I have a personal story related to this dish through being brought up by my very old fashioned Western European parents. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area surrounded by a bounty of great food both through local grocery store offerings and restaurants of food from around the world. San Francisco is home to a popular Vietnamese restaurant known for their Shaking Beef dish, correctly known as Bo Luc Lac. This is a deep, dark, rich beef perfumed dish.
A few years ago we finally made the trek to try this dish. It arrived to our table in a steaming loud sizzling presentation dish. To make shock, this dish was chunks of seared beef served on a bed of fresh watercress salad. Wha? Huh? I have been eating beef steak with watercress since I was old enough to eat adult food. This is a French inspired dish obviously developed during the French occupation of Vietnam. So when I hear someone refer to Vietnamese Shaking Beef, I quietly smile inside.
TALL Blonde's recipe below uses fresh arugula salad for ease of supply and makes a great compliment to the seared beef.
1 lb. sirloin cut into 1/4-inch strips
MARINADE - Make two separate batches
2 Tbl. fish sauce
1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbl. soy sauce
1 tea. dark brown sugar
1 Tbl. olive oil (just enough to lightly coat beef strips)
T Tbl. butter
1 red onion, sliced in 1/2-inch slivers
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup water
1/2 tea. corn starch
4 cups fresh arugula
1 whole lime, juiced
1/2 tea. fresh cracked black pepper
Fresh mint leaves - serve sprinkled on top
Fresh Asian basin leaves - serve sprinkled on top
Make marinade of fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and dark brown sugar in a large mixing bowl, add thin strips of beef and coat with marinade. Leave in bowl for 30 minutes up to 2 hours.
Remove beef from any marinade pooling at the bottom of the bowl, lightly coat in olive oil.
Heat a non-stick pan to medium high heat and add 1/3 beef strips in a single layer not crowding the pan. Sear on one side until it has a good dark sear, turn one and move to a plate to keep in a warm oven. Do this searing method 2 more time with remaining beef.
Make second batch of marinade and add Glaze ingredients of fresh garlic, water and corn starch.
In the same pan as the beef on medium high heat, add butter and sliced red onions to the brown bits in the sauce pan. Stir for two minutes. Add the second batch of updated marinade and stir until a glaze is created, about 1 minute.
Add beef back into onion mix. Lightly dress arugula in lime juice and black pepper. Layer a bed of dressed arugula on serving plate adding warm beef on top.