OK — I know you’re thinking Vietnamese food from a James Beard Award winning restaurant is impossible to make. You’re impossibly WRONG! Super quick to make and so delicious that I swear you will think you’re sitting with the Phan family looking over the SF Bay.
Step 1: Marinate beef
1 pound filet mignon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
In a bowl, toss the meat the ingredients above plus 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Step 2: Make sauce
In a small bowl whisk the following ingredient and set aside:
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
Step 3: Slice vegetables
6 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Watercress and lime, for serving
- Heat a large skillet until very hot. Add the 1/3 cup 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. Turn the meat and cook for 1 minute longer. Tilt the skillet and spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil. Scatter the scallions, onion and garlic over the meat and cook for 30 seconds. Stir the soy mixture and add it to the pan, shaking to coat the meat; bring to a boil. Add the butter and shake the pan until melted.
- Line a platter with watercress and pour the shaking beef and vegetables on top. Serve with lime wedges.