Savor the Flavor: Vietnamese-Style Beef Recipe

Friends, I am pleased to share my recipe for Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime. This is a dish that will tantalize your taste buds with its sweet and savory flavors. Imagine succulent slices of tri-tip steak marinated in fish sauce, light brown sugar, and soy sauce. The garlic-black pepper infused canola oil ties all the flavors together nicely. But don’t forget the fresh lime juice – it elevates this dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.

This easy-to-follow recipe is absolutely delicious and perfect for anyone looking for an exotic yet comforting meal. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cook, you’ll love how simple and straightforward this recipe is.

So let’s dive right in! Get your ingredients ready, heat up your skillet, and let’s make some beef Vietnamese-style. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese-Style Beef With Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime
Vietnamese-Style Beef With Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime

Friends, let me tell you why you’ll absolutely adore this Vietnamese-style beef with garlic, black pepper and lime recipe. What makes it so special? It’s an easy and absolutely delicious way to bring bold Vietnamese flavors to your kitchen – without blowing up your budget or schedule.

First of all, let’s talk about the star of the dish: the beef. This recipe calls for tri-tip steak, which is an underrated cut that is both flavorful and affordable. Flavorful? Check. Affordable? Check.

Moving on to the seasoning. This recipe combines soy sauce, light brown sugar, fish sauce, garlic cloves, black pepper and fresh lime juice to create a sweet and savory marinade that penetrates every inch of the meat – seriously it’s like a flavor explosion in every bite! The fish sauce and lime make for a tangy taste that perfectly balances out other strong flavors like garlic and black pepper.

Secondly, prep time is minimal. The recipe requires just 10 minutes of prep time, making it a go-to meal during those busy weeknights when you’re feeling too exhausted to cook anything elaborate.

Thirdly, vegan or vegetarian? No problem! If you prefer not to consume meat as a part of your diet, you can easily substitute the beef for tofu or tempeh – just as heavenly!

Last but not least, this dish pairs beautifully with some jasmine rice or stir-fry vegetables such as broccoli or snap peas. And if you want that extra crunch factor you could add some scallions or salted peanuts on top – yum!

In conclusion – this Vietnamese–style beef with garlic, black pepper and lime recipe is so quick and flavorful that it’s bound to become one of your favorite dishes. It’s perfect for a night in, impressing guests or meal prepping for lunch at work. So why wait? Head straight to your kitchen and give this recipe a try!

Ingredient List

 Sizzling beef and tangy lime, a match made in food heaven!
Sizzling beef and tangy lime, a match made in food heaven!

Let’s take a look at the ingredients you will be needing to make this Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime Recipe. Some of these ingredients may already be in your pantry, while others can be easily found at your local grocery store or Asian market.


  • 1 1/2 pounds of tri-tip steak or any other beef tenderloin, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
  • juice of 1 fresh lime
  • freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • Salted peanuts for garnish
  • Jasmine rice

You can see that the ingredient list is not too long and most components are used in multiple parts of the recipe making this easy, absolutely delicious and perfect to impress family and friends with killer aromatic scents.

The Recipe How-To

 Spice up your weeknight dinner with this flavorful Vietnamese-style beef.
Spice up your weeknight dinner with this flavorful Vietnamese-style beef.

Now that you know why this Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper and Lime recipe is a must-have in your cooking arsenal, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get cooking. Don’t be intimidated! This recipe is easy, absolutely delicious and perfect for those who love sweet-savory dishes with an Asian twist.

Preparing the Ingredients

Before starting the cooking process, it’s essential to have all the ingredients where you can easily reach them. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1:

Clean and thinly slice 1 small yellow onion to strands. You also need 5 cloves of garlic, minced finely.

Step 2:

Cut 1 1/2 lbs of beef tenderloin or tri-tip steak (cut against the grain) into bite-sized pieces measuring approximately 1 inch square.

Step 3:

Whisk together the sauce by combining these ingredients in a small bowl: 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, juice of one lime (approximately 2 tablespoons), 1 tablespoon light brown sugar.

