Bo luc lac

Some dishes are so easy and delicious you wonder why you don’t make it all the time. Bò lúc lắc, or shaking beef, is one of them. Whenever I eat this dish, I think of my dad making it for me and my sister when we were younger. It was usually made with sauteed onions and over easy eggs for a late breakfast or lunch.

The dish gets its name from the motion you make with the wok or skillet while the beef is cooking…shaking it. The names of Vietnamese dishes aren’t rocket science, but they’re pretty damned descriptive.

This recipe is pretty legit. I’ve been rating the success of my dishes by how close they are to my family’s cooking and this recipe is spot on. The only difference is that this recipe has the more traditional pickled onions, whereas my dad always made it with sauteed onions. For my dish, I went with the best of both worlds: pickled some red onions and caramelized yellow onions.

I made the bo luc lac for a group of four at my friend’s place before we watched an episode of Game of Thrones. We ate to Joffrey’s early death, but it didn’t happen this time, unfortunately. By the time we dug into it, the heat from the beef had perfectly wilted the bed of watercress. Add the lime sauce to it and you’re a happy clam. The tomatoes make this dish kinda healthy, or as healthy as pan-seared beef can be.

Tip for getting a perfect brown sear on the beef (which I kinda didn’t get on my dish): make sure the heat is high and the oil is just starting to smoke before you add the beef. And when you do, make sure that the beef is in one layer and doesn’t pile up so every piece is touching the pan.

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