Viet at Home: Thit Bo Luc Lac

I’ve rambled on about my love for Vietnamese food for years now (more than 3 years on this blog). I’m drawn to the contrast in the way meats are treated – either raw meat, sliced thin and quickly cooked in flavorful broth or marinated with intense ingredients (dark soy, fish sauce – nước mắm, lemongrass, garlic, rice vinegar…) and grilled,  seared or even served raw (bo tai chanh – raw beef salad).

It really wasn’t until recently that I began cooking Viet at home. It’s just too easy (and cheap) to get good Vietnamese food in Atlanta, and living within couple of miles of Buford Highway has made dining out my go-to option. But I’m starting to learn that it’s pretty easy (and cheap) to prepare at home as well.

I’ve played around with suon nuong xa (grilled pork skewers with lemongrass) and do chua (Vietnamese pickles) with great success. Other attempts, like the fish disaster that reeked-out the entire neighborhood, have not fared so well…

Suon Nuong Xa (skewered pork belly with lemongrass)

So, to the point. Thit bo luc lac (shaking beef). I love this dish. Almost everyone loves this dish. This is one of those dishes where very familiar ingredients (garlic, oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy, rice vinegar) come together in a way that is unexpected.

Thit bo luc lac is painfully simple to make and there are a plethora of recipes on the web, almost all close enough to be identical. The best I’ve found are:

RasaMalaysia (this is a guest post by Ravenous Couple. Both are favorite destinations for all sorts of Asian recipes)

Viet World Kitchen (my go-to source for Vietnamese recipes)

Just don’t be afraid to get your wok “Petey Wheatstraw” hot…


Petey Wheatstraw, the Devil’s Son-in-Law


  1. I’ve been a long time reader – and want to say for the first time, “Thank you”, for the terrific posts that always seem to make me hungry.

    I really wanted to know more about your chuanr grill and the apparatus under the wok in the photo above. It almost looks like a tandoor with a narrowed opening at the top is the base, and then there’s a clay stand? I’m probably totally off.


  2. Wow – thanks.

    Glad to share:

    The chuanr grill is labeled “SK Grill” – I got it from ebay. It’s a little flimsy, but it does the job and it was cheap.

    The wok burner is actually from a Chinese restaurant supply house – I picked it up in 1995. It runs off an LP bottle puts out a bazillian BTU’s. It’s getting a bit rough around the edges and I don’t use it enough (I only use it outside). One day I’ll replace it with a newer one with replaceable jets. I think you can pick them up for about $75-$150. Good for smelting pig iron as well.

Leave a Comment