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Lazy Saturday today…I love these days of being able to sleep in late and leisurely spend the rest of the day with Hubs.  We must be becoming a boring old married couple because the highlight of our day was having lunch together at Quickly.  That and visiting the newly renovated, newly opened Target in downtown Sunnyvale, which was packed full of people.  Its really nice inside and even has a sizable grocery section, complete with fresh fruits, milk, cheese, etc.  We had intended to just go browse, but we ended up buying a few bags of candy, haha.  I also bought some shredded coconut.  I found a recipe for Jamaican Banana Bread that has a rum and coconut topping, which sounds yummy.  Anything with rum has to be good right?  I’m hoping to try that recipe later this week.

A couple years ago, when I was still living in San Francisco, I heard a lot about The Slanted Door, a hip Vietnamese fusion restaurant located downtown.  The reviews on Yelp praised The Slanted Door for its innovative, delicious dishes, and it seemed like a “must-try” restaurant.

Then last year, through the wonders of Google, I found Charles Phan’s recipe for Shaking Beef.  Shaking beef is quite possibly the most popular dish at The Slanted Door, or at least its very high up on the list.  Charles Phan is the restaurant’s chef and has published his shaking beef recipe several times.  I believe I got this recipe from the SF Chronicle.

The recipe below is very straight-forward and the shaking beef is delicious.  I made this for the in-laws once and my mother-in-law loved it.  Cooking the beef to medium-rare (or medium-well if you so desire) results in tender, juicy, flavorful meat.  I cut back on the amount of soy sauce used in the original recipe, but otherwise, kept everything else the same.

I’ve also made this dish with and without the dipping sauce, which I feel is entirely optional.  The meat is so flavorful on its own that I feel the dipping sauce is not needed.

Shaking Beef

The picture above doesn’t do the food justice (photographing brown meat and making the picture drool-worthy isn’t easy!) but trust me, this Shaking Beef is really good.

Shaking Beef, by Charles Phan of The Slanted Door

2 T. chopped garlic
1 t. sugar
1-1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper
2 T. vegetable oil
1-1/2 lbs. filet mignon, cut into 1″ cubes

The Vinaigrette:
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. rice wine
3 T. light soy sauce
1 T. dark soy sauce
1 T. fish sauce

4 T. vegetable oil
3 stalks green onion, cut into 1″ pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 t. butter

Dipping Sauce:
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. coarsely ground black pepper

Prepare the marinade by combining garlic, sugar, salt, pepper and oil in a large glass bowl.  Add the filet mignon cubes to the marinade, tossing well.  Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for two hours.

Make the vinaigrette by combining the rice vinegar, sugar, rice wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and fish sauce.  Whisk together well and set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat.  Divide the beef, green onions and red onions in half, so that you can cook these in two batches.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok.  When the oil starts to smoke, add the first portion of beef in an even layer.  Let it sit undisturbed until the beef forms a brown crust on the bottom, about 2 minutes.  Using a spatula, flip the beef over to brown the other side, about 1 minute.

Add half of the green onions and red onions to the wok and cook for 1 more minute.  Pour half of the vinaigrette down the side of the wok, then shake the pan to release the beef and toss with the vinaigrette.  Add 1 teaspoon of butter and continue to shake the pan until the butter melts.  Remove the beef and onions from the wok.  Keep warm.

Repeat the last few steps with the second portion of beef, green onions and red onions.  Transfer to a serving platter.

Prepare dipping sauce by putting salt and pepper in a small bowl and squeeze lime juice over it.  Serve alongside the beef.

Serves 4.