Cooking Instructions

Once you’ve prepped all the ingredients, let’s move on to cooking this delicious dish!

Step 1:

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add two tablespoons of canola oil until it starts smoking.

Step 2:

Carefully add half of the sliced onions (from step 1 above) and stir-fry for approximately one minute until lightly caramelized (golden-brown).

Step 3:

Add half of the cubed beef to the hot wok/frying pan. Sprinkle with kosher salt evenly and stir-fry until each side turns a pale pinkish hue (around three minutes).

Step 4:

Remove beef from wok/pan and set aside temporarily. Repeat steps two through three using remaining sliced onions and cubed beef.

Step 5:

When you’ve finished stir-frying the last batch of beef and onions, add all the beef back into the wok/pan. Add three minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper, and one tablespoon of light brown sugar. Stir-fry until the spice mixture thoroughly coats the meat, around one minute.

Step 6:

Add five tablespoons of fish sauce, two tablespoons of soy sauce and lime juice, each one tablespoon at a time, stirring each addition gently but thoroughly.

Steps 7:

Stir in scallion slices (around six), and salted roasted peanuts (about 1/4 or more cups)

Finalizing the Dish

At this stage, your Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper and Lime is ready for plating. For best results serve immediately over jasmine rice, garnished with a few cilantro sprigs.

Enjoy your work-of-art mouthwatering shake beef!

Substitutions and Variations

 Delicious, nutritious, and oh so easy to make!
Delicious, nutritious, and oh so easy to make!

Now, let’s explore some substitutions and variations that can be made to this Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime recipe, so you can create your own unique twist on this classic dish!

First, you can swap out the tri-tip steak for any other beef cut that is suitable for stir-frying, such as beef tenderloin or flank steak. You can also use chicken or pork if you prefer.

If you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan option, you can easily substitute the beef with firm tofu or mushrooms.

For those who are looking to reduce their sodium intake, try using low-sodium soy sauce and fish sauce instead of the regular variety. Additionally, you can replace the light brown sugar with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup.

To add more crunch and texture to the dish, consider adding chopped scallions or salted peanuts as toppings.

If you want a spicier version of this recipe, simply add chili paste or red pepper flakes to the marinade for an extra kick.

Lastly, you can experiment with different types of rice to serve alongside the beef. Try jasmine or basmati rice for a fragrant and fluffy side dish.

Remember to always adjust seasonings and ingredients according to your taste preferences. With these substitutions and variations in mind, making your own personalized version of this Vietnamese-style beef will be easy and enjoyable.

Serving and Pairing

 Get ready for a flavor explosion in your mouth.
Get ready for a flavor explosion in your mouth.

Now that you have prepared this amazing Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime recipe, it’s time to plan how to serve and pair it. Since this dish is packed with bold flavors, it pairs best with light and crispy side dishes.

One of my favorite ways to serve this Vietnamese-style beef is by placing it over a bed of steamed Jasmine rice. The rice will soak up all the delicious juices from the beef and enhance its flavor even more. For an extra crunchiness factor, sprinkle some salted peanuts on top.

This dish also pairs well with stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, bok choy or snow peas. Not only do they add a pop of color to your plate but also balance out the richness of the beef with their freshness and crunch.

If you are in the mood for an appetizer or starter, Vietnamese Shaking Beef or “Bo Luc Lac” is a highly popular pairing dish. It is made with seared filet mignon cubes tossed in tangy lime sauce served with fresh herbs like mint and cilantro.

For a refreshing drink pairing that complements this beef recipe perfectly, you can’t go wrong with a tall glass of iced tea infused with mint leaves or lemon wedges.

Now that you know how to serve and pair this Vietnamese-Style Beef recipe like a pro, your meal will not only taste amazing but look stunning too!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't be intimidated by Vietnamese cuisine, this recipe is beginner-friendly.
Don’t be intimidated by Vietnamese cuisine, this recipe is beginner-friendly.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you love recipes that can be made ahead of time and reheated easily. Luckily, this Vietnamese-style beef recipe is perfect for that!

