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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

30 minutes

Free

The name of this Vietnamese dish refers to the way cooks shake the pan while the beef cooks. We, however, prefer to minimize the meat’s movement so the pieces achieve a nice dark, flavor-building sear. Sirloin tips (also called flap meat) or tri-tip are excellent cuts for this recipe—both are meaty, tender and reasonably priced (many recipes for shaking beef call for pricier beef tenderloin). If you can find baby watercress, use a 4-ounce container in place of the regular watercress; baby cress has a particularly peppery bite that pairs well with the beef. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin tips or tri-tip, trimmed, patted dry, cut into 1½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
5 tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus lime wedges, to serve
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided
8 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small red onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
1 bunch watercress, stemmed
Ingredients
  • pounds beef sirloin tips or tri-tip, trimmed, patted dry, cut into 1½-inch pieces

  • 3

    tablespoons soy sauce, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 5

    tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus lime wedges, to serve

  • 3
  • 2

    tablespoons white sugar

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1

    small red onion, sliced ¼ inch thick

  • 1

    bunch watercress, stemmed

Directions
  1. 01
    In a medium bowl, combine the beef, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together 4 tablespoons of the lime juice, the fish sauce, sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
    See Demo
  2. 02
    In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until beginning to smoke. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the beef in a single layer. Cook without stirring until well browned, about 1½ minutes. Flip each piece and cook until the second sides are well browned, about another 1½ minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
    See Demo
  3. 03
    To the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the garlic is no longer raw, about 30 seconds. Pour in the lime juice mixture and any accumulated meat juices, increase to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is syrupy, and a spoon leaves a trail when dragged across the skillet, 2 to 4 minutes.
    See Demo
  4. 04
    Add the beef and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce clings lightly to the meat, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and stir until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
    See Demo
  5. 05
    In a medium bowl, toss the watercress with the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Make a bed of the watercress on a serving platter. Top with the beef mixture and its juices. Serve with lime wedges.
    See Demo
    Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)
Tip: Don’t cut the beef into pieces smaller than 1½ inches or they may overcook. And don’t forget the lime wedges for serving. A squeeze of fresh lime juice brightens the other flavors.
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Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

30 minutes

Tip

Don’t cut the beef into pieces smaller than 1½ inches or they may overcook. And don’t forget the lime wedges for serving. A squeeze of fresh lime juice brightens the other flavors.

Ingredients
  • pounds beef sirloin tips or tri-tip, trimmed, patted dry, cut into 1½-inch pieces

  • 3

    tablespoons soy sauce, divided

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 5

    tablespoons lime juice, divided, plus lime wedges, to serve

  • 3
  • 2

    tablespoons white sugar

  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1

    small red onion, sliced ¼ inch thick

  • 1

    bunch watercress, stemmed

Step 1 of 5

Toss and coat the beef

pounds beef sirloin tips or tri-tip, trimmed, patted dry, cut into 1½-inch pieces
3
tablespoons soy sauce, divided
½
teaspoon ground black pepper
4
tablespoons lime juice
3
tablespoons fish sauce

In a medium bowl, combine the beef, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and ½ teaspoon pepper. Toss to combine and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together 4 tablespoons of the lime juice, the fish sauce, sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce.

Step 2 of 5

Cook the beef

1
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until beginning to smoke. Swirl to coat the pan, then add the beef in a single layer.


Cook without stirring until well browned, about 1½ minutes. Flip each piece and cook until the second sides are well browned, about another 1½ minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Step 3 of 5

Add the garlic

1
tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
1
teaspoon ground black pepper

To the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook over low, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the garlic is no longer raw, about 30 seconds.


Pour in the lime juice mixture and any accumulated meat juices, increase to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is syrupy, and a spoon leaves a trail when dragged across the skillet, 2 to 4 minutes.

Step 4 of 5

Re-add the beef

1
small red onion, sliced ¼ inch thick

Add the beef and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce clings lightly to the meat, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and stir until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Step 5 of 5

Toss, plate and serve

1
bunch watercress, stemmed
1
tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges, to serve
½
teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium bowl, toss the watercress with the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and ½ teaspoon salt. Make a bed of the watercress on a serving platter. Top with the beef mixture and its juices. Serve with lime wedges.

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