Perfectly seared cubed beef and sautéed vegetables come together in a deeply savory sauce to make this delightfully bo luc lac (or Vietnamese shaking beef). It’s quick, easy, and so much better than takeout. Prepare your taste buds for a treat.
The sizzle of the pan and the smell of something deeply savory and heartwarming. Yep. That’s bo luc lac. It is one of my favorite Vietnamese dishes and one that I am sure you will love.
This popular, French-inspired Vietnamese entree is comprised of cubed beef that has been marinated in a savory, slightly sweet sauce and then seared on all sides in a flaming hot pan. Bell peppers and onions are then sauteed until soft and combined with the beef and the remaining sauce. The result is a flavorful, protein-packed dish that will squash all of your takeout cravings. Did I mention it’s super easy to make and only takes about 30 minutes of active time? What are you waiting for?
Why You’ll Love This Bo Luc Lac Recipe
This popular Vietnamese dish has so much to love about it. Allow me to share some of my favorite things about shaking beef:
- Quick and easy. Just a quick marinade and a flash in the pan is all it takes. With only 15 minutes of prep time and 15 minutes in the pan, you’ll be ready to sit down and enjoy this delicious Vietnamese shaking beef in no time.
- Full of flavor. This simple entree really packs a punch of flavor. It is deeply savory and ever so slightly sweet. You’ll be coming back for seconds, no doubt about it.
- So much better (and better for you) than takeout. I will be the first to admit that sometimes Asian takeout sounds like the best thing in the world. This bo luc lac will satisfy that ich without introducing the less-than-healthy added ingredients often found in takeout. Plus you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you made a masterpiece all on your own.
Why is it Called Shaking Beef?
Bu luc loc is nicknamed shaking beef because of the fact that it requires the chef to shake the wok (or pan) quite a bit during the cooking process. This shaking keeps the beef moving, allowing all sides of every cube to brown perfectly.
It really doesn’t take much to make this traditional bo luc lac. Just a few ingredients for the marinate, quality beef, some veggies, and a bit of butter. Here is a list of the necessary ingredients. Scroll to the recipe below for details on measurements, etc.
For the marinade
- Oyster sauce
- Low-sodium soy sauce – Feel free to use coconut aminos if you are avoiding gluten.
- Fish sauce
- Vegetable oil
- Granulated sugar – You could use a bit of honey or coconut sugar instead if you would like.
- Ground black pepper
- Ribeye or chuck roast – Cubed. You can buy the beef cubed, ask your butcher to do it for you, or cube the beef yourself.
- Bell peppers
- Red onion
How to Make Bo Luc Lac
This recipe is so quick and easy to throw together. That’s one of the things I love about it. Here’s a quick rundown on how to make Vietnamese shaking beef. Scroll to the recipe below for more detailed instructions.
- Make the marinade. Combine the beef and the ingredients for the marinade and mix to coat the beef in the sauce.
- Marinade. Allow the beef to marinade in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Sear the beef. Transfer the beef to a screaming hot skillet. Shake the skillet repeatedly until the beef is seared on all sides.
- Cook the veggies. Remove the beef from the skillet and set aside. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook until tender.
- Finish it off. Return the beef to the pan and add the butter. Cook until the butter is half melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until the butter has melted completely.
Tips & Variation Ideas
As with any recipe, I have some tips and tricks that will take your bo luc lac from good to great. Here they come.
- Use the right pan. It is important to use a skillet that holds heat well and distributes it evenly. You want the pan to be screaming hot throughout in order to properly sear the beef. I suggest using a wok, but a cast iron or any large, heavy-bottomed skillet will do just fine.
- Don’t crowd the pan. When browning the beef, make sure each piece has a little bit of room to breathe. If the cubes are too close to one another, they will not sear properly. In addition to not browning, the beef will release its moisture, stick to the pan, and toughen. No good. If you find your pan crowded, remove some of the beef and brown in batches.
- Keep it moving. This dish gets its nickname from the constant shaking of the pan required to sear all sides of every cube of beef. So get your arm working and shake, shake, shake.
- Consider a fun variation. I have been loving adding extra veggies to my Vietnamese shaking beef. Mushroom and string have been my favorites. You can also take this dish to the next level by adding a bit of your favorite hot sauce. Yum!
What Goes with Shaking Beef?
Traditionally, shaking beef is served over fresh watercress and/or with steamed white rice. That being said there are plenty of other tasty sides to serve with this Vietnamese favorite. Here are some of my favorites.
- Cold Garlic and Soy Green Beans
- Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad
- Ridiculously Amazing Asian Ramen Salad
- Chinese Cabbage Stir Fry
- Kimchi Fried Rice
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Fridge: Bo luc lac makes for great leftovers. Allow the dish to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- If you wish to freeze the dish: Follow the instructions above except, instead of storing it in the refrigerator, store it in the freezer. Allow the leftovers to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
- To reheat: When you are ready to enjoy, heat a bit of oil in a pan and saute over medium-high heat until warm.
More Asian Recipes to Try
If bo luc lac doesn’t sound quite right for your today (or if you love it and want more, similar entree ideas), consider trying one of these wonderful Asian recipes instead.
- Katsu Chicken Curry
- Beijing Beef Panda Express Copycat
- Orange Beef and Broccoli
- Black Pepper Tofu
- Orange Chicken
More Beef Recipes to Try
Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 ½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds (907 g) ribeye or chuck roast, 1 inch cubed
- 3 medium bell peppers, cut into cubes (green, red, orange)
- 1 small red onion, cut into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons (28 g) butter
- Combine all ingredients for marinade in a large plastic bag or large bowl. Mix with your hands or spatula to make sure all beef is coated. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Remove beef from marinade and place into a large skillet that is screaming hot. You may have to do this in batches as you want a nice, good sear on the beef and not steam it.
- Once all beef is seared, set on plate and add the onions and bell peppers to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes until tender.
- Add beef back in along with the butter. Cook until butter is halfway melted then remove skillet from heat and continue mixing/stirring until butter is all the way melted.
- Serve with side of white rice.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.