Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)
Why This Recipe Works
Shaking beef is a Vietnamese cross between a beef stir-fry and a watercress salad. We used sirloin steak tips (aka flap meat) for their beefy flavor and pleasant chewy texture. We first marinated the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, and molasses and then reserved the marinade to make the glaze. We coated the meat with oil (to prevent splattering) and then cooked it in two batches to give it ample room in the skillet. True to the dish's name, we shook and stirred the beef to develop good browning and to deglaze the skillet, which prevented the fond from burning. After setting aside the meat, we lightly softened a red onion in butter, added the reserved marinade (along with garlic, water, and cornstarch) to the skillet, and cooked it down to a glossy consistency. We coated the meat with the sauce and then placed it atop the watercress, which had been lightly dressed with a mixture of lime juice and pepper (the rest of which served as a dipping sauce for the meat).