I get all sorts of cooking email in my inbox. The other day I got a recipe from Milk Street for Vietnamese Shaking Beef. Since I am a fan of all sorts of southeast Asian cooking and John was interested we decided to make Milk Street’s Vietnamese shaking beef. The shaking refers to the cook’s shaking of the wok. John did not shake the wok but he did cook the beef in our electric wok. (Luckily we have an outlet on our patio so he could cook it outside since we really don’t want to mess up the kitchen!)
The recipe calls for a pungent marinade with lots of soy and fish sauces. Then it asks you to brown the meat which is difficult since you have just made the meat too moist on the exterior. Our bigger problem, though, was finding the right cut of beef here in southern Utah which is not known for a lot a variety or anything exotic in meats and vegetables. So instead of using tri-tip or sirloin tips, he used top sirloin. So it ended up that the meat was tough.
I have not eaten a lot of watercress. Although the watercress was super bitter by itself it was the perfect foil for the beef and onions with its salty sauce. The rice was left over from our salmon meal. I added some soy and fish sauce to it to make it fit with the flavor profile of the dish.
NOTE: I had the leftovers for lunch today. I took the big tough pieces of beef and cut them into 4 to 6 smaller pieces. The smaller pieces made the dish totally acceptable. The beef was not nearly as chewy.