Ground beef rice served with egg is an easy one-pot meal that can be ready in thirty minutes. This Cantonese style ground beef rice is called 窝蛋牛肉饭 (rice with ground beef and a sunny side up egg) which is served in nearly every cafe in Hong Kong.
Cantonese ground beef rice is a delicious no-frilled quick meal. This ground beef rice is ideal as a take-out lunch box for school children and packed lunch for office workers. It was born out of the need for a simple and yet delicious meal for busy city folks.
Although some people prefer to add tomato to the ground beef rice, I only use the simplest and most common ingredients to prepare this rice dish: store-bought ground beef, egg, rice, and some basic Cantonese seasonings. I finish by cracking an egg on top of the minced beef and mix with the steamed rice. The egg will be partially cooked by the heat from the rice to add a silky texture to the rice.
The type of beef used in the ground beef rice recipe
This recipe aims to offer a quick and easy meal for the city folks. Therefore, I use the store-bought ground beef freshly ground on the same day to save time. You can also use the canned ground beef for your convenience. The downside of these ground beef is that it contains a fair amount of fat, a concern for those who closely watch their diet.
You can reduce the amount of fat consumed by taking an extra step- choose the cut of the beef you prefer and mince it yourself. I suggest using flank steak or rump, which contains less fat. You also can control how fine you want to mince the beef, as the texture of machine-ground meat is different from the manually ground meat.
Add the egg on the ground beef
The classic method of serving the ground beef rice is to crack a raw egg on top of the beef while still steaming hot. The heat from the beef and rice will partially cook the egg when it is mixed with the rice and beef right before eating.
I improvise this recipe by transferring the steamed rice to a clay pot, topped with the ground beef, and then a raw egg. Next, I cover the clay pot with the lid and heat it over low heat for five minutes. The egg will be partially cooked, and the rice at the bottom will form a slightly charred crust that provides more flavor and texture.
Add some green peas and onions
The primary vegetables used in this recipe are garlic, onion, and green peas. Tomato, carrot, and sweet corn are among some other common ingredients that are appropriate. If you want to be creative, I would suggest adding some bell pepper, small florets of broccoli, and diced celery.
Although some people prefer to add plenty of tomatoes, tomato paste and cook it for a prolonged period, I will stick to a simpler quick way to make it different from the bolognese sauce. Adding tomatoes to the beef does not mean that it will taste like Bolognese sauce. This recipe has its unique flavor and should not make it to become a pseudo bolognese sauce.
My suggestion is to use plenty of beef sauce for the rice, and the flavor is good enough without adding tomatoes and chicken broth in the cooking process.
Use a set of Cantonese seasoning
I am not sure about the origin of this recipe. It does look like there is some influence by the western cooking methods. However, the use of traditional Chinese seasoning is sure to make it stands out on its own. Oyster sauce and light soy sauce are the primary seasoning ingredients. A small amount of dark soy sauce is used to give it a more appealing color. Shaoxing wine and sesame oil should be added last. Bay leaf is not necessary if you want to produce a true blue Cantonese flavor.
The cooking process
Here is the detailed cooking process of the Cantonese style ground beef rice with egg.
- Mix the ground beef with all the seasoning ingredients in the recipe except the Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, and cornstarch. If you prepare the minced meat from scratch, keep the beef block into the freezer until it is half frozen. Cut the half-frozen beef into thin slices, then strips, and eventually into small dices. Mince the meat to the fineness that you prefer.
- Prepare the frozen green peas or frozen mixed bean (green peas, sweet corn) and diced carrots). You can also substitute with fresh sweet corn and carrots, celery, or bell pepper. Cut the fresh vegetable into small dice similar to the size of green peas.
- Combine all the seasoning in a bowl to become the sauce for the beef.
- Prepare the cornstarch slurry and set aside.
- Dice the onion and coarsely chop the garlic.
- Saute the onion in a pan with some oil until it is soft and slightly caramelized. Remove.
- Saute the coarsely chopped garlic with some oil. Add the beef and stir-fry over low heat. Keep stirring the ground beef to break it up. When it is about half-cooked, leave it undisturbed to pan-fry it for a while until it is slightly brown.
- Add the seasoning sauce. Gently mix with the beef until it starts to boil again.
- Add the green peas (or other vegetables of your choice).
- When it returns to a boil again, add the Shaoxing wine and thicken the sauce with cornstarch slurry.
- Place the steamed rice in a clay pot. Scoop the ground beef onto the rice.
- Crack an egg in the middle of the spread of the ground beef. Cover and simmer over low heat for about five minutes. Garnish with some chopped scallion and serve immediately.
I use the clay pot for better presentation and to slightly char the rice at the bottom to create some extra flavor. Alternatively, you can scoop the steamed rice into a large bowl, then crack an egg on top. If the egg is too raw for you, you can cook an easy-over of sunny-side-up egg instead of breaking a raw egg on the rice.
Love rice? Try these recipes
There are a few unique recipes for you on this blog if you like rice. Here is my recommendation:
Nasi lemak – The rice is cooked with coconut milk and served with fried anchovies, roasted groundnuts, and sambal.
Tomato rice – The rice is cooked with tomatoes and a myriad of Malay spices. It is best to be served with Ayam Masak Merah.
Hainanese chicken rice – A popular rice dish cooked with chicken stock and served with poached chicken and ginger garlic sauce.
For the beef (A)
- 350 g (12oz) ground beef
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp water
For the sauce (B)
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine (optional)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch (add with 2 tbsp water to form a slurry)
- 1 medium-size onion (about 100g), diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (about 60g) frozen green peas
- 1 egg
- Mix all ingredients in (A), marinate for 15 minutes.
- Saute the onion with some oil until slightly caramelized and translucent.
- Saute the garlic until aromatic, add the ground beef and stir-fry until 70% cooked. Add the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Add the green peas. Thicken with the cornstarch slurry. Add the Shaoxing wine (optional) and sesame oil.
- Place the freshly cooked steamed rice in a clay pot, spread the ground beef on top of the rice.
- Make a small dent at the center, crack an egg on it, and cover the clay pot. Place it over low heat for five minutes or until the egg yolk is half-cooked. Remove and serve.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 674Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 249mgSodium: 1606mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 53g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 9/18/2020