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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shaking Beef - Bo Luc Lac

bo luc lac

it's amazing how more involved i've become in thinking about the nourishment of my body - what i put into my body is important to me now more than ever. i am mindful of the ingredients that i use, not only the measurement amounts (ok, fine, a general idea of the amounts!) but also, where the ingredients came from. it's not enough that they're local & organic, but how were they cultivated? by whom? and as a meat-eater, how were the animals treated, what were they fed and how were they slaughtered? these are questions that i think about now when i hit up the grocery stores. these are questions that dw wonders as he's researching farmers stands at the local farmers' markets.

i'm hosting this month's Delicious Vietnam event, so i made bo luc lac, shaking beef stir fry, for our dinner. the beef is a top roast cut, grass-fed and expensive as hell. but dw & i don't eat meat much, so when we do, it had better be good. the top roast was intended for another dish with garlic scape but that was nixed in favor of this wonderful treat that i rarely had as a child & sometimes indulge in when at fancy schmancy viet restaurants. typically this is served over a bed of watercress, with tomatoes & vinergary onions. using what we had grabbed at the local markets, i served this with luscious ripe avocados, thinly sliced english cucumbers, on a bed of purslane & lettuce leaves. it was delicious but i was most happy that dw devoured it. because we talked about our respective childhood dinners, what appeared on our dinner tables, and how it's come full circle to what appears on our dinner table now.

Grandma's Bo Luc Lac

3 ingredients, 2 steps:
beef, preferably fillet mignon (and of course, grass fed) but seriously, any cut, cubed
minced garlic, at your discretion
oyster sauce, enough to cover the meat

whatever greens, nice with watercress for the peppery bite but purslane & lettuce leaves were fine
sliced avocado & cukes
sliced vinegary onions (wc has a recipe for this)

to cook:
veggie oil

honestly, when i spoke with grandma about this, she told me to beat the meat (HAHAHA. i am so immature. sorry about that) to tenderize it. and to marinade it for at least 2 hours. no frills, no sugar, salt, fish sauce or soy sauce. (dw came home during his lunch break to beat the meat {snicker} to allow it to marinate for the rest of the afternoon)

frying it up was scary. dw & i were standing there watching the oil heat up & then we moved quickly, two grown people cooking up this beef. you just have to move quickly, dodge oil splatters & ensure you get good caramelization on the meat.

serve atop the salad, maybe drizzle a simple vinaigrette over top & eat with a bowl of rice.

Wandering Chopsticks has a more complete ingredient list & method that you can refer to, in case gma's recipe isn't complete enough.

Delicious Vietnam was created by A Food Lover's Journey and Ravenous Couple. The August Edition will be hosted by ChiAnh of Door to my Kitchen.


  1. That Bo Luc Lac looks good enough to justify a kitchen full of oil splatters.

  2. The image of you two standing nervously over a pan of frying beef is funny/touching -- you took so much care in creating this dish, and in sourcing your ingredients, it's like watching the final lap of a race when it all comes together in the pot or on the plate. Anything could happen!

    Glad you wound up with something delicious -- I was on the edge of my seat there for a minute.

  3. Hey Chi,
    I love bo luc lac! Also, funny you write about wanting to know where your food came from and how the animals are treated...I recently watched Food, Inc...on July 4rth...ya know bbq time..yeah bad timing to watch it but it did make me more mindful of where my food actually comes from. Anyways hope it was delicious! The pics are to die for! :)


  4. sounds amazing..cant wait to give it a try..
    first time your space..
    awesome recipe collection..
    Am your happy subscriber now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  5. Another crazily simple recipe that looks like it tastes as if you were slaving over it for hours - the best kind of dish! Very yummy indeed :)

  6. Bo Luc lac is such a nice dish. I have never attempted to make it at home you know? Yours looks wonderful!

  7. wendi, oil splatters & splatter wounds. worth it. seriously.

    meister, it was quite hilarious. we were both like: you go for it. no you do it! no i insist, YOU DO IT.

    casie, i watched Food Inc a few weeks ago and what an eye opener!!

    jay, thanks & welcome.

    The Procrastobaker, i find the best dishes are the ones that are super simple to create but look like it took HOURS to put together. it's a win situation for me all around.

    anh, you should. it's by far easier than i ever thought it would be!

  8. Wow, this looks incredible! I'm not a big oyster and fish sauce fan, but surely this will change all that. YUM.

  9. @joanna, maybe in small doses you could get a taste for it? either ingredient can be quite overwhelming!