Do you ever make a meal you’re so wild crazy about that you polish it all off regardless of how many servings it’s supposed to be? Well, that happened when I made Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc not too long ago. In my defense my son was over, so he helped out a lot with the eating. But still, we just couldn’t leave it be!
It was my baby Sis who called me up raving and said I had to make Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc and I’m so glad she did. I’m not usually into big beefy dinners as a rule. It’s not that I don’t love a little beef now and then, but I do love my veggies, too. Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc has it all. Actually, it’s so healthy that I wasn’t too heartbroken at the amount of food I ate, lol!
About Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc:
There are cubes of beautifully cooked, slightly seared tender beef, simply marinated with flavor for days (this is heavy on the pepper, too, which just goes hand and hand with beef) and Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc is served up with a gorgeous salad, too. Now usually that salad is based on Watercress, but I just made mine with Spring Greens.
And the salad itself is super tasty with a crazy good vinaigrette that also serves as a marinade for red onions, sliced wafer-thin to strew across the beef. It doesn’t hurt a bit that the salad has some of my favorite veggies, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cucumber. It’s just made of simple everyday veggies but they’re absolutely transformed by that marvelous dressing.
What really steals the show, though, whether you’re having Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc at a restaurant or at home, is the condiments. It’s served with salt, freshly cracked black pepper and that’s punctuated with lime. The idea is to mix your salt, pepper, and lime, then pick up or spear a piece of that lovely beef and dip it. Just think of fresh flavors zinging all over the place with each bite. Is it no wonder that two of us pretty much polished off the whole platter. Oink oink!!
Making Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc:
There’s not too much to making Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc, but there are four different components. Honestly, it’s mostly just assembly. There’s the salad, the vinaigrette with the red onions, the beef and the little condiment of salt, pepper, and lime.
You’ll want to start with the beef first because it’s best if it sits for about 30 minutes before it’s cooked. Make the vinaigrette next, because it’s best if it sits for a bit, too. The salad’s a no brainer – but the bell pepper should be sliced as thinly as possible, and for that matter, so should the red onions for the vinaigrette. If you have a mandolin, now’s the time to pull it out. And the condiment of lime, pepper, and salt takes basically no effort at all.
I like that most of these ingredients are available almost everywhere – I’ve even seen oyster sauce in my small hometown in Iowa. What might be a bit trickier is the dark soy. If you only have plain old soy sauce, just use a little extra sugar. And if you don’t have Rice Vinegar, just use apple cider. add a touch more water if you think the dressing is sharp or a touch more sugar. And don’t be afraid of that touch of fish sauce – it adds that umami flavor and a little salt and it keeps forever in the fridge.
Saving Money on Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc:
You have a lot of options as far as the beef. I’ve seen recipes for Shaking Beef that used rib eye or even filet mignon, sirloin would be great and I just used top sirloin. It’s a cut that goes on sale regularly, won’t break the bank and has big beefy flavor. Since Shaking Beef should be cooked to just medium-rare, even a cut like the top sirloin stays tender. Cook it longer if medium-rare doesn’t do it for you, but keep in mind that the pricier cuts are usually a little more tender if that’s the case.
As far as the condiments go, if you have an Asian market nearby, don’t hesitate to stop in. The prices will probably amaze you. I do cook a lot of Asian and Asian style dishes and I like to stock up on Asian condiments during the Lunar New Year when they are often on sale and often not advertised.
Check out Aldi, if you have one nearby for the veggies. They always have a great spring mix, which can be a little pricier at the store. I do watch for bell peppers on sale; the red ones are more than the green so keep an eye on the pricing; if they’re on sale I tend to buy enough bell peppers for the current week and the next because they do last well.
Shaking Beef - Bò Lúc Lắc
Prepare the beef first as it needs to marinate for 30 minutes, then the vinaigrette, which is better if it sit for awhile. A mandolin is handy to thinly slice the red onion and bell pepper.
- 1 1/4 pound sirloin or another steak of choice. Make sure it’s thickly cut. Trim and cut into 1″ cubes
- 4 to five large cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark soy (substitute soy if dark soy is not available but add an extra teaspoon of sugar)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
- white rice, cooked, for serving
In a large bowl, combine the beef, garlic, oyster sauce, dark soy, fish sauce, brown sugar, and black pepper. Toss to combine. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat a large wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat, then add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, swirl the oil around. then working in batches, add half the beef, searing on all sides, shaking or moving the pan until the meat is seared on all sides, slightly charred and medium-rare, 3-5 minutes. (Feel free to use tongs to turn and arrange beef as necessary.) Set the meat aside on a plate, tented to keep warm, and repeat with remaining beef.
- 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, water black pepper and salt. Add red onion and set aside to marinate.
- 2 bunches watercress (substitute lettuce of choice)
- 2 to 3 medium-sized tomatoes, sliced or in wedges
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
Place the watercress on a platter, arrange the cucumbers and tomatoes around the outside edges. Stew the red bell pepper across the top.
- 1 to 2 limes (depending on size)
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
Divide the salt and pepper into 4 small dishes or serving spoons. Garnish with a wedge or two of lime.
Putting it all together:
Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the salad, add the cooked beef on top, strew with the red onions from the vinaigrette and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with the lime, salt, and pepper for dipping and white rice.