Vietnamese Shakin’ Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

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Bo Luc Lac, directly translated to English as Shaking Beef, got its name because of the shaking action involved while cooking it in a Wok.  Once you put the beef into the Wok and let it sear for about a minute on one side, you begin shaking it so it can sear and cook on the other side.  This shaking process continues until the beef is seared on all sides and cooked to medium on the inside.

There are many variations of Bo Luc Lac out there and this dish is prepared differently everywhere I tried it.  Quite frankly, you can basically make this recipe with whatever ingredients you have in your pantry.  For my dish, I used Beef tenderloin.  Beef tenderloin but you can use whatever beef you have available.

This dish is, easy, tasty, and definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients:

Bo Luc Lac Ingredients:
1 lb Beef Tenderloin, cubed
1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Maggi Seasoning
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Pickled Red Onions Ingredients:
½ red onions, thinly sliced
1 cup distilled vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
crushed black pepper

Salad Ingredients:
Red lettuce Bunch, chopped
1 Roma tomato, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced

Steps:

Marinate Beef- Whisk oyster sauce, soy sauce, Maggi Seasoning, fish sauce, sesame oil, cracked black pepper, and sugar until sugars are dissolved. Add beef, onions, and minced garlic.  Mix well.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

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Make Pickled Red Onions – In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, sugar, salt, and crushed black pepper until sugars are dissolved.  Add red onions to the dressing and let pickle.

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Prepare the Salad – Top the serving plate with red lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Cook Bo Luc Lac – Cook in batches.  Turn heat on HIGH until wok or frying pan is super hot to the point where it gets a little smokey.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and add half of the beef to the pan and have it spaced out.  Let the beef sear for about a minute, then hold the handle of the wok and shake it so it can begin searing the other side for about 30 seconds. Constantly shake it a couple more times.  With about one minute of cooking, throw in butter and give it a final toss.  The total cooking time should be about 4 minutes.

Assemble Bo Luc Lac Plate – Transfer cooked bo luc lac on top of the bed of lettuce. Spread the pickled red onions on top of the beef and drizzle the dressing on top of the Bo Luc Lac. Serve with steamed rice or eat it as a standalone beef salad.

Tips:

  • If beef tenderloin, Sirloin, NY Strip, Ribeye works well for this dish.
  • If you want to alleviate the intense and harsh taste of onions, soak onions in water for 30 minutes before pickling.
  • Cooking in batches is important for the perfect sear and color.  This also helps to not overcrowd and steam the beef.
  • For the salad, you can add other veggies to the salad as well.  Microgreens or watercress adds great texture to the salad.

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