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 sauteed 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.
Beef Sirloin : 1.5 lbs (or any cut you like) cut into 1″ cubes
Garlic : 2 tablespoon minced
Sugar : 1.5 tablespoon
Oyster Sauce : 2 tablespoon
Fish Sauce : 1 tablespoon
Sesame Oil : 1 tablespoon
Thick Soy Sauce : 1 teaspoon
Rice Vinegar : 1/2 cup
Sugar : 1.5 tablespoon
Salt : 1/2 tablespoon
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher Salt : 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh Cracked Pepper : 1/2 teaspoon
Red Onion : 1 thinly sliced
Bunches of Watercress : 2 long stems trimmed
Tomatoes : 2 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 hours. 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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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.
Note: We like our beef medium rare and test the meat by touch and sight–it will plump up slightly and be bouncy to the touch with a spatula.