and now we started to change the tradition a bit to incorporate other family members.

Pot stickers would be the second. Pot stickers is a specialty but then when my dad would watch us on a weekend, for instance, he would let us eat pot stickers for our entire meal instead of just a few like how you would get them at a restaurant. I always looked forward to that!

  1. How has your cultural upbringing affected your views and lifestyle about food?

The person that comes to mind is my mom. She would always make us have balanced meals and would always ask us what vegetable, starch, and protein we wanted. So, all our meals were structured. As an adult, I structure my meals the same way and even now I do not really like it when one of them is missing.

  1. What is one bit of advice you would give to readers for refining their skills in the kitchen?

One of my New Year’s resolutions the past few years has been to try two new recipes every month. It is good to have your base meals that you can always pull from and then I try to add in new ones. Try new recipes so that you can slowly add them to your recipe box.

Beef Chow Fun

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

The meal that brought my family back to the table.

Ingredients

1 lb of flank steak

1 package (16 oz) wide rice noodles (fresh)

Green veggies, such as gai lan or bok choy

1/2 tbsp of corn starch

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce

2 tbsp of rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp of hoisin sauce

Cooking oil

Directions

  1. Thinly slice flank steak against the grain.
  2. In a bowl, add the sliced beef, corn starch, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and hoisin sauce. Stir and let it sit for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. Separate the noodles and pan fry in a wok or other large pan. Use oil to keep noodles from sticking. Add a little soy sauce at the end and plate on a serving dish.
  4. Stir fry veggies with cooking oil and then put on top of noodles.
  5. Stir fry steak with cooking oil and put on top of noodles and veggies.

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