Shaking Beef from Milk Street
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Vietnamese Shaking Beef from Milk Street

A delightful stir-fry Vietnamese beef recipe from the chefs at Milk Street.  The lime juice and fish sauce make this an unusual and special treat.  We like the sirloin tips which are also called flap meat. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Meat
Cuisine: Asian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Milk Street


  • 1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin tips or tri-tip trimmed, patted dry and cut into 1 1/4" cubes
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce divided
  • 5 tablespoons lime juice divided, plus lime wedges to serve
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil divided
  • 8 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 small onion sliced 1/4" thick
  • 1 bunch watercress stemmed


  • In a medium bowl, combine the beef, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Toss to combine and set aside.  In a small bowl, stir together 4 tablespoons of the lime juice, the fish sauce, sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • In a 12-inch skilled over medium-high, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until beginning to smoke.  Swirl to coat the pan, then add the beef in a single layer.  Cook without stirring until well browned about 1 1/2 minutes.  Flip each piece and cook until the second sides are well browned, about another 1 1/2 minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • To the same skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Cook over low, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the garlic is no longer raw, about 30 seconds.  Pour in the lime juice mixture and any accumulated meat juices, increase to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is syrupy, and a spoon leaves a trail when dragged across the skillet, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the beef and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce clings lightly to the meat, about 2 minutes.  Add the onion and stir until slightly softened, about 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the watercress with the remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Make a bed of the watercress on a serving platter.  Top with the beef mixture and its juices.  Serve with lime wedges. 


We use sirloin tips called flap meat which are now available at Whole Foods.   Serve with rice.