Slanted Door Shaking Beef

Ever since Mary and I took a Vietnamese cooking class in Portland years ago, I’ve loved Vietnamese food.  Pho Van in the Pearl District was one of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Oregon, and since moving to California,  I love eating at the Slanted Door.  I don’t get to go as often as I would like, so I bought Charles Phan’s cookbook Vietnamese Home Cooking, and have been working my way through it.  This recipe for Shaking Beef is one of the easier recipes — very easy to make, and outside of the marinating time, super fast, with fantastic flavor.  Welcome to the Slanted Door of Campbell, CA!
Step 1:  Marinate beef
1 1/2 pounds filet mignon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
In a bowl, toss the meat and the ingredients above. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Step 2:  Make vinaigrette 
In a small bowl whisk the following ingredient and set aside:
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine or dry sherry
Step 3:  Slice vegetables
6 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
Watercress and lime, for serving
  1. Heat a large skillet until very hot. Add the 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until smoking (I used just half the oil). Add the meat  (in two batches so that it will brown well) and cook over high heat undisturbed for 1 minute, until browned and crusty. Turn the meat and cook for 1 minute longer. Tilt the skillet and spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half the green onions and red onions and cook for 1 minute more.  Pour the vinaigrette down the side of the pan and add it to the pan, shaking to coat the meat; bring to a boil. Add the butter and shake the pan until melted.
  2. Line a platter with watercress and pour the shaking beef and vegetables on top.  Serve dipping sauce with along side beef.  Serve with lime wedges.

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