Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

Like many dishes with interesting names translated to English, Shaking Beef is better than it sounds. This dish has many versions. The name literally describes the back-and-forth shaking of the pan while cooking the meat cubes. As with most dishes in Vietnam, the seemingly innocent little beef cubes pack a surprising punch of flavors. This dish makes for a great appetizer or a late night treat.

vietnamese shaking beef

Bo Luc Lac – Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Shaking Beef makes a great appetizer before any meal. The surprisingly unique flavors of Vietnam will shine through with a combination of the sweet and salty beef contrasted by the bitterness of the watercress and rice vinegar. The cooked meat can be refrigerated in advance or frozen indefinitely.
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Course: Antipasto, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Southeast Asian, Vietnam
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large skillet or wok
  • Colander


  • 1 lb Boneless fillet, ribeye, or sirloin steak, cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 10 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp Fish sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • 1 medium Red onion, cut into paper-thin slices
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 3 cups Watercress, rinsed and heavy stems removed


  • Marinate Beef – In a bowl, combine all but 1 clove minced garlic, beef cubes, fish sauce, sugar, ¼ tsp salt, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, and pepper. Marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make Salad – In a serving bowl, marinate onion slices in vinegar for 10 minutes. Sprinkle on a little black pepper, ½ tsp salt, and olive oil. Add watercress and toss thoroughly.
  • Finish Dish – Heat large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1 tsp vegetable oil and remaining minced garlic, stir once and add meat cubes. Fry quickly until seared on the outside and slightly pink in the center.
    Pour hot beef cubes over the watercress salad and serve with white rice, french bread, or alone.


Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

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