Friday, August 10, 2012

Dear Homemade VBCaTFR

Dear Homemade VBCaTFR,

Third time's the charm!  I've finally figured you out.  My trial-and-error recipe for Vietnamese Beef Cubes and Tomato Fried Rice is finally good enough to share.

At our favorite Pan Asian restaurant, we always order this one particular dish every single time.  But the restaurant is too far to frequent, so I finally decided to see if I can replicate it.  A few online recipes and three tries later, I think I've got it.

Vietnamese Beef Cubes is also known as Vietnamese Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac), named for its method of cooking: shaking.  It is commonly served with Tomato Fried Rice (Com Do Ca Chua).  In combination, every bite is a burst of flavor so sensational that you can't help but wonder how the dish is made.  My final recipe for the beef cubes is adapted from RasaMalaysia's version. 

Ingredients for Vietnamese Beef Cubes:
  • 1.5 lbs beef cut into 1/2 inch to 1 inch cubes (I use a short rib cut of beef)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

 Cooking Method:
  1. Marinate beef in all ingredients for at least 1/2 hour, and up to a few hours.
  2. Heat pan over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp cooking oil.  Place beef cubes on pan in one layer.  Allow the meat to sear on one side for 2 minutes before turning them over.  (Sear in two batches if necessary, using 1 tbsp oil for each batch.)  Shake the pan or flip beef cubes over and cook for another minute or so.  
  3. Transfer beef cubes and gravy to plate or bowl.

Ingredients for Tomato Fried Rice:
  • 4 cups uncooked rice, cooked slightly dry, or use day-old rice (I like to make enough for two meals; you can always cut down to 2 or 3 cups of uncooked rice for less rice)
  • 1 to 2 tbsp minced garlic (depends on how garlicky you like it)
  • 4 to 6 extra large eggs, beaten (depends on how much eggs you like in your fried rice)
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste (I used half a can; use up to the entire can, depending on how much tomato flavor you like)

Cooking Method:
  1. First, scramble eggs with some cooking oil.  Remove from pan.
  2. Add 1 to 2 tbsp cooking oil to pan.  Add minced garlic and stir-fry for about 10 seconds (do not brown).  Add rice and stir-fry to coat rice with garlic and oil.  (Do not use very sticky or soft rice because the tomato paste will make it too wet and sticky.)
  3. Add tomato paste and scrambled eggs and stir-fry to mix evenly.  
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve beef cubes over tomato fried rice.  I always like to serve this with a vegetable dish as well to balance the food groups and colors of the dish.  

(Note: The oyster sauce, fish sauce, and soy sauce can all be found in Asian markets; also, the better cut of beef you use, the better flavor and texture your dish will be.)

I don't normally make Asian dishes with strong flavors, as I like natural flavors of vegetables and meats.  But every now and then, I crave such flavorful foods because they are so good.  These tend to be the recipes I share more often, since they are deemed to be 'special' since I make them less frequently.  I do hope you enjoy this dish if you decide to try it.  (If you already make this dish and can improve this recipe, please let me know as well.)

So, Homemade VBCaTFR, you've now made it possible for me to enjoy this dish without driving an hour to the restaurant that serves it best; I no longer have to be at the mercy of a restaurant chef for this delicious awesomeness.  And the best part of it?  The kiddos both give it a big thumbs up and asked for seconds!



  1. Your recipe reminds me of a similar beef recipe from the Philippines. I think it is called Beef Salpicao.

    I'll pin this for future reference. :-)

  2. This looks yummy! I'm gonna take MyWordWall's advice and pin it as well for future ideas :)

  3. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm this looks good. Pinning :)

  4. Congratulations. It looks and sounds absolutely divine. I will be trying it out this weekend.

  5. This sounds amazing! My menfolk would love this.

  6. Wow, both kids like it AND you get to avoid the long drive? This recipe is definitely a keeper! (In our house, I swear my boys purposely like opposite things just so there's someone to drive me crazy complaining at every meal.)

  7. Imelda, Cassie, and Lisa, THANK YOU so much for 'pinning' this! What an honor! DH gives me 3 more months before I cave in to Pinterest. =) Thanks for stopping by!

    Nari, I would love to know how you like it! Thank you for trying out this recipe!!

    Tara, I do hope your menfolk enjoy this. It's pretty easy, and super flavorful. Let me know how it turns out, please!

    Janna, YES. It is a keeper. My DD is open to trying new foods, but DS is the opposite. So it's a winner when even he likes it! I can relate to the complaining at mealtimes--believe me. Thanks for reading, as always.

  8. Thx--would love to try this recipe!

    1. I hope you like it! Let me know, please!

  9. This looks DELISH...and I know for sure that all three of my kids would love it as well...

    Not sure if I have the finesse to do all that pan shaking you explain ( tee hee ) but, I will have fun trying...

    ps. I realize I could also flip them over as you suggest, but, clearly, not as fun...:)

    Thanks for sharing this!!!

    1. I suggest flipping them because there's no way I can shake them to flip them! The beef cubes would end up all over the stove or the floor, I can guarantee that! **Shake at your own risk**. I should have included that up there, huh? :)

      Do let me know if you try it, Kim!