Shaking Beef Recipe: The Ultimate Guide to a Vietnamese Delight

Shaking beef recipe, known as bò lúc lắc in Vietnamese, is a dish that captivates the taste buds with its unique combination of tender beef ...

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Calvin Lamb

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shaking beef recipe

Shaking beef recipe, known as bò lúc lắc in Vietnamese, is a dish that captivates the taste buds with its unique combination of tender beef cubes and vibrant vegetables, all coated in a savory sauce. This Vietnamese dish is perfect for various occasions, from family dinners to special gatherings. In my experience, the key to a great shaking beef recipe is using high-quality ingredients and the right cooking techniques to ensure the beef is tender and flavorful.

Choosing the Right Main Ingredient

The foundation of a successful shaking beef recipe lies in selecting the right cut of beef. For the best results, opt for tender cuts like tenderloin, rib-eye, top sirloin, or tri-tip. These cuts offer a balance of tenderness and beefy flavor that is essential for this dish. When choosing your beef, look for pieces with good marbling, as this will enhance the flavor and juiciness of the cooked meat.

Seasoning: The Secret to Flavorful Shaking Beef

Seasoning is crucial to achieving the delicious, savory taste of shaking beef. Here are some key ingredients to consider:

  • Soy Sauce: Adds a rich, umami flavor to the beef.
  • Fish Sauce: Provides a distinctive, slightly salty taste that complements the beef.
  • Garlic: Infuses the dish with a fragrant aroma.
  • Oyster Sauce: Contributes a deep, savory note.
  • Dark Soy Sauce: Enhances the color and adds depth to the flavor profile.

Marinating the beef with these ingredients for at least 30 minutes allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful dish.

Recommended Cooking Equipment

To achieve the best results, having the right cooking equipment is essential. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Wok: A wok is ideal for stir-frying the beef quickly over high heat, which helps to sear the meat and lock in its juices.
  • Tongs: Use tongs to handle the beef cubes and ensure even cooking.
  • Cutting Board and Knife: For preparing the beef and vegetables.
  • Mixing Bowl: For marinating the beef.
  • Measuring Spoons: To measure out the ingredients accurately.

How to Use Equipment Effectively

Using a Wok:

  1. Preheat the Wok: Ensure your wok is hot before adding the cooking oil. This step is crucial for searing the beef and achieving a nice crust.
  2. Add Oil: Use a high smoke point oil like canola or vegetable oil. Swirl the oil to coat the wok evenly.
  3. Stir-Fry the Beef: Add the marinated beef cubes in a single layer. Let them sear for about 1-2 minutes without stirring to develop a crust. Then, stir-fry quickly, ensuring all sides are evenly cooked.

Using Tongs:

  1. Handle with Care: Use tongs to turn the beef cubes gently, ensuring they don’t tear and lose their juices.
  2. Even Cooking: Turn the beef cubes frequently to ensure even cooking on all sides.

Cutting and Marinating:

  1. Cutting Board and Knife: Use a sharp knife to cut the beef into uniform cubes for even cooking.
  2. Mixing Bowl: Combine the beef cubes and marinade ingredients in the bowl. Mix well to ensure the beef is evenly coated.

With these tools and tips, you’ll be well-equipped to prepare a delicious shaking beef dish.

Comprehensive Shaking Beef Recipe

Yield: 4

Shaking Beef Recipe

shaking beef recipe

Shaking Beef Recipe: This dish holds a special place in my heart. The tender beef cubes, combined with the vibrant vegetables and savory sauce, create an unforgettable culinary experience. Perfect for family dinners or special gatherings, this recipe embodies the rich flavors and textures of Vietnamese cuisine, making it a true delight to prepare and enjoy.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


Beef Marinade:

  • 1 lb tenderloin, rib-eye, top sirloin, or tri-tip, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil


  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pickled Red Onion:

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Butter lettuce, arugula, or watercress
  • Cooked rice or baguette slices


Marinate the Beef:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and minced garlic.
  • Add the beef cubes and toss to coat evenly.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare Pickled Red Onion:

  • In a small bowl, mix vinegar, water, sugar, and salt until the sugar and salt dissolve.
  • Add the sliced red onion and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

Stir-Fry the Beef:

  • Preheat a wok over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the marinated beef cubes in a single layer.
  • Let them sear for 1-2 minutes without stirring, then stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until the beef is browned but still tender.
  • Remove the beef from the wok and set aside.

Cook the Vegetables:

  • In the same wok, add 1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt.
  • Add the red onion wedges and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Return the beef to the wok, add the remaining tablespoon of butter, and stir everything together for another minute.


  • Arrange the butter lettuce, arugula, or watercress on a serving platter.
  • Top with the beef and vegetable mixture.
  • Garnish with pickled red onions and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Serve with cooked rice or baguette slices on the side.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:Calories: 478Total Fat: 29gCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 22g

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Serving Suggestions and Suitable Side Dishes

Shaking beef is traditionally served with a fresh green salad made from butter lettuce, arugula, or watercress. This salad helps balance the rich and savory flavors of the beef with its refreshing and slightly bitter taste. Additionally, a side of steamed jasmine rice or crispy baguette slices complements the dish perfectly, soaking up the delicious sauce.

For a more complete meal, consider serving shaking beef with these side dishes:

  • Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables: A mix of pickled carrots, daikon radish, and cucumbers.
  • Spring Rolls: Fresh or fried spring rolls with a dipping sauce.
  • Soup: A light Vietnamese soup like canh chua (sour soup) can provide a nice contrast to the rich beef dish.

Cooking Tips and Common Mistakes to Avoid

Cooking Tips:

  • High Heat: Ensure your wok is hot before adding the beef. High heat helps to sear the beef quickly, locking in its juices.
  • Quick Stir-Fry: Do not overcook the beef. Stir-fry quickly to maintain its tenderness.
  • Rest the Beef: Let the cooked beef rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain its juices.

Common Mistakes:

  • Overcrowding the Wok: Avoid overcrowding the wok as it can lower the temperature and result in steaming rather than searing the beef.
  • Not Marinating Long Enough: Ensure the beef marinates for at least 30 minutes to absorb all the flavors.
  • Using Low Heat: Using low heat can cause the beef to release its juices and become tough.


Shaking beef is a delightful Vietnamese dish that combines tender beef cubes with vibrant vegetables and a savory sauce. Perfect for various occasions, this dish is sure to impress your family and friends. By following this recipe and the tips provided, you’ll be able to create a delicious and authentic shaking beef dish that captures the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.

Remember to marinate your beef, use high heat for searing, and pair the dish with fresh salad greens and pickled onions for the best experience. Happy cooking!

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