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  • fromjudyskitchen

Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

It's rare to find dishes with a variety of flavors that actually work well together. Vietnamese Shaking Beef (called Bò Lúc Lắc in Vietnamese) happens to be one of these dishes. Imagine savory beef with bursts of sweetness and subtle acidity with every bite, PLUS a cool wash on your tongue from the bed of fresh vegetables the beef sits on. Going above and beyond that, you can also make tomato rice that is often eaten with Shaking Beef.

While there are a lot of components to this one meal, it is really worth it to bring some comfort and umami in your belly. I've made Shaking Beef a few times, but this is my best version yet!

My advice is to invest in high quality ingredients (particularly the meat and veggies), as this will make all the difference!

Other notes:

  • It's most common to serve Shaking Beef with tomatoes and watercress. However, Whole Foods ran out of watercress, so I used butter lettuce instead (pictured below). This works nicely, or any similar greens.

  • Shaking Beef is usually made from filet mignon. Because I like a little more fat to my beef (and didn't want to break the bank too much), I used New York steak and it was still very tasty.

Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)​

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 15 min

Servings: 2-3

Shaking Beef Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs filet mignon (or New York steak) (cut into small cubes)

  • 5 garlic cloves (minced)

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp fish sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (not for marinade)

  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce (not for marinade)

  • Cilantro (for garnish)

Pickled Onions Ingredients:

  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)

  • 3 tbsp white vinegar

  • 3 tbsp water

  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lime

  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)

Salad Ingredients:

  • Watercress (or butter lettuce or similar greens)

  • Tomatoes (sliced)

Optional: Tomato Rice Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked rice

  • 1/2 tbsp butter

  • 1 garlic clove (minced)

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

Shaking Beef Directions:

  • In a medium to large bowl, mix together cubed beef with minced garlic, brown sugar, black pepper, salt, fish sauce, and 1 tbsp soy sauce. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

  • While beef is marinating, prep all other components of the dish: pickled onions, dipping sauce, salad, and tomato rice. (See directions below).

  • Once at least an hour has passed, heat up a large cast iron pan (or similar pan) with olive oil over medium high heat. Add cubed beef (with marinade). Spread evenly on the pan so that no cubes are stacked. Let sit for about 3-4 minutes (or until the bottoms of the cubes are darkened and charred). Then, flip all pieces over for another 3 minutes (or until bottoms of the cubes are darkened). Add dark soy sauce and mix all ingredients together one last time. Transfer shaking beef on top of the plate of salad (bed of watercress and tomatoes).

  • With the stove still on, add pickled onions and quickly sauté for about a minute. Turn off stove, then transfer onions over the shaking beef.

  • Serve shaking beef with dipping sauce and warm tomato rice.

Pickled Onions Directions:

  • In a small pan, add white vinegar, water, and sugar over high heat. Once the liquid starts to boil, turn off stove and add sliced red onions. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Then, drain liquid and set picked onions aside.

Dipping Sauce Directions:

  • Squeeze juice from lime into saucers you'll be serving. Add salt and pepper (to taste). Set aside.

Salad Directions:

  • Have your serving plate or plates ready.

  • Layer with watercress (or similar greens) and sliced tomatoes

  • Once shaking beef is cooked, you will transfer from the pan to this salad bed.

Optional: Tomato Rice Directions

  • Have your rice cooked and ready.

  • In a large pan, add butter over medium heat. Add minced garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add rice, then add soy sauce and tomato paste. Mix all ingredients together until rice is evenly red.

  • Lower heat to very low as you start cooking your shaking beef.

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