Vietnamese shaking beef, known as Bo Luc Lac is a beef salad that you must make. I say this because it is loaded with awesome flavor, texture, and is just a great dish to share with your friends and family. Typically this beef salad uses beef tenderloin, however many Vietnamese folks might not have access to that cut of beef, and hence why I tend to use a cut such as sirloin, marinated for hours to help tenderize it, and then quickly cooked in a very hot skillet or wok.
The beef is marinated in some of my favorite Asian sauces including oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce, along with garlic and lots of cracked black pepper. Trust me on this one, it is really, really good, and I haven’t even mentioned the dressing that goes along with it!
Let’s get started:
Ingredients for the dressing:
- 4 tbsp Mirin or sweet rice wine vinegar
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tsp sugar
Ingredients for the beef and salad:
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 2 lbs top sirloin steak, fat trimmed, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 4 cups watercress
- 3 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 tbsp roasted peanuts
Start by marinating your meat. You can do this for four hours, or overnight, which I prefer to do. Add the cubed beef to a large ziplock bag. In a small mixing bowl, add the garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and cracked black pepper and mix until everything is incorporated. Add this to the ziplock bag, seal, and toss the beef in the marinade, gently massaging along the way. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
Next, make the dressing. To a small mixing bowl, add the dressing ingredients, and mix to dissolve the sugar. Seal and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the salad.
When the beef is done marinating, remove and let it come up to room temperature, or long enough to take the chill off of it.
Heat a large wok or skillet on medium-high heat. Let this heat up for a few minutes, then add in the canola oil. Let the oil heat up for about a minute, then add the beef. I should say add the beef, enough to not over crowd the skillet. You can do this in batches if you prefer.
Keep shaking the skillet, back and forth, moving the beef. Let it get a nice sear on the outside, and cook to your desired doneness. I tend to go medium on my beef. Once cooked, remove the beef onto a plate. Repeat if necessary.
To another bowl, add the watercress. Add about 5 tablespoons of the dressing onto the watercress, and give a gentle toss.
To your serving dish, add the watercress. Place the beef on top of the watercress, and add the tomatoes, peanuts, and I like to add some of the remaining shallots from the dressing on top of the beef.
The result is truly a great salad. The presentation is so inviting, and the flavors are perfectly balanced. Sweet, a bit bitter from the watercress, and then the awesome Asian flavors from the beef marinade. My wife and I devoured this salad and both agreed that it would be a hit at any dinner table. Hope you enjoy!