Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo luc lac)


Shaking beef (named for the way the beef is shaken as it’s cooked) is a delicious Vietnamese dish which is really easy to make at home. I rarely have the specific ingredients listed for the salad, but I will usually have enough to whip up an oriental salad (e.g. bok choy, capsicum, red onion and carrot). Changing up the salad’s fine, since the salad dressing makes anything taste amazing – and even if all you have is greens, the main star of this is the beef itself. This particular recipe is from Cuisine magazine.

This recipe serves 6 as an entrée, 4 as a main.

Ingredients – beef:

• 500g eye fillet (or other fast-cooking cut), trimmed of fat and sinew and cut into thumb-sized strips
• 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 green chilli, sliced into thin strips
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• ¼ cup torn Thai basil leaves (if you can’t get it, omit)
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed

-> Place all ingredients in a bowl and marinate for at least an hour.

Ingredients – salad dressing:

• ¼ cup fresh lime juice
• 1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
• 1 green chilli, seeded and sliced into thin strips
• 2 tablespoons warm water

Recommended ingredients – salad:

• 2 cups watercress sprigs, washed and dried
• 1 head cos or cosberg lettuce, cut into chunks
• 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced, soaked in iced water for ten minutes then drained


• Mix dressing ingredients.
• Toss other salad ingredients together and scatter on a serving platter.
• In a very hot wok or frying pan, heat a little oil to coat the base, toss in the beef and shake the pan around.
• Fry for no longer than two minutes; the idea is to sear very quickly. The meat should be rare and juicy.
• Spoon the beef over the salad base and pour the dressing over everything. Serve immediately.


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