Charles Phan’s Bu Luc Lac (shaking beef) is a signature dish at The Slanted Door. Cubes of tender filet mignon are sautéed with red onions and a vinaigrette and then served with a salt and pepper dipping sauce over tender watercress.
1 1⁄2 – 2 pounds filet mignon, fat trimmed and cut into 1 1⁄4-inch cubes
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion, preferably spring onions
3 stalks green onion, trimmed and cut to 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1⁄4 cup white granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup light soy sauce
1⁄4 cup fish sauce
1 teaspoon cooking rice wine
Salt and Pepper Dipping Sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1 bunch watercress, washed
1. Marinate meat 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and 1 tablespoon oil for about 2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, make the stir-fry sauce by combining the white vinegar, sugar, soy, fish sauce, and rice wine. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
3. Divide the meat into two portions, and do the same with the onions. Heat 1⁄4 cup of oil in wok or large sauté pan over maximum heat. (Don’t overload the pan, or the meat will not brown properly. You may need to divide the cooking into batches depending on your pan size and the strength of your cooking range.)
4. When the oil begins to smoke, add the first batch of meat in one layer. Let a brown crust form, and turn to brown the other side. Browning should take 3-4 minutes.
5. Add red onion, scallions, and garlic to the pan. Shake or stir ingredients in the pan for about 30 seconds.
6. Add stir-fry sauce. Continue to shake or stir ingredients.
7. Add butter, and continue to cook and shake pan until butter melts. Remove from heat. Wash your pan and cook next batch.
8. Make lime dipping sauce by mixing together salt and pepper in a ramekin. Pour lime juice over salt pepper mixture.
9. Serve beef over watercress with lime dipping sauce.