This Vietnamese beef and watercress dish is made like a stir-fry and looks like a salad, but it's so much more than either.
Shaking beef is a Vietnamese cross between a beef stir-fry and a watercress salad. We used sirloin steak tips (aka flap meat) for their beefy flavor and pleasant chewy texture. We first marinated the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, fish sau... Read More
Sirloin steak tips are often sold as flap meat. They can be packaged as whole steaks, cubes, or strips. We prefer to buy whole steaks so we can cut our own steak tips. Maggi Seasoning can be used in place of the soy sauce, if desired. Serve with our Vietnamese Red Rice (Com Do) or steamed white rice.
Total time: 1 hour
Whisk fish sauce, soy sauce, and molasses together in medium bowl. Add beef and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Spread watercress in shallow serving bowl. Combine lime juice and pepper in small bowl and set aside.
Using tongs, transfer beef to second medium bowl, letting as much marinade as possible drain back into first bowl. Add water, garlic, and cornstarch to marinade in first bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Add 1 teaspoon oil to beef and toss to coat.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Using tongs, wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Add beef to skillet, leaving space between pieces. Cook, shaking skillet gently and occasionally to capture any fond that collects on bottom of skillet, until beef is browned on first side, 3 to 4 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring and shaking skillet frequently, until beef is coated and browned and center is just barely pink (to check for doneness, remove larger piece and cut in half), 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer beef to clean bowl.
Melt butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add reserved marinade and bring to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until marinade is thickened and glossy, about 2 minutes. Add beef and any accumulated juices and toss to coat. Scatter beef mixture and sauce over watercress. Drizzle 1 teaspoon lime juice mixture over salad. Divide remaining lime juice mixture among 2 small bowls for dipping and serve with salad.