Some Vietnamese foods have been poorly translated into English, and thit bo luc lac is one of them. Not completely lost in translation, the “luc lac” is merely a description for the “shaking” or tossing of the beef back and forth in the wok after it’s quickly seared. It’s a widely popular Vietnamese dish and as such, has many variations on how it’s served
Some restaurants serve it with sautéed onions, lettuce, and rice (white or tomato paste rice) while others may present it more like a steak salad served on a bed of watercress and tomatoes, topped with pickled onions. Dipping sauces might vary from a lime/salt/pepper sauce to a soy chili sauce…
Regardless of how you serve bo luc lac, it’s an easy and fantastic dish to make for a dinner for two or a party of ten. You can use any cut of steak you like such as filet or ribeye, but we prefer sirloin.
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
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
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.
Beef should be medium rare and test the meat by touch and sight–it will plump up slightly and be bouncy to the touch with a spatula.