Vietnamese Shaking Beef Recipe

When it comes to dinner options, there are fewer main courses better than beef. If you love this excellent protein and want a new way to fix it, then this Vietnamese shaking beef recipe is perfect. Recipe developer Stephanie Rapone came up with this recipe that is sure to be a hit. But before we go any further, what exactly is Vietnamese shaking beef? Rapone explains it the best: "It's a Vietnamese stir-fry where you have to stir and shake the beef to get an even sear," she shares. Add the beef to a bed of veggies and it's the perfect meal for any occasion. Pair it with a side dish like rice, and you've got a winning meal right there. 

As for her favorite part? "It's super flavorful and it's FAST! It's great for a healthy weeknight meal," Rapone raves. Who doesn't love a meal that is easy to prep, especially when you have a packed schedule on the weekdays. If you're getting tired of cooking beef in the same old way, give this Vietnamese-style recipe a try!

Gather the ingredients for Vietnamese shaking beef

Head to the grocery store and grab all of the necessary ingredients for this Vietnamese shaking beef. You will need ribeye steak, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, two limes, granulated sugar, cornstarch, a red onion, watercress, two Roma tomatoes, three green onions, a bell pepper, vegetable oil, and Maggi seasoning. The recipe also calls for two optional ingredients — cooked white rice and cilantro.  

Cut the beef and let it marinate

Grab the beef and a sharp knife, and cut it into 1-inch cubes. Place the cubes in a Ziplock bag, or simply on a plate. Then, mince or paste the garlic — just use whichever method you prefer. 

You will also need to get out a bowl and add the garlic, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and fish sauce to make the sauce. Use a whisk to mix. "The marinade for this does a great job of hitting all the major flavor components, which is why it's so good," Rapone explains. "It's super savory, slightly salty, sweet, and tangy." Pour the sauce into the beef and move around to coat. Let the meat marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.

Slice the red onion and tomatoes

Grab a cutting board and a sharp knife and slice the red onion thinly. Then, use a small bowl to combine the juice from one lime, granulated sugar, remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, and pour the mixture over the red onion for even more flavor. Let the onion sit with the marinade until you need it. 

Then, cut the tomatoes into eighths and quarter the second lime. Get out a platter and arrange the watercress and tomatoes at the bottom. 

Coat the beef and begin cooking

Once the beef finishes marinating, remove it from the bag or dish. You can discard any extra marinade that was in the bag, then sprinkle cornstarch over the beef and toss to coat.

Next, take out a large skillet and put it over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and once it begins to simmer and you hear it crackling, add the green onion and bell pepper. Sear the veggies for about two minutes and shake the pan, so nothing sticks to the bottom. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add them to the bed of watercress and tomato. Top the veggies with the marinated red onion.

Cook the beef

If you need, you can add another tablespoon of oil to the pan to evenly cook the beef, just use your best judgment. Heat the oil until it starts to simmer, and add the cubed meat. Sear the beef on both sides and shake the pan again, so nothing sticks to the bottom. It will take about three to five minutes for the meat to brown on all sides. It may be easier to cook in batches, depending on the size of your skillet. The meat needs to have space so you get a great sear. 

How can you tell the meat is done? "You can gently press the meat with one finger and see how tender it is. For medium-rare, touch your pointer finger and thumb together and then press on the meaty part of your palm," Rapone shares. "You want to feel that same firmness in the meat. You can also use a thermometer, which you are looking for an internal temperature of 130. Last, but not least, you can cut one piece open and check for doneness." 

Season the beef and enjoy

Season the beef with Maggi seasoning and give it another toss before removing it from the pan. Then, add the meat to the vegetable platter and garnish with cilantro and lime slices. You can also serve with rice if you wish. "The salad and vegetables make it a really filling and fresh dish," Rapone says. 

"I strongly recommend eating this when it's freshly made. If you know you will have/want leftovers, plate the salad part and the meat together just for an individual portion, and then store those elements all separate for storing the leftovers," Rapone shares. "Assemble the salad and then reheat and add the steak when you want to enjoy. The separate elements should be fine stored in the fridge for 3-4 days." 

Vietnamese Shaking Beef Recipe
4.9 from 27 ratings
This Vietnamese shaking beef recipe is loaded with fresh flavors, making it the perfect dinner option.
Prep Time
Cook Time
beef and vegetables on platter
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 1 ½ pounds ribeye steak
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ red onion
  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Maggi seasoning
Optional Ingredients
  • Cooked white rice, for serving
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  1. Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes and place in a zip-top bag on a plate or in a dish.
  2. Mince or paste the garlic.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and the fish sauce. Pour into the bag with the beef and move around to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Thinly slice the red onion. In small bowl, combine the juice from 1 lime, granulated sugar, and remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, and pour the mixture over the red onion.
  5. Cut the tomatoes into eighths. Quarter the second lime.
  6. On a platter, arrange the watercress and tomato.
  7. Cut the whites and light green parts of the green onions into 1-inch pieces. Cut the bell pepper into 1-inch pieces as well.
  8. After the beef has marinated for 30 minutes to 1 hour, remove from the marinade, and throw out any excess marinade. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the beef and toss to coat.
  9. Heat a large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the green onion and bell pepper and sear for 2 minutes, shaking the pan. Remove from the pan and add to the bed of watercress and tomato.
  10. Top the vegetables with the marinated red onion.
  11. If needed, add another 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan so that it is evenly coated to cook the beef. Heat the oil until shimmering, add the beef and sear on sides, shaking the pan, until it is browned on all sides. This should take 3 to 5 minutes total (about 1 min per side). Note: If your skillet is not big enough to cook the beef in a single layer with some room around each piece, cook it in 2 batches. It's very important not to crowd the pan so that you get a great sear.
  12. Season the beef with the Maggi and give it a final toss before removing it from the pan.
  13. Remove the beef from the pan to the vegetable platter. Garnish with cilantro and lime slices, and serve with rice, if desired.
Calories per Serving 557
Total Fat 39.6 g
Saturated Fat 15.3 g
Trans Fat 2.2 g
Cholesterol 115.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 18.1 g
Dietary Fiber 3.0 g
Total Sugars 9.4 g
Sodium 1,126.0 mg
Protein 35.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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