Vietnamese Soul Food: Stir


When I was gifted four beautiful steaks this past Christmas, I briefly considered wrapping the fillets in bacon or chopping them coarsely for a tartare. But when it came down khổng lồ it, The Astronomer and I both desired Vietnamese food, so “shaking beef” ultimately and unsurprisingly won out.

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Since my family does not have a go-to recipe for bò thời gian lắc, I turned lớn Chef Charles Phan of San Francisco’s The Slanted Door to guide me through the process. You could say that he’s got a way with shaking beef. 

Traditionally, this dish is prepared in a seasoned wok over a flame, which imparts an intense sear on the beef and cooks the entire dish with a flick (or two) of the wrist.

This pared down recipe caters to the trang chủ cook & yields immense reward for very little effort. While using a saute pan on an electric stove offers significantly fewer BTUs, the results were most satisfactory. We’ll be making this recipe again and again.

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1 50% to 2 pounds beef tenderloin (filet mignon), trimmed of excess fat & cut into 1-inch cubes2 tablespoons chopped garlic2 tablespoons sugarSalt & pepper5 tablespoons neutral oil, lượt thích corn or canola1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar1/4 cup rice or white wine3 tablespoons soy sauce1 tablespoon fish sauce1 red onion, peeled và sliced thin3 scallions, trimmed and cut in 1-inch lengths2 tablespoons butter2 bunches watercress, washed và dried, or 1 head red leaf lettuce, washed, dried and separated into leaves2 limes, cut into wedges


Marinate meat with garlic, half the sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper & 1 tablespoon oil for about 2 hours at room temperature. (Refrigerate if your kitchen is very warm.)

Meanwhile, combine vinegar, remaining sugar, wine, soy sauce & fish sauce. Taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Phối about 1 tablespoon salt & 1 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.


Divide the meat into 2 portions, & do the same with the onion and scallions. Put a wok or a large skillet over maximum heat, and địa chỉ cửa hàng about 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil smokes, địa chỉ cửa hàng the meat in one layer. Let it sit until a brown crust forms, và turn to lớn brown the other side. Browning should take less than 5 minutes.

Add half the onion & half the scallions, and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add about half the vinegar mixture, & shake pan khổng lồ release the beef, stirring if necessary. địa chỉ half the butter, & shake pan until butter melts. Remove meat, & repeat.


Serve beef over watercress or lettuce leaves, passing salt and pepper mixture và lime wedges at the table.