We ordered takeaway from our local Vietnamese restaurant last weekend and I decided to try something different - Com Bo Luc Lac, which I later found out means Shaking Beef with Rice. It's called shaking beef because you shake the pan to toss the beef when cooking it. The dish was actually meant for the kids as both G and I decided to have Indian for dinner, and the kids have not developed their tastebuds for spicy food. The Com Bo Luc Lac looked delicious, even in its styrofoam container - cubes of charred beef covered with black pepper in a pool of syrupy black sauce, served with steamed white rice. It was so good, especially with that sauce, that I made up my mind to attempt making it this week.
So I googled for recipes and found the perfect one by Luke Nguyen. I tweaked the recipe slightly and added some dark soy and Maggi seasoning, for colour and extra flavour. The beef has to be cooked on high heat to sear it properly, while leaving the inside medium rare, tender and moist. I will definitely be cooking this for dinner more often!
Bo Luc Lac Recipe
500g scotch fillet / sirloin / ribeye, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 onion, cut into wedges, then halved
1/2 red capsicum, cut into 1 inch squares
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp black pepper
Marinade (combine in a bowl):
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp Maggi seasoning
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp hot water
1/2 tbsp dark soy / thick caramel
Combine beef with marinade in a bowl and leave for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
Heat up 1/2 tbsp oil in a wok/pan on high heat. Add half the beef and briefly sear on all sides until browned. Don't overcook the beef. It should be medium rare. Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat with the other portion of the beef. Reserve the marinade in the bowl.
To the wok, add the garlic, onion and capsicum. Fry on high heat for 1-2 minutes. Then, take the reserved marinade and add it to the wok with 1 tbsp water, the butter and black pepper. Add salt to taste if desired. Bring to a simmer and toss in the beef, coating it with the sauce for 10 seconds. When ready, transfer to a serving plate and serve hot with steamed jasmine rice.