Food For Four

Bo Luc Lac – Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Posted on | January 16, 2013 | Asian Recipes, Vietnamese Recipes | 1 Comment

Bo Luc Lac

My husband always laugh every time I refer to this dish as “shaking beef”. But that is the direct translation of bò lúc lắc to English; it refers to the action of shaking the wok when searing the beef cubes to keep the meat rare and moist.

Funny name aside, this dish is very popular and is on the menu of every Vietnamese restaurant. It is simply delicious and very easy to make. I don’t like chewy meat so went for a more expensive cut of beef eye fillet. I love the asian peppery marinade of this dish. Serve the juicy and tender beef cubes on a bed of watercrest or lettuce and tomatoes. We also like to serve this with a side of lemon and pepper dipping sauce. Complete the dish with a bowl of plain white rice or red tomato rice.

Bo Luc Lac

Bò Lúc Lắc – Vietnamese Shaking Beef Recipe



500g beef eye fillet, cut into 2 cm cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1.5 teaspoons sugar

Lemon dressing

juice of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

lettuce, to serve
2 tomatoes, sliced, to serve
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced, to serve


In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, fish sauce, dark soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar and black pepper and mix well. Add the beef cubes ensure that all the beef is coated the with marinade. Set aside to marinade 30 minutes or more.

Before cooking the meat, prepare the lettuce and tomato on a large serving plate.

Prepare the lemon dressing by combining the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir unti salt dissolved.

Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high heat until nearly smoking, add a layer of beef (do in batches if necessary) to sear for about 1 – 2 minutes. Then turn the beef to the opposite side and sear for another 1 – 2 minutes. Then shake the beef to sear the other sides. The meat is best served medium rare, to test the meat by pressing and it should have a bounce (or try one because it will be hard to resist).

Place cooked beef on top of the plate of lettuce and tomatoes. Garnish with red onion slices and spoon some lemon and pepper sauce. Serve with white rice or red tomato rice.

Bo Luc Lac - Vietnamese Shaking Beef

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One Response to “Bo Luc Lac – Vietnamese Shaking Beef”

  1. Lan
    March 13th, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

    So glad I came across your website! There are quite a few blogs that write about Vietnamese food but you’re the first I’ve come across who’s a fellow Aussie!

    This recipe is fantastic! I tried it today and it’s delicious! Just like the restaurant.

    I’m excited to try more… particularly the goi cuon chay!

    Thanks for the great recipes and hope you continue to write more Vietnamese dishes!

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