This recipe will teach you how to make bo luc lac. This is also known as Vietnamese shaking beef. The beef doesn’t shake or quiver when it’s on your plate. The shaking happens while you’re cooking it in the wok.
Combine one and a half tablespoons of fresh limejuice with a tablespoon each of fish sauce and sugar. Add half a chopped Serrano chili and set aside. Combine one tablespoon each of oyster sauce and soy sauce with the beef. You want two-thirds of a pound of sirloin or flank steak cut into half-inch cubes. In a wok or large skillet heat three tablespoons of vegetable oil over high heat. Add two minced garlic cloves and let sizzle for just a few seconds.
Then add the beef and stir-fry quickly, about two to three minutes, until the cubes are just charred on the edges. Add the beef cubes to the limejuice bowl. Add in a half-cup of chopped Thai basil and a quarter cup of thinly sliced red onion. Arrange three cups of watercress on a plate with thin slices of fresh tomato. You want the watercress to be fresh, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces. Pour the beef and its juices on top and serve. You can serve it with a hunk of warm baguette to soak up the juices if you like.
Alternately, you can serve the beef without the watercress. In that case, serve it with a dish of muoi tieu chanh dipping sauce. You can just put out the ingredients and let the diners assemble the sauce according to their own tastes. First, but two parts kosher salt to one part white pepper in a small dish. Add a squeeze of lime or, in a pinch, Meyer lemon. If you want, you can also add in some thin slices of Serrano chili. Dip pieces of the beef into the sauce before popping it into your mouth.