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Bo Luc Lac Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Piece of meat being dipped in sauce. Steak bites over a bed of greens.


Bo Luc Lac is a rich and savory Vietnamese shaking beef dish that’s packed with flavor. It’s also easy to make – tender steak bites are marinated in an oyster sauce base with aromatics, then pan-seared in less than 10 minutes for a caramelized char and cooked to a medium, medium-rare. Serve the beef over a bed of greens and dip it with a citrusy lime sauce for an amazing meal!

Pan fried cubed steak over bed of greens.

Similar to spring rolls, bo luc lac is a popular and well-loved dish found at many Vietnamese restaurants. The marinade includes simple ingredients, and everyone has their different version of it. It’s called shaking beef for the technique of shaking the meat back and forth in the pan, while stir frying on high heat.

It’s always a treat when my dad makes this dish for us for family gatherings and special occasions. And as a bonus, my kids absolutely love these flavorful steak bites, which go perfectly served with a bowl of steamed white rice.

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Ingredients & notes

Ingredients for shaking beef recipe.

Beef – Ribeye or filet (beef tenderloin) is preferred. The meat should be tender and not chewy or tough. Filet is super soft and tender, and has minimal fat. Ribeye will be more flavorful due to its higher fat marbling.

Oyster Sauce – I use Lee Kum Kee, a popular brand found at most Asian markets and large grocers.

Fish Sauce – My favorite brands include Red Boat, Son and Three Crabs.

Brown Sugar – White sugar will work too, but I like the caramel-y flavor of brown sugar.

For the dipping sauce – Lime juice, salt & pepper.

Instructions

Step by step photos of how to make bo luc lac.

1. Combine the ingredients to make the marinade.

2. Then add the beef and let it marinate for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat a wok or skillet on high heat with 1-2 tablespoons of oil. When the pan is super hot, just about smoking, add the meat and cook for about 5-6 minutes.

4. Add onions and cook for 1 minute.

Pro tips

  • Do not overcrowd the pan, cook the beef in one layer and not stacked on top of each other, which steams the meat instead of searing it. 
  • Use a wok or cast iron skillet to cook the beef. This will help cook the meat on high heat, getting you a nice sear (more flavor!), instead of a sad gray color.
  • The high fat content of rib eye will yield a deeper and richer flavor. For a healthier take, use beef tenderloin/filet mignon.
  • For tender beef bites, make sure to use rib eye or filet mignon and don’t overcook it. Ideally for such small pieces of meat it should not be cooked for more than 5-6 minutes. This will get you medium to medium-rare bites. 
  • A lime dip for the beef and vinaigrette salad (see below) adds bright acidity to the rich and flavorful beef for a well-balanced dish.
Dipping piece of beef in lime sauce.

What do you serve with shaken beef?

Bo luc lac is traditionally served over a bed of watercress salad with tomatoes, and dressed with an onion vinaigrette. 

Make sure to also serve with a bowl of white rice. To eat it, just dip some of the shaken beef into the lime/salt/pepper sauce, and add it on top of the white rice, absorbing all those delicious umami and citrusy flavors. Then take a mouthful of that ultimate bite!

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Steak bites over a bed of greens.

Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaken Beef)

Kaylie

Bo Luc Lac is a rich and savory Vietnamese beef dish that’s packed with flavor. It’s also easy to make – tender bites of steak are marinated in an oyster sauce base with aromatics, then pan-seared in less than 10 minutes!

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 5 mins

marinade time 1 hr

Total Time 1 hr 25 mins

Course dinner, lunch, Main Course

Cuisine Asian, Vietnamese

Servings 3 people

Calories 435 kcal

Ingredients  

For the salad and salad dressing

Instructions 

  • Cut beef into 1 ¼ inch cubes. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, add the oyster sauce, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil and ground pepper, mix well.

  • Add the beef into the marinade, mix it well and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  • Set the meat out at least 20 minutes prior to cooking.

  • Heat a wok or skillet on high heat with oil. When the pan is hot, add the meat. Make sure the pan is not crowded, and do not stack the meat. Cook on each side for at least 1 minute per side.

  • To get a good sear, make sure to not stir the meat too early.

  • Add the onions and stir fry for 1 minute.

  • Serve over the bed of salad with a side of white rice.

For the salad and dressing

  • In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the rice vinegar and add the sliced onions. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

  • On a large plate, place the watecress or arugula onto the plate, layer with sliced tomatoes.

  • When ready to serve, drizzle 3-4 tablespoons (or to taste) of vinaigrette over the greens, top the greens with onion.

Notes

*Nutritional facts provided are only an estimate, accuracy is not guaranteed.

  • The high fat content of rib eye will yield a deeper and richer flavor. For a healthier take, use beef tenderloin/filet mignon.
  • For tender beef bites, make sure to use rib eye or filet mignon and don’t overcook it. Ideally for such small pieces of meat it should not be cooked for more than 5-6  minutes. This will get you medium to medium-rare bites.

Nutrition

Serving: 3peopleCalories: 435kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 32gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 740mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 905IUVitamin C: 20mgCalcium: 65mgIron: 3mg





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