Shaking Beef


Chef Way Charles Phan of the Slanted Door in San Francisco serves this sweet and vinegary Vietnamese dish with a tart dipping sauce of lime juice, salt and pepper. Easy Way Serve the beef with fresh lime wedges instead of a dipping sauce. Chef Coverage from F&W Editors

Shaking Beef
Photo: © Quentin Bacon
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins


  • 1 pound filet mignon, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon rice wine (optional)

  • 6 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • Watercress and lime, for serving


  1. In a bowl, toss the meat with 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar, 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar with the soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar and rice wine, if using.

  3. Heat a large skillet until very hot. Add the remaining 1/3 cup of oil and heat until smoking. Add the meat and cook over high heat undisturbed for 1 minute, until browned. Turn the meat and cook for 1 minute longer. Tilt the skillet and spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Scatter the scallions, onion and garlic over the meat and cook for 30 seconds. Stir the soy mixture and add it to the pan, shaking to coat the meat; bring to a boil. Add the butter and shake the pan until melted.

  4. Line a platter with watercress and pour the shaking beef and vegetables on top. Serve with lime wedges.

Suggested Pairing

Bright, juicy Beaujolais.

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