Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vietnamese Shaking Beef, Bo Luc Lac

I think anyone who is a true foodie experiences the love of food on a very deep, emotional level. Food needs to have smell, texture, and evoke an emotion. There is not a single important event in my life where there was not some kind of food memory or smell that went along with it.
When I was in the hospital giving birth to my daughter, It was a C section, so my state of mind was a little altered. But what I remember most about lying on that gurney unable to move or eat was one doctor, asking another doctor what they wanted for lunch.

Doctor one said, "The Bo Luc, Lac from Saigon Grill." I actually had tasted Bo Luk, Lack one time before. It was ok. A little salty, and very different from my normal tastes.

I am not much of a meat eater. Especially meat that is not grass fed. But at that moment , I wanted that beef with crispy crackers more then anything on earth. I looked at my husband who looked as pale as ghost ---as apparently half my insides were on the table in front of him.

I said, " you must go get me the Bo Luc, Lac the second I get out of here" He looked as he was about to faint.

"How do you feel?" he asked. All I could think of was how hungry I was and how good that beef would taste.
I shouted to the doctor, "Could I see a menu?," thinking that perhaps there was something else I wanted. I thought Bo Luc Lac would be good, but it would be better if it had and orange glaze or a dash of lime. Then I though what if I just order the Bo Luc Lac with the sauce on the side to satisfy my craving. 

Just as I was about to create the best recipe, I heard a cry, and she was born. My beautiful baby girl. As the days passed, I forgot about the Bo Luc Lac. But when it was time to leave, I saw the menu for Saigon Grill on my table with the diapers and baby belongings. I threw it in my bag with the fleeting thought to order it at a later date. I never ordered the Bo Luc Lac, but every time some one mentions Saigon Grill, I remember being in that hospital room and strongly I craved that Vietnamese beef. As I was cleaning out my drawers today, I found the menu and decided to create my own version. This version is much healthier and simple, and shaking the beef added that element of fun. It is a perfect dish for the holidays, either as an appetizer or main course.

A Healthier Bo Luc Lac

Makes 4 servings

1.5 lb. grass-fed flank steak cut into 1″ cubes
2 cloves garlic, diced
half of lime or orange
2 tomatoes, sliced
2 leaves of lettuce
3 T. sesame oil
2 T. Braggs amino acids (an all-natural, sodium-free soy sauce substitute)

1. Prepare marinade by combining garlic, Braggs amino acids and oil with the beef for at least half an hour.
2. Heat a large wok or pan over high heat, adding about 2 T. oil.
3. When it begins to smoke, add a layer of beef and allow to sear for about 2 minutes. 
4. Begin “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minutes more to brown all sides. 
5. Add a squeeze of lime or orange, then give it one last toss before transferring to plates.
6. Place beef on a bed of lettuce and tomato.
7. Enjoy!