Karen Martini's Korean-style seared beef with vermicelli, beans and fungi

Korean-style beef stir-fry.
Korean-style beef stir-fry. Photo: William Meppem

This is my favourite stir-fry of the moment. I'm obsessed with the combination of gochugang (Korean chilli paste), beef, fungi and bean thread noodles. The noodles take on the sauce really well, and it's super-quick to bring together once prepped (which doesn't take long). Gochujang is a great way to bring detail to a dish, with heat, sweetness and savoury umami-fermented notes.


100g bean thread noodles

250g scotch or porterhouse steak, sliced 5mm thick

1 tbsp kecap manis

1 tsp ground white pepper

3 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

3cm piece of ginger, finely diced

½ brown onion, cut in 5mm rings

12 green beans, cut in 2cm batons

50g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced

50g wood-ear fungus

4 spring onions, cut in 3cm batons

150ml stock or water

1 heaped tbsp gochujang, diluted with 2 tbsp boiling water

¼ bunch coriander, fine stalks and stems chopped

2 handfuls beansprouts


1. Soak the noodles in cold water for 15 minutes, then drain and use scissors to snip into roughly 4cm lengths.

2. Marinate the beef in the kecap manis and pepper for 15 minutes.

3. Add half the oil to a very hot wok or frying pan over high heat. Stir-fry the beef until just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.

4. Add the remaining oil, garlic and ginger to the wok and fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the onion and beans and stir-fry for about 3 minutes to colour slightly. Add the shiitake, wood-ear fungus and spring onion and stir-fry for about 1½ minutes. Add the stock and gochugang, then add the noodles and toss quickly to heat through. Toss through the beef at the last minute.

5. Serve with the coriander and beansprouts scattered over the top.