Pan-Fried Filet of Beef with Tomato and Herbs

Bò Bít Tết

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Little Saigon Cookbook: Vietnamese Cuisine And Culture In Southern California's Little Saigon

Little Saigon Cookbook

By Ann Le

Published 2011

  • About

This dish is always a favorite at wedding receptions. The sweet and salty marinade creates a lusty meat that is almost buttery in texture and flavor. With the fresh tomatoes and herbs, the dish comes out light and clean. The meat is best suited for pan-frying, as the residual juices and marinade can be tossed in the skillet together with the tomatoes and herbs for added flavor. Grilling is a satisfactory variation.


  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ fresh Thai bird chile, finely chopped
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh Vietnamese coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 2 scallions, chopped into rings
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound filet mignon, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 3 medium tomatoes, each cut into 6 pieces
  • ½ small cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced


    1. In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, chile, sugar, and black pepper, until the sugar is dissolved.
    2. In a large bowl, toss together the mint, cilantro, coriander, Thai basil, and scallions. Sprinkle them over a large platter.
    3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
    4. Add the sliced filet to the pan. Pour the fish sauce mixture over it and toss quickly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and sliced cucumber. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare.
    5. Arrange the beef, tomatoes, and cucumber over the herbs. Top with the liquid from the skillet. Serve immediately with hot steamed rice or plain bun.