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Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

4 Servings

30 minutes

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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.




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.

30 minutes


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

  • 3

    tablespoons soy sauce, divided


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Stephen H.

This is was one of my favorite dishes in Vietnamese restaurants. I made this recipe and substituted sautéed cubed mushrooms for the beef in order to keep with a more vegetable friendly diet, and it worked really well, and the time estimates were correct. I am usually distrustful of reviews for recipes where the reviewer changes the recipe, but this one so easily converted to a vegan version, I thought it was worth a mention. Thanks for a great recipe!

Gisela H.

Per the TV show, you can substitute watercress with arugula.

Lorraine T.

Just had it for dinner a few minutes ago! Had to review immediately. AMAZING !!! Wow! So many strong distinct flavors. It was a party of flavors in my mouth! We both loved it and will do it again. It’s not as fast/easy as you state (lots of prep work), but worth the work. Rice is a must to pick up the delicious sauce. Watercress goes so well & makes it so fresh. We had it with sichuan broccoli, also very good.
Thank you!!!

Jennifer B.

excellent! I might have added a hot pepper or two, but the sauce was great.

Ana W.

This is not a very good version of this dish, at all, IMO. Excessive use of soy sauce dominates the flavor in a way that is not traditional. Vietnamese dishes use soy sauce very sparingly. Most often it’s in fact a milder tasting Maggie sauce not straight up soy. And it’s balanced with oyster sauce. I don’t know who made this up, but it looks and tastes like white people’s Interpretation of Vietnamese Food and does not match up with any real Vietnamese recipes. I am white, by the way, And only realized this after making this recipe and going “yuck” tastes like a saltlick. Look up Andrea Nguyen’s version for Bob Appetit instead For a much better balanced flavor.

Jennifer B.

Loved this. I must admit, I didn’t have limes so I just substituted a smaller amount of rice wine vinegar and the recipe was still spectacular. This is a keeper….