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Shake Shake Shake…Shake Your Beef

September 13, 2010

Seeing a dish called “Shaking Beef” on a menu might strike some as odd.  What, it came from a nervous cow?  It’s so cold that it’s shivering?  But fear not.  This sweet and vinegary Vietnamese dish come us to us from Food and Wine Magazine, and it’s a nice little twist on a classic stir-fry.  It’s quite basic, but the flavors are terrific and the last minute addition of butter to the pan gives the dish depth and a really nice finish.  I suppose for those uncomfortable with shaking the pan (for fear of spilling anything) you could just stir with a wooden spoon…but shaking is much more fun, and the food will taste better (well, maybe not).  Enjoy!

Charles Phan’s Shaking Beef

(serves 4)

1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 ½ tbsp. sugar

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tbsp. light soy sauce

3 tbsp. Asian fish sauce

2 tbsp. white vinegar

1 tsp. rice wine (optional)

6 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 small onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 lime, cut into wedges

In a bowl, toss the meat with ½ tbsp. of the sugar, 1 tbsp. of the oil and 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tbsp. of sugar with the soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar and rice wine, if using.  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 tbsp. 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.  Serve over rice, then squeeze lime juice over it.  Eat!

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