Bo Luc Lac (translated to be Shaking Beef) is my absolute favourite Vietnamese dish, so obviously it has to be my first recipe post on this blog! This is my husband’s favourite Vietnamese dish that I make, and he’s even learned to pronounce it with a perfect Vietnamese accent!
Bo Luc Lac is pan-seared, marinated cubed beef, served over a bed of greens (I usually use arugula, but watercress works well too), with tomatoes, cucumbers and pickled onions. I always serve it with white jasmine rice and a soy chili dipping sauce. Why is it called Shaking Beef, you ask? Because you’re supposed to quickly sear the beef in the pan, shaking it around. I know, Vietnamese translations are so literal!
The best way to enjoy this dish is to ‘build a bite’ and experience all the ingredients in one bite – the warm marinated beef, the pickled onions, the bitterness of the arugula, the refreshing tomatoes and cucumbers, and the saltiness of the dipping sauce.
You can probably use any type of beef, and I’ve experimented with cheaper cuts of beef before. However, my favourite cut of beef to use for this recipe is a ribeye steak.
On the “Moving Pieces” difficulty scale, I would rate this as a 2 out of 5. It’s very simple to assemble, and the only thing that requires cooking is the beef itself. The only reason why it’s not a 1 out of 5 is because you need to remember to marinate the beef the night before, or at least the morning of, in order to get the best results.
As for cost factor, it’s a little more expensive than most weekday meals that I make because I like to use ribeye steaks. I’ll usually wait for ribeye grilling steaks to go on sale at Sobeys, and will pick up a couple steaks when they are around $10-$13 per steak (I don’t usually look at the weight of the steaks). I’m pretty sure I can find a better deal on this, either from a different grocery store or buying in bulk from Costco, but I haven’t really looked into it yet.
I hope you enjoy my favourite Vietnamese dish. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or to let me know what you think!
Bo Luc Lac (Shaking Beef)Print Recipe
- 2 rib eye steaks, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- White vinegar
- Soy sauce
- Sriracha chili paste
Marinate the beef with 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp sugar, the minced garlic, minced shallot, 1 tsp of fish sauce, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Refrigerate and let marinate overnight.
Thinly slice the red onion and place in a small bowl. Pour enough vinegar in to cover the onion and add a 1 tbsp of sugar. Mix well. Let it sit until it's time to plate the dish.
Slice tomatoes and cucumbers and line a big plate. I like to line my plates a certain way, as seen in the pictures, but you can plate however your heart desires! Fill the middle of the plate with a bed of arugula.
Make the soy chili dipping sauce. I don't usually measure but I just add some soy sauce to a small dipping dish and a couple squirts of Sriracha.
Heat up a wok or frying pan with the vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add the cubed beef (including the marinade) and sear all sides of the meat. I like my beef medium-rare, so I just make sure it's seared and brown on all sides and then I take it off the heat. I've never really timed it, but it's pretty quick - no more than 7-8 minutes.
Pour the cubed beef and all the pan juices onto the bed of arugula. The pan juices and hot beef will wilt the arugula and dress it with amazing flavour.
Top the beef with the quick pickled onions.
Serve with bowls of fluffy jasmine rice and use the soy chili dipping sauce to dip the beef and the vegetables.