Photograph of Vietnamese Shaking Beef - Bò Lúc Lắc
Main Courses,  Meat,  Meat and Poultry,  Recipes,  Starters and Lunch

Vietnamese Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc

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Melt in the mouth, cubes of tender, luscious beef steak, marinated in a flavourful mix of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar, cooked with onions, garlic and butter and served with a salted lime juice dipping sauce and fluffy rice. Don’t omit the dipping sauce – it adds an incredible salty, crunchy and sour kick to this dish and elevates it from mouthwateringly delicious to mouthwateringly delicious with a bang! So unbelievably good!

When I first saw the recipe on Sweet2Savoury (instagram handle is @sweet2savoury), it jumped out at me for its simplicity and speed of preparation yet complex, delicious range of flavours. It absolutely did not disappoint. We loved it! I had never made or eaten it before and it has certainly made me want to cook more Vietnamese food. A huge thank you to Lily who has kindly agreed for me to include it on my blog – you are my go-to for Vietnamese recipes now!

Sweet2Savoury

Lily was born in Germany to Vietnamese parents, before they moved to settle in Canada. She set up Sweet2Savoury to share recipes inspired by her mother’s cooking and her unique background. Lily shares a range of tried and tested recipes, with step by step instructions and videos, to encourage you to cook with ‘confidence, love and laughter’.

I really recommend that you take a look at her site – it is an absolute gem. The recipe selection is international, but she focuses on the authentic Vietnamese, German and Canadian recipes she has grown up with. If you click here, it will take you directly to Lily’s post for Vietnamese Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc or here, for her fabulous Vietnamese Grilled Chicken, which I made on repeat last summer!

Why is it called shaking beef? 

Lily explains that ‘shaking beef is also known as ‘shaken beef’ = beef and Lúc Lắc = shaken or shaking’. Fundamentally, ‘shaken beef’ describes the method of cooking in a wok where the food is shaken back and forth. Rather like any stir fry, the food is kept moving whilst you cook it.

Apparently, in Vietnam Bò Lúc Lắc is a typically served as an appetiser, on a bed of watercress with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and a cold beer on the side. However, in many Vietnamese restaurants in the west, it is increasingly being served with rice as a main course. Either way, I really urge you to try this recipe.

How to make Vietnamese Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc

The only changes I made to this recipe were to:

  • use fillet steak instead of the sirloin steak which Lily uses. Lily cooks her sirloin steak with the fat on. See her recipe here for tips on cooking sirloin.
  • I doubled the sauce ingredients – seriously, it is so delicious and I wanted as much of that delicious sticky sauce as possible!

Collect all your ingredients together:

For the marinade –

  • garlic, peeled and crushed
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • white sugar (or brown)
  • ground black pepper

For the stir fry –

  • sirloin or fillet steaks
  • garlic, peeled and crushed
  • onion, peeled, halved and cut into 1cm slices
  • spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • unsalted butter
  • vegetable or canola oil

Lime dipping sauce –

  • lime (or lemon) juice
  • sea salt crystals
  • ground black pepper

To serve –

  • cooked rice – I like Jasmine rice
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced spring onions

How to make this amazing dish:

  1. First make the marinade and marinate the beef – peel and crush the garlic and stir together with the remaining marinade ingredients.
  2. Chop the meat into 2½cm/1inch cubes and add to the marinade. Stir well, cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare the vegetables – meanwhile peel and chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic, trim and finely slice the spring onions.
  4. Start cooking – heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium to high temperature and add some of the beef to the pan – do not overcrowd the pan. You will probably need to cook the meat in batches. Sear the beef on both sides and remove from the pan. This should take only 1 – 2 minutes per side.
  5. Now add the butter, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
  6. Return the beef to the pan, along with the remaining marinade and most of the spring onions. Hold some green slices of spring onion back for garnishing the finished dish.
  7. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until everything is heated through, the beef is cooked to your liking and the sauce is sticky and covers all the ingredients.
  8. As you finish cooking the beef, quickly make the dipping sauce. Juice the limes or lemons and mix with the salt and pepper. It is important to do this at the last minute as you do not want the salt crystals to dissolve into the lime juice.
  9. Serve immediately – with some steamed rice, sliced cucumber, some halved cherry tomatoes and the lime dipping sauce on the side.

Made this recipe?

If you make this recipe, do please tag me @daffodil_kitchen and @sweet2savoury on instagram . You could also leave a comment in the box directly below the recipe.

Photograph of Vietnamese Shaking Beef - Bò Lúc Lắc
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Vietnamese Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc

Melt in the mouth, cubes of tender, luscious beef steak, marinated in a flavourful mix of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar, cooked with onions, garlic and ginger and served with salted lime juice and fluffy rice.

Serves 2 – 3

Course Dinner, Lunch, Supper
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword beef, stir fry, Vietnamese
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the marinade –

  • 18g/4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons/45ml soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons/30ml oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon/5ml fish sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons/18g white sugar (or brown)
  • ½ teaspoon/1g ground black pepper

For the stir fry –

  • 500g sirloin or fillet steaks
  • 18g/4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 150g/1 onion, peeled, halved and cut into 1cm slices
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • 30g/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

Lime dipping sauce –

  • 2 tablespoons lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt crystals
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

To serve –

  • cooked rice – I like Jasmine rice
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced spring onions

Instructions

  1. Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.

  2. First make the marinade and marinate the beef – peel and crush the garlic and stir together with the remaining marinade ingredients.

  3. Chop the meat into 2½cm/1inch cubes and add to the marinade. Stir well, cover and leave to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  4. Prepare the vegetables – meanwhile peel and chop the onion, peel and crush the garlic, trim and finely slice the spring onions.

  5. Start cooking – heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium to high temperature and add some of the beef to the pan – do not overcrowd the pan. You will probably need to cook the meat in batches. Sear the beef on both sides and remove from the pan. This should take only 1 – 2 minutes per side.

  6. Now add the butter, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.

  7. Return the beef to the pan, along with the remaining marinade and most of the spring onions. Hold some green slices of spring onion back for garnishing the finished dish.

  8. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, or until everything is heated through, the beef is cooked to your liking and the sauce is sticky and covers all the ingredients.

  9. As you finish cooking the beef, quickly make the dipping sauce. Juice the lime or lemon and mix with the salt and pepper. It is important to do this at the last minute as you do not want the salt crystals to dissolve into the lime juice.

  10. Serve immediately – with some steamed rice, sliced cucumber, some halved cherry tomatoes and the lime dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe Notes

Equipment:

  • kitchen scales and measuring spoons
  • chopping board and knife
  • mixing bowl to marinate the beef
  • wok or large pan

Where is this recipe from?

I found this recipe on the Sweet2Savoury blog set up by Lily. Lily was born in Germany to Vietnamese parents, before they moved to settle in Canada. She set up Sweet2Savoury to share recipes inspired by her mother’s cooking and her unique background. Lily shares a range of tried and tested recipes, with step by step instructions and videos, to encourage you to cook with ‘confidence, love and laughter’.

I really recommend that you take a look at her site – it is an absolute gem. The recipe selection is international, but she focuses on the authentic Vietnamese, German and Canadian recipes she has grown up with. If you click here, it will take you directly to Lily’s post for Vietnamese Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc or here, for her fabulous Vietnamese Grilled Chicken, which I made on repeat last summer!

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