Shaking Beef

How I love this Vietnamese-inspired recipe, the comforting combination of sweet, sour, and tangy all rolled into one!

BÒ LÚC LẮC translates into ‘shaking beef’. Technically speaking, shaking beef came about by how the beef is cooked-shaking the wok during the searing process until the beef is evenly cooked.

This recipe is an inspiration from Christina Ha’s cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen.


For the meat:

• 2 lbs beef* cut into 1″- 1 1/2” cubes


• 2 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar

• 1 tbsp. fish sauce

• 1 tbsp. sesame oil

• 1 tsp. soy sauce

Pickled dressing:

• 1/4 c. rice vinegar

• 1.5 tbsp. sugar

• 1/2 tbsp. salt

• 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

Dipping sauce:

• 1 lemon, juiced

• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


• 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

• Salad bunch i.e., iceberg lettuce

*The best cuts of beef for stewing, yielding meat that’s juicy and tender even after long cooking:

*Chuck, Bone-in short rib, Bohemian (Bottom Sirloin Flap), Fatty brisket (“point” or “second cut”), Cross-cut shanks

Recipe Preparation:

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl (or Ziploc bag). Add in the meat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

2. Next, combine the ingredients for the pickled dressing and set aside.

3. Heat a wok over high heat (I like to add a tad of sesame oil to enhance the flavor). Add 1/2 the onion slices and 1/2 of the meat, then sear for about 2 minutes. Shake the wok to sear all sides of the meat for another 2 minutes. You want to see an even sear all around.

4. Also, prepare the dipping sauce and set aside.

5. To serve, combine plating ingredients in a serving platter topped with the beef.

Enjoy with steamed white rice alongside the dipping sauce and pickled dressing.