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Easy Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

by Lily
Published: Last Updated: 459 views
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5 from 2 votes

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Marinated, chunky beef cubes are pan-seared to medium-rare and then cooked with butter, garlic, onion, and leftover marinade. A one-pan dish you can cook in under an hour. Served with a side of lime dipping sauce, rice or a salad, sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Why is it called shaking beef? My imagination automatically wanders to a cartoon scene of a cow shaking a hula hoop! In reality, shaking beef is also known as ‘shaken beef’;  = beef and Lúc Lắc = shaken or shaking. It is just a way Vietnamese people use to describe the Wok’s back and forth shaking motion while the meat is cooked. Creative name, I know. This recipe is a modified version of the shaking beef skewers recipe I wrote in my eBook Skewers 12 ways.

Bò Lúc Lắc is a typical appetizer you can enjoy with a cold beer in Vietnam. In North America, you can order this dish at many Vietnamese restaurants, served as a meal. Traditionally, it is served over a bed of watercress with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Since watercress is not a common vegetable you can easily find, a spring mix salad in its place is ok too. The citrus in the lime dipping sauce cuts through the fatty beef flavour and makes an excellent side addition. 

*Good To Know*

  • What cut of beef should I use?
    Filet Mignon is a cut that many restaurants serve but can be pricey to buy. You can purchase sirloin steak, rib-eye steak, boneless beef short ribs, or tri-tip (bottom sirloin) for budget-friendly beef cuts.
  • Do I need to use a Wok to cook this dish?
    If you already have one, then I would recommend it. If not, a non-stick pan works just as well. You will not need to shake the pan either. You can use a spatula to move the beef around instead.

Ingredients you will need

For the beef

  • sirloin steaks
  • unsalted butter
  • garlic
  • yellow or white onion
  • green onions (optional)

For the marinade

  • garlic
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • white sugar (or brown)
  • ground black pepper

For the dipping sauce

  • lime or lemon
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

To serve

  • watercress or spring mix salad
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced cucumber
  • rice

Trim beef and cut it into cubes

I like having a little fat on my steak pieces, but you can trim some (or all) of it off if there is an excess amount. Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes

Tip

  • Adjust your cooking time if you decide to cut the meat into bigger cubes for preferred doneness.

Marinate the beef cubes for 30 minutes

Add minced garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and ground black pepper to the beef cubes in a large bowl and mix to combine everything. Cover with plastic wrap and let the meat marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Marinating beef at room temperature ensures even cooking.

How to cook shaking beef

Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-high heat and add beef cubes in a single layer without overcrowding the pan. Place beef with the fat side face-down first to render it. Sear beef 1 – 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. It is the best way to enjoy it if you ask me. Cook the meat longer if you prefer a medium or well-done texture. Cut one of the beef cubes in half to check if it is cooked to your liking. After all of it is seared, set meat aside on a plate.

Keep the heat on medium-high; add unsalted butter to the pan along with minced garlic and sliced onion. Fry garlic and onion for 2 minutes, then pour in leftover marinade. Mix and cook another 2 minutes until the onions have softened slightly then reduce heat to medium. You can also add in scallions (the stem part of green onions) if you like. Add seared beef back into the pan and mix it with the sauce until well coated.

You can serve shaking beef with rice along with a watercress or spring mix salad, sliced cucumbers, and tomatoes. Keep it simple with just cucumbers and tomatoes. You can mix the salad with a light dressing such as a dash of seasoned rice vinegar. Don’t forget your lime dipping sauce to counterbalance the flavour in the beef. Enjoy!

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Easy Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)

Marinated, chunky beef cubes are pan-seared to medium-rare and then cooked with butter, garlic, onion, and leftover marinade. A one-pan dish you can cook in under an hour. Served with a side of lime dipping sauce, rice or a salad, sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 3 people

Ingredients

For the beef

  • 2 pounds (907 g) sirloin steaks (*see notes), fat trimmed & cut into 1-inch cubes

For the marinade

  • 3 teaspoons (9 g) garlic (4 cloves, minced or pressed), or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (44 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fish sauce
  • Tablespoon (18 g) white sugar, or brown
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper

To cook the beef

  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 teaspoons (9 g) garlic (4 cloves, minced or pressed), or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 large (150 g) yellow or white onion, halved & cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 3 stalks (36 g) green onions (optional), use the white stems from green onions and save the leafs for use a later time

For the lime dipping sauce

  • 6 teaspoons (30 ml) lime juice (from 1 lime), or juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons (12 g) sea salt, or 1 teaspoon Table salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS 

  • Trim some or all of the fat around the edge of the beef. Cut beef into 1-inch cubes.
  • Add minced garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and ground black pepper to the beef cubes in a large bowl and mix to combine everything. Cover with plastic wrap and let the meat marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Marinating beef at room temperature ensures even cooking.
  • Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-high heat and add beef cubes in a single layer without overcrowding the pan. Place beef with the fat side face-down first to render it. Sear beef 1 – 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare doneness. Cook the meat longer for a few more minutes if you prefer a medium or well-done texture. Cut one of the beef cubes in half to check if it is cooked to your liking. Set cooked meat aside on a plate.
  • Add canola oil and unsalted butter to the pan along with minced garlic and sliced onion. Fry garlic and onion on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then pour in leftover marinade. Mix and cook another 2 minutes until the onions have softened slightly then reduce heat to medium.
  • Add seared beef back into the pan and scallions (the stem part of green onions) and mix it with the sauce for 3-5 minutes on medium heat until well coated.
  • Serve shaking beef with rice along with a watercress or spring mix salad, sliced cucumbers, and tomatoes. You can keep it simple with just cucumbers and tomatoes. Dress the salad with a light vinaigrette such as a dash of seasoned rice vinegar
  • Combine lime juice, salt, and ground black pepper for the dipping sauce. Lightly stir everything together since you want to keep the salt grains intact to dip.

Video

Category: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Keyword: beef, vietnamese

Tips

What cut of beef should I use?*
Filet Mignon is a cut that many restaurants serve but can be pricey to buy. You can purchase sirloin steak, rib-eye steak, boneless beef short ribs, or tri-tip (bottom sirloin) for budget-friendly beef cuts.
Do I need to use a Wok to cook this dish?
If you already have one, then I would recommend it. If not, a non-stick pan works just as well. You will not need to shake the pan either. You can use a spatula to move the beef around instead.
Your Own Digital Notes
Nutrition Facts
Easy Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bò Lúc Lắc)
Serving Size
 
1 serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
593
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
26
g
40
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
11
g
Cholesterol
 
205
mg
68
%
Sodium
 
3219
mg
140
%
Potassium
 
1230
mg
35
%
Carbohydrates
 
17
g
6
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
9
g
10
%
Protein
 
70
g
140
%
Vitamin A
 
360
IU
7
%
Vitamin C
 
9
mg
11
%
Calcium
 
132
mg
13
%
Iron
 
6
mg
33
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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1 comment

Vietnamese Shaking Beef – Bò Lúc Lắc – Daffodil Kitchen April 12, 2022 - 6:25 am

[…] 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 […]

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