To make ahead: Cook the beef as instructed, but stop before adding in the scallions and peanuts. Allow the beef to cool to room temperature, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, reheat the beef in a skillet or wok over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes until heated through.

To store: This dish can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Make sure to store in an airtight container or freezer bag to maintain freshness.

To reheat: If reheating from frozen, allow the dish to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then, reheat on the stove top over low-medium heat until fully heated through. If reheating from the fridge, simply warm up on medium heat in a skillet until heated through.

Just note that the scallions and peanuts should be added fresh right before serving to maintain their crispiness!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Your taste buds will thank you for trying this dish.
Your taste buds will thank you for trying this dish.

Now that you have all the ingredients for this delicious Vietnamese-style beef with garlic, black pepper, and lime recipe, let me share some tips to ensure a perfect and flavorful dish every time.

1. Choose the right cut of meat

For this recipe, tri-tip steak or beef tenderloin are good options as they are both tender and rich in flavor. Make sure to slice the meat against the grain to avoid chewy bits.

2. Marinate overnight

Marinating the meat overnight will allow the flavors to penetrate and tenderize the meat. If time is an issue, marinate for at least 4 hours before cooking.

3. Properly season the meat

Seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper before marinating will complement the other flavorful ingredients.

4. Use high heat

Stir-frying beef over high heat will create a crispy exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Additionally, high heat reduces cooking time so that your beef won’t end up overcooked.

5. Do not overcook

Overcooking can make the meat tough and less flavorful. Cook just enough until it’s browned on both sides and has reached your desired level of doneness.

6. Add peanuts and scallions at the end

Adding salted peanuts and scallions towards the end of the cooking process will provide a crisp texture and fresh flavors to contrast with the rich beef.

By following these simple tips, you can guarantee a delicious, savory, and sweet result of your Vietnamese-style beef with garlic, black pepper, and lime recipe that will leave your taste buds craving more.

Bottom Line

Now that you’ve read through this recipe for Vietnamese-Style Beef with Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime, I hope that you’re eager to try it out yourself. This dish is a perfect choice for an easy and flavorful meal, whether you’re cooking for yourself or for guests.

With its sweet and savory flavors, tender beef, and spicy notes of black pepper, this Vietnamese-style beef recipe is absolutely delicious. It’s also surprisingly easy to make – with just a handful of ingredients, you can whip up a feast in no time.

So what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients and give this recipe a try. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations – whether you’re using tri-tip or beef tenderloin, or adding scallions, salted peanuts or yellow onion. The beauty of cooking is in the opportunity to create something unique.

I hope this recipe has inspired you to explore the wonderful world of Vietnamese cuisine. Good luck in your culinary endeavors!

Vietnamese-Style Beef With Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime

Vietnamese-Style Beef With Garlic, Black Pepper, and Lime Recipe

Quick and easy recipe from the Fine Cooking website and Dawn Yanagihara-Mitchell.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 198 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef tri-tip steak or 1 1/2 lbs tenderloin, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
  • 3 tablespoons chopped salted peanuts, preferably toasted
  • 2 scallions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced 5 cloves garlic, minced


  • In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce; stir until the sugar dissolves. In another small bowl, stir the garlic, 1-1/2 teaspoons of the oil, and 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1-1/2 tsp.of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Swirl to coat the skillet. Add half of the beef in a single layer and cook, without stirring, until well browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn the pieces over and brown on the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons oil to the skillet and repeat with the remaining beef, adding it to the bowl with the first batch when done.
  • Put the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil in the skillet and heat until shimmering hot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pan and stir to combine. Add the soy sauce mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the beef and onions are coated and the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the peanuts and scallions.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 85gCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 4.4gFat: 15.4gSaturated Fat: 2.5gSodium: 945.5mgFiber: 1.7gSugar: 7.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Easy, Meat, Vietnamese
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