The Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

Bo Luc Lac

As a Vietnamese food lover, I have always want to create the dishes we like at home, such as Bo Luc Lac aka The Shaking Beef. Frankly, it’s more of W’s love. Yes, love. W orders Bo Luc Lac every time we eat at a Vietnamese restaurant. Gradually, it has become a favorite of mine as well.

I recently discovered Vietworld Kitchen, a cooking and eating adventure with an emphasis on Vietnamese cuisine, where I turn to it for excellent recipe inspirations.

Not completely lost in translation, “Bo” means cow or beef and the “luc lac” is merely a description for the back and forth “shaking” of the skillet or wok as the cubes of beef is being quickly seared.

Bo Luc Lac
Bo Luc Lac

Bo Luc Lac could be prepared with the different cuts of beef. Many Vietnamese restaurants in America generally prepare this dish with tender, expensive filet Mignon, but it’s rather rare to find such a splendid preparation in Vietnam. The meat will likely be tough and have a good chew to put your teeth to work. For home cooking, you could use inexpensive cut like tri-tip or sirloin. As for me, this time I used New York cut (which I bought a pack of 4 from Costco the other night for steaks and still had 2 pieces left).

Being a widely popular Vietnamese dish, it has many variations on how it’s served. Some restaurants present it like a steak salad served on a bed of watercress, cucumbers and tomatoes while others may serve it with sauteed onions, lettuce, and rice (white or tomato paste rice), just the way I like to prepare mine.

Each bite of the shaking beef is tender, juicy and peppery. Putting the hot juicy beef over the top of lettuce with some tangy vinegar dressing blend together perfectly like a citrus sauce to drizzle over rice. This is a pretty easy dish to whip up, and fantastic to make for a dinner. And I am adding it to my Vietnamese home cook’s repertoire.

Bo Luc Lac
Bo Luc Lac
Bo Luc Lac

Bo Luc Lac (The Shaking Beef)

adapted from Vietworld Kitchen’s
Serving: 4
2 lb New York (or tri-tip, sirloin) steak
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp 1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp of olive oil
1 bunch of red leaves lettuce
1/2 purple onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp sugar
Pinch of salt
3 to 5 cracks black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp water
Trim excess fat from the steaks and then cut each into 3/4-inch cubes.
In a bowl, combine the pepper, sugar, garlic, oyster sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce. Add the beef and toss well to coat. Set aside to marinate for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
For the dressing, put the purple onion in a mesh strainer and rinse under water for about 10 seconds to reduce some of the harshness. In large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar and water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the onion and mix. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the beef and spread it out in one layer. Cook in batches, if necessary. Let the beef sear for about 1 minute, before shaking the wok or skillet to sear another side. Cook for another 30 seconds or so and shake again. Cook the beef this way for about 4 minutes total, until nicely browned and medium rare.
In between shakes, plate the lettuce and pour the dressing on top. When the beef is done, pile the beef on top of the lettuce and serve immediately with lots of rice.

Irene Signature

This entry was posted in Beef, Vietnamese and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

  1. Wow, that looks fantastic and not too terribly difficult–might have to try it out on the wife and kids this weekend!

  2. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm says:

    Thank you for sharing Vietnamese dish.

  3. Leah says:

    This sounds delicious! The name makes me laugh a little. 🙂

  4. Massimiliano Ranauro says:

    I really love your shoots! I’m new with food photography but I love it. May I ask a question? What lens do you use for your shoot?

  5. Cute title for this dish! I imagine a cow shaking its butt back and forth!

    thanks for introducing us to Viet food, which definitely goes beyond the pho noodles that I have tried! 🙂 When i go to Vietnam one day, or encounter a Vietnamese restaurant, I will try this dish, and definitely think of the shaking beef post!


  6. Can you believe I have been to scared to make Vietnamese Food? I love eating it…just haven’t had the guts to do it myself♥

  7. parth893 says:

    Wow… That Look’s so Delicious , I’ll Tell My sister about this 😉

  8. it’s been many months since we’ve cooked meat in our home. THIS could almost make me fall off the wagon. almost . . . 🙂 beautiful photography as always.

  9. Maxima says:

    Steak and wine at home , This is fantastic ! Like your posts very much have nice day . With love maxima !

  10. hilal achmar says:

    I just follow you. Happy New Year 2013… 🙂

  11. disashisoul says:

    WOW that looks good!

  12. adetokunbohr says:

    I’d like to be your visitor someday. This looks sumptuous.

  13. gotasté says:

    I love all the authentic marinates and sauces that goes with the beef. I can almost taste the fish sauce, oyster sauce and rice vinegar from your beautiful photos. There are lots of Vietnamese restaurants over here but hard to find a really good one. Now I don’t have to. Will try this recipe soon 🙂

  14. petit4chocolatier says:

    Irene, beautiful on every single picture. Everything looks delicious!

Fruit for Thought

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s