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Shaking Beef

I'm always so excited when I learn to master my favorite restaurant dishes at home! This version of Shaking Beef, the signature dish at The Slanted Door in San Francisco, tastes *almost* just as good at my house as it does at SF's iconic modern Vietnamese restaurant. If I close my eyes, I can imagine that I'm dining bayside in a sleek, romantic space in the Ferry Building instead of sitting on my couch with my dogs and a TV tray. But this recipe is so good that ambiance doesn't matter! Plus, it's really easy and it takes less than 10 minutes total to cook (if your wok is really hot). Tenderloin may not be the most common meat used in stir fry preparations, but it is the perfect fit here. The cubes of meat char and ever so slightly crisp on the outside while remaining velvety and tender on the inside. To save some money (tenderloin is not the most affordable of cuts), ask your butcher to sell you the tails- chateaubriand, or the middle part of the tenderloin, will run at least $10 more per pound. I even have the butcher cube the meat for me to save some time in the kitchen. This dish gets it name from the wok "shaking" technique that coats the beef cubes in the sweet/savory sauce towards the end of cooking. I also think it might refer to how much I shake with excitement when I think about making this for dinner! Enjoy!


prep time: ~40 min. (includes at least 30 min marinating time) cook time: ~7 min. serves: 2-3


1 lb beef tenderloin tails, cubed into 1" pieces

2 garlic cloves, grated

1-1" piece of ginger, grated

vegetable or avocado oil

kosher salt and black pepper

2 tbsp sugar, divided

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

2 tsp fish sauce

1/2 tsp red chili flake

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces

1 tbsp butter


watercress or red leaf lettuce, lime wedges, coarse salt, cilantro and/or thai basil



Place the grated garlic, ginger, 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1 tbsp oil in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the beef cubes and mix to coat evenly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap- allow to marinate at least 30 minutes on your counter or up to 2 hours in the fridge. Meanwhile, make the sauce by adding the vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, remaining 1 tbsp sugar, fish sauce, and red chili flakes in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside. When you're ready to cook, heat a large wok or non stick skillet over high heat and add 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add the beef in an even layer. Allow the beef to brown until a pronounced crust forms on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip the beef and brown another 1-2 minutes on the second side. Add the red onion and scallion and cook another 30 seconds to soften. Pour in the sauce and shake the wok or pan to coat the beef/release any pieces of meat that may be stuck to the pan. Remove the wok from the heat and add the butter, shaking the wok until the butter has melted and incorporated into the sauce. Spoon the beef mixture and sauce over a bed of watercress of red leaf lettuce and sprinkle cilantro and/or basil on top. Serve with coarse salt and lime wedges on the side.

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