Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

Beef lovers, this one’s for you! Intensely beefy and full of flavour, this dish looks super premium but it is so easy and quick to put together that you can easily have this on a weeknight! A classic Vietnamese dish that really highlights the flavour and texture of beef, so make sure you use a cut that is flavourful and tender. Rule of thumb for choosing the right cut for this is to choose whatever cut you like to have as a steak. Essentially, these are little steak cubes!

I’m using tomatoes to provide some colour and acidity, but you can do red or orange bell pepper as well. If you prefer the vegetables more cooked, cook the vegetables first, remove, and then add it back in when the steak it done.

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Shaking beef

Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac)

  • Author: Pailin Chongchitnant
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 250g steak, cut into 3/4” cubes (see note)
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp black soy sauce (or sub dark soy sauce and reduce soy sauce amount slightly)
  • 1 big clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • A handful cherry tomatoes, pierced with a knife, or julienned bell peppers.
  • Pickled red onion or another pickle of your choice, optional (see recipe below) 
  • Some salad greens for serving, optional


  • Steak options: Use whatever cut of beef you would want as a big piece of steak. Something tender, preferably. I’m using ribeye, but tenderloin (super tender, more expensive) or striploin (less tender, less expensive) are also good choices. 


  • If you prefer the tomatoes or peppers more well-cooked, saute them first, remove from pan, and then add it back just to toss in when the steak it done.
  • Remove the beef from the pan promptly after turning off the heat so they don’t continue to cook in the hot pan.
  • If you like the meat quite rare, cut the beef bigger so it gives you more time to cook the outside.

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools I Use


To make pickled onion: Thinly slice a red onion so you have about 1 cup loosely packed, place into a thick glass jar with a lid.  In a small pot, combine 1/2 cup vinegar (you can use white or rice vinegar), 2 tsp sugar and ¼ tsp salt (you can add more sugar if you like a sweet pickle). Bring to a boil, then pour the hot vinegar over the onion until it is completely submerged (you may need to push the onion down a bit). Close the lid and let it sit at room temp until cool. Store in the fridge.

For the Shaking Beef:

In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, black pepper, and grated garlic. Toss to mix well and marinade for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice in between. 

Once the beef is done marinating, add a little cooking oil and toss to coat.

Heat a wok or a large skillet over medium high heat until very hot, add just a little bit of oil, then place the beef cubes down in one layer on the wok/pan so that they are not touching each other. Let sear without moving the beef until the bottom side has browned well (with a hot pan it should only take 30 seconds to 1 minute), once it is browned, shake the pan to release the beef cubes and toss them so that the beef flips to the other side. If there are unflipped pieces, you can go in and individually flip them with tongs.

Add the tomatoes and scatter them around them pan and let sear for another 20 seconds or so. Shake the pan again to get the tomatoes mixed with the beef. Keep cooking the beef until desired doneness. If you like the beef still pink, you can remove the beef within a minute of adding the tomatoes, otherwise keep cooking and occasionally tossing until done to your liking. Remove from the pan immediately.

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