I love this dish! In the past I have served it as part of a banquet, a tasting plate of sorts with other Vietnamese dishes. It is no surprise that it is always the most popular among guests. This time, I decided to make it the star of the show, no accompanying dishes, just a little steamed Jasmine rice to compliment the tender, slightly charred beef fillet in a simple marinade. Sweet tomatoes, red onion and the traditional punchy flavours of Vietnamese herbs completed a meal that was on the table in no time at all.
I really feel that Beef eye fillet is a must for this recipe. It is a very quick cooking process and any other cut would compromise the overall result of the dish. If you are worried about cost, wait for it to come on special or cook it for the adults in the family that will appreciate the tenderness and flavour.
Prep time: 15 Minutes Marinating time: 30 Minutes (min) Cooking time: 15 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
Oil for frying (I used peanut but rice bran oil is good also)
600gm of beef fillet
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 tbs of soy sauce
11/2 tbs of fish sauce
1 tbs of caster sugar
1 punnet of grape tomatoes, halved diagonally (I used red and yellow for presentation)
1/2 a small red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced top to bottom
1 cup of coriander leaves
1/2 a cup of mint leaves
1/2 a cup of Vietnamese mint (you could use Thai basil or basil as a substitute)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
A pinch of sea salt
Steamed Jasmine rice to serve
Place the garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Cut the beef into 1.5cm cubes and add to the marinade, stirring to coat the beef. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes minimum. Remove from the fridge about 15 minutes before cooking to take the chill off.
Place the sliced tomatoes, onion and herbs in a another bowl, squeeze over the lime juice, season with a little salt and toss to combine.
Heat a wok until smoking and add a drizzle of oil. You need your wok really hot so that it sears the beef the minute is hits the pan. This will prevent sticking and stewing and will allow you to ‘shake’ the wok (hence the name ‘shaking’ beef). Cook the beef in small batches, using tongs to remove it from the marinade. Cook for approximately 2-3 minutes for medium rare (longer if you like it well cooked). Remove the beef and set aside while you cook the remainder. Once all the beef is nice and charred return it all to the wok with the remaining marinade for approximately 30 seconds and toss to coat.
To serve, divide steamed rice among four serving plates. Divide about 3/4 of the salad between the plates and top with the beef, drizzling over any left over marinade from the wok. Top with the remaining salad and serve with lime wedges.
This is a fairly dry dish (which I like) but if you want a little more moisture to clean up your rice, serve with a side of Nahm Jim (Vietnamese dipping sauce, recipe below) or a little sweet chilli mixed with a little soy.
For the Nam Jim:
4 large red chillies, deseeded and sliced
5 coriander roots, washed well
3cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 level tbs of palm sugar (I buy it in block form, so 2 blocks)
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbs of fish sauce