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Thursday, August 21, 2008

vietnamese shaking beef

vietnamese shaking beef

One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco is The Slanted Door, a trendy Vietnamese place in the Ferry Building on Embarcadero (I go there for the food, not the trendiness - I've not been there once when the hostess hasn't acted like I should be grateful that they allow me in the door - but I digress). Recently, a friend introduced me to their "shaking beef", which is stir-fried filet mignon cubes with just the simplest of sauces to complement. Someone told me it's called "shaking" due to the way the cook has to shake the pan to quickly sear the meat in the pan. Like everything I've tried at TSD, it's amazing, but never in a million years did I think it's something I could attempt at home. That is, until I came across this full recipe for TSD's version of Shaking Beef on the SF Gourmet blog. I'll let you check out the original, and here I'll post my modified version. Please note that I did NOT use filet mignon, as I'm morally opposed to marinating any cut of meat that costs more than $20/pound. I substituted local ribeye at the suggestion of my butcher, and it was *amazing*.

Grocery list: 1.5 pounds steak, garlic, sugar, salt, canola oil, rice vinegar, rice wine, soy sauce (both light and dark if you have it, if not, just use what you have), fish sauce, lime, 1 bunch green onions, 1 bunch watercress, 1/2 red onion, butter, plus rice to serve.

shaking beef marinade

This is a very simple marinade: just a couple of chopped garlic cloves, 1 tsp sugar, 1.5 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp black pepper, all mixed into a couple of tablespoons canola oil.

marinating shaking beef

Chop your steak into 1-inch cubes, and swirl the meat around in the marinade to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I actually think it helps to take it out of the fridge for the last 20-30 minutes or so, to allow it to return to room temperature.

chopped onions for vietnamese shaking beef

Thinly slice half of a red onion, and chop the green onions. While the meat is resting on the counter, prepare the vinaigrette (which you'll add to the stir-frying meat and shake around, hence the name). Stir together 1/4 c rice vinegar, 1 T sugar, 1/4 c rice wine, 4 T light soy, 1 T dark soy, and 1 T fish sauce.

cooking vietnamese shaking beef

I don't own a wok, so I used a large nonstick skillet for this. With a wok, you have a smaller surface area on the bottom of the pan, so the original recipe says you should divide the meat and onions in half so you can cook it in 2 quick batches. I had room in my pan to do it all at once though. Heat 2 T canola oil over medium-high heat, then add the beef in a single layer. Don't stir it around for the first minute or 2 - you want it to develop a nice crust on the bottom. Flip all the meat cubes over quickly, and sear for another couple of minutes.

adding onions to shaking beef

Add the onions and stir everything around - cook for another 1-2 minutes (the meat should be medium rare, so be careful not to overcook). Pour the vinaigrette over and shake the pan. Add a pat or 2 of butter, shaking to coat. Serve over a bed of watercress with rice. TSD also serves this with "dipping sauce" - just the juice of one lime mixed with salt and pepper.


Jonathan said...

Thanks for the tip - I'm definitely going to try this! Though I haven't had Shaking Beef in SF I did have a wonderful version of it in Singapore...

Morgan said...

I can't decide if I should try this in SF this week, or wait and make your version when I get back. Or both! It looks delicious (as usual).