Homemade Chinese Rice Noodles–Hor Fun or He Fen or Guo Tiao (沙河粉,河粉或粿条)



I will be shocked if any of the Malaysian or Singaporean Chinese readers who do not know about this type of noodles.. Further explanation of this noodle may insult the readers.. ha ha


But as usual, for the sake of my international readers, let’s see what Wikipedia have written about this common type of Chinese rice noodles..

“Shahe fen or he fen is a type of wide Chinese noodle made from rice. Shahe fen noodles are white in colour, broad, and somewhat slippery. Their texture is elastic and a bit chewy. They do not freeze or dry well and are thus generally (where available) purchased fresh, in strips or sheets that may be cut to the desired width. Where fresh noodles are not available, they may also be purchased packaged in dried form, in various widths.


While shahe fen and he fen are transliterations based on Mandarin, there are numerous other transliterations based on Cantonese, which include ho fen, hofen, ho-fen, ho fun, ho-fun, hofoen (a Dutch transliteration in Suriname), hor fun, hor fen, sar hor fun, etc. In addition, shahe fen is often synonymously called kway teow (粿條), literally “rice cake strips”, transliteration based on Min Nan Chinese, POJ: kóe-tiâu) or guotiao (pinyin: guǒtiáo; the corresponding transliteration of Mandarin), as in the name of a dish called char kway teow. However, shahe fen and kway teow are strictly and technically not the same (the latter being essentially rice cakes sliced into strips) and the Min Nans in general still consciously make a distinction between shahe fen and kway teow in their speech. Original rice cakes or its strips are very stiff in texture (even after cooking), making them unpopular with modern consumers. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahe_fen)


Though it can be easily bought in the market and not many readers may be willing to take the hassle to prepare the noodles, however, this post will benefit my overseas’ reader who have difficulty to get freshly prepared noodles…In addition, homemade version is not as oily as commercially sold.. As far as house chefs is concerned, they are likely willing to forgo the perfection of the noodles for the sake of healthiness. Oil is required to separate the noodles such that it will not become lumpy when they are  sold  in the market..


I am exploring the recipe of hor fun because I found that it is rather interesting to find out homemade versions of certain food that we took for granted… Out of my surprise, the preparation is extremely easy…and only 3 main ingredients were needed, all are common household items…Texture of course will not be as smooth and fine as the counter bought but I can definitely accept these imperfections.  In fact, I found that I prefer the slightly thicker and coarser texture of this home made hor fun especially if it is used for stir frying.



Servings : About half a kilo of rice noodles


  • 200 grams of rice flour
  • 400 grams of water
  • 20 grams of potato starch or corn starch
  • Pinches of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • Additional cooking oil for brushing the cooked hor fun



  • Get ready a steamer and lightly grease a baking tin for steaming.


  • In a big mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients together, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and water, use a hand whisk to stir the rice solution until well mixed.

  • Put  some rice solution in the baking tin (in this illustration, I used 1/2 cup of rice solution for a 9” round baking tin and it yielded hor fun of about 1 mm thickness).  Swirl around such that it is as even as possible. Steam in a steamer at high heat for about 5-6 minutes or when the rice sheet is not sticky. Take out the baking tin, brush some cooking oil on top of the hor fun, use something sharp object such as fork to take out the big piece of hor fun. Perform the same until all the rice solutions are steamed. When cooled, cut into your desired width before stir frying.



There is a sense of achievement to homemade these noodles that can easily be bought in the market.. Family members never complain about the texture of the hor fun and kids have finished all without knowing that this is homemade. I seriously hope that this post will benefit overseas member who have difficulty to get the commercially sold hor fun..For local members, why not trying to prepare some when time permits..


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


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