Often mistaken for a casual affair since it is so quick and easy to prepare, this stir-fry is really an elegant salad. Tender cubes of oyster sauce and garlic marinated beef gain smoky essences in a fiery hot sautœ pan. Then, they’re paired with spiritedly dressed salad and sharp pickled onions. It feels like a “night on the town” in a single dish.
The French introduced the method of sautœing, “shaking the beef,” to Vietnam. The Chinese brought oyster sauce and soy sauce. The Vietnamese practice of building layers of flavor by juxtaposing a hot, savory meat with a cool salad makes it their own. Although not traditional, I really like this prepared with pork, chicken, or even fish like salmon. They all hold up well to the intense sauce.
© 2008 Robert Danhi. All rights reserved.