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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bò Lúc Lắc (Shaken Beef)

Bò Lúc Lắc  is such an interesting name. Bò means beef and Lúc Lắc refers to the way you shake the wok or pan to cook the beef. Hence, you'll see it referred to as Shaken Beef.

Bò Lúc Lắc is the small cubes of beef that is coated with savory seasonings and hinted with the fragrance of five heavenly spices (pepper, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and fennel). This is then cooked by shaking the wok until the beef is charred beautifully browned on the outside, keeping it perfectly rare on the inside.

I love serving this dish with lettuce and assorted vegetables especially in the spring and summer time. This dish is as tasty as it is beautiful. The charred cubes of beef are arranged on top of a bed of green lettuce or watercress surrounded with gorgeous red tomatoes. To add more protein and color, you can - like I sometimes do - scattered some slices of  hard-boiled eggs.

The other day, I served my family this Bò Lúc Lắc on a bed of garlic egg noodle mixed with asparagus and mushroom for dinner. I know a dish is good when I don't have to constantly remind my girls to finish their plates.

Bò Lúc Lắc is a popular Vietnamese dish. This is an easy shaken beef recipe that's delicious and simple to make.
RECIPE: Bò Lúc Lắc

1 pound Rib Eye or Beef Sirloin
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
1 tablepoon Oyster Sauce
1 tablespoon brown or white Sugar
1 teaspoon Five-Spice Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
3 cloves of Garlic
1 red or white Onion, wedged
2 Tomatoes, sliced
1 bunch Lettuce or Watercress
3 hard boiled Eggs, optional, wedged

Cutting Beef

Cut beef into small, about 2/3 inch cubes.  Set aside.
Marinating Beef

Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, five-spice powder and garlic in a bowl.

Add the beef and stir to coat. Cover and set aside for at least 10 minutes to marinate.
Preparing Vegetables

Arrange lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, and eggs if used on a serving plate.  Set aside.

Cooking Beef

Heat the oil in a pan over high heat. Add onion and cook until fragrant and charred.  Transfer onion  bowl.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in the same pan over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the garlic and beef and shake the pan.

Cook for 1-2 minutes until the beef is charred but still pink in the center. Transfer to a bowl.   If you double the recipe, make a small batch at a time to ensure the beef is charred. Repeat with the oil, garlic and beef.

If serving with garlic noodle, click here for the recipe. Add a little less soy sauce mixture than the recipe calls for since the beef is already packed full of flavor. If adding mushroom and asparagus to the noodle dish, heat a pan with butter and garlic.  Add sliced asparagus and mushroom.  

Saute for a couple of minutes then add the soy sauce mixture.  Turn of heat.  Mix in the noodles and finely chopped cilantro.  

Saute garlic and onion and use it as a garnish for the Bò Lúc Lắc noodle dish.


Mix beef and onion together. Place it on top of a vegetable serving plate.  Serve on the side with  a dipping salt mixture made with a dash of salt, ground black pepper and fresh lime juice.

Another way of presenting Bò Lúc Lắc is combining 11/2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon fish sauce and 2/3 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl. Drizzle the sauce over the beef plate. Serve immediately.

Enjoy Bò Lúc Lắc on a bed of garlic noodle for dinner. Don't forget to drizzle on some sirracha sauce to give it a kick. Open up a bottle of your favorite red and it will pair wonderfully with this dish.

Bon Appetite!

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