Recipe courtesy of BT Nguyen

Shaken Beef

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings
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Shaken Beef:

1 pound beef tenderloin, cut into bite-sized cubes

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced 

2 tablespoon liquid seasoning such as Maggi, or soy sauce plus 1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce 

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

2 tablespoons clarified butter or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon Cognac (preferably Courvoisier) 

Watercress Salad:

2 ounces shallots, about 4 medium-sized, sliced

1/3 cup rice vinegar 

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce 

1 tablespoon honey

2 cups watercress

Freshly ground black pepper

2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced

Jasmine or white rice, for serving 


  1. For the shaken beef: Place the beef in a bowl with the garlic, onion, liquid seasoning, sugar, fish sauce and pepper and mix well. Heat a large heavy-bottom pan over medium-high until very hot. Add the butter or oil. Add the beef cubes shaking the pan to coat the meat with the butter or oil. Cook, turning the meat with tongs until browned and seared on the outside but still pink in the center, 3 to 4 minutes (or cook to desired doneness). Add the Cognac and toss the beef before removing from the heat.
  2. For the watercress salad: Lightly roast the shallots in a dry saute pan over medium heat until light browned and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisk together the rice vinegar, garlic, fish sauce and honey in a bowl. Lightly toss the watercress and shallots with the dressing. Season with pepper.
  3. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on plates to make a decorative base. Arrange the watercress around or on top of the tomato slices. Place the beef in a mound on top of the tomatoes and watercress and serve with the rice.
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