Shaken Beef

I’ve watched hubby eaten Vietnamese shaken beef, but can’t seem to recall whether I’ve ordered them specifically at restaurants. Beef cooking is sort of a mystery to me, I am not big on eating bloody food, and always order my steak Medium Well (I know, what a waste of a good piece of meat!). Cooking beef at home and have it be tender while bloodless is almost an unattainable task, so today’s dish was a little nerve wrecking. MY Mama said most Asian chefs would dip their beef in very hot oil and drain right away, then toss the beef back in at the very end of the cooking process, that’s how they keep the meat tender. Well today’s recipe kind of holds the same principle, what do you know, the beef came out tender and packed with flavor, Yumm!

Beef Marinade
1.5 lbs beef sirloin (or any cut you like) cut into 1″ cubes
2 tbs minced garlic
1.5 tbs sugar
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 ts thick soy sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar
1.5 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs salt

Dipping Sauce (I skipped this, the flavor was very strong, didn’t think we need the extra sodium)
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 ts kosher salt
1/2 ts fresh cracked pepper

1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 bunches of watercress, long stems trimmed (I used some bean sprouts, not a big fan of watercress)
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Cooking oil for frying


Prepare marinade by combining garlic, oyster sauce, sugar, fish sauce, thick soy sauce and sesame oil with the beef for at least half an hour, preferably 1-2 hrs.
Prepare vinaigrette by mixing rice vinegar with salt and sugar. It should be a balance of sour, salty and sweet.

Thinly slice the red onion and use about 3-4 tbs of the vinaigrette to pickle and set aside covered in fridge for about 10 minutes. Prepare bed of watercress and tomatoes in a serving platter and set aside.

Heat a large wok or pan over high heat. Add about 2 tbs cooking oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef and allow to sear for about 2 minutes, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minute more to brown all the sides.  Do this in batches to cook all the beef if necessary.

Transfer beef to bed of watercress and tomatoes. Drizzle another 3-4 tbs of vinaigrette over the beef and greens and top with pickled red onions. Lastly, squeeze lime juice over salt and pepper in a small ramekin.

Adapted from Rasa Malaysia


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