Vietnamese Shaking Beef with Watercress

Prep Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Fast, easy and delicious beef stir fry, served with fresh watercress, lime wedges and rice. Optional lime and salt dipping sauce, as well!


  • 1 lb beef strips


  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable, canola or other neutral cooking oil


  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 Tbsp soy sauce (low sodium, if you have)
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce

Stir Fry:

  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 stalks green onion, cut in to 1-inch pieces (green part only)
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced (red or yellow onion)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbsp. water

For Serving:

  • Lime wedges
  • 1 bunch fresh watercress

Dipping Sauce:

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (or 1/4 tsp. fine salt)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper


  • Combine beef with marinade ingredients and stir to coat well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
  • Make sauce by stirring together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside. If serving with rice, start the rice cooking about 15 minutes before you start cooking the beef. Cut green onion and onion and set aside.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 1/2 of the beef, 1/2 of the green onion and 1/2 of the red onion to the pan in one layer and allow to cook, undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip over and cook the other side of the meat for 1 minute. Remove to a plate and repeat process with other half of the beef, green onion and red onion.
  • Add sauce to pan, shaking to loosen the meat. Add beef from plate back in to the pan. Cook, until sauce simmers, then add cornstarch mixture. Cook until sauce is hot and thickened.
  • To serve, place some fresh watercress on a plate. Top with hot beef. Serve with some rice and additional lime wedges and/or lime dipping sauce.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 417kcal