Beef Luc Lac
A popular dish among tourists visiting Cambodia, this quick rich beef stir-fry became a household dinner staple in our family.
This dish is all about contrast and balance that works in perfect harmony. Beef is thinly sliced and coated with cornstarch to create a thick gravy when sautéed with soy sauce & oyster sauce. The lime pepper dipping sauce on the side provides a citrus zing that cuts through the gravy and the raw vegetables bring freshness and textural crunch to the dish.
Have leftovers? Eat for breakfast with a fried egg on top and served with sweet fish sauce on the side instead of the lime pepper dipping sauce.
Traditionally this dish is served on a large platter with the vegetables layered in a circular pattern: Lettuce on the bottom, next comes the tomatoes, then the cucumbers, the red onions sprinkled on top and finally the luc lac poured overtop the vegetables.
I like to serve the vegetables on individual plates with the beef luc lac separated on the plate. This keeps the vegetables crisp and crunchy instead of soggy from the sauce!
How to cook Beef Luc Lac (ingredient list below)
1. Thinly slice your beef and place in a bowl with the cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and half the white sugar. Mix thoroughly with your hands to ensure each slice of beef is coated in cornstarch. Set aside until you're ready to stir fry.
2. Heat your wok, non-stick, or any large pan on medium high heat. Add the canola oil or vegetable oil to your pan. Once the oil is heated add the beef to the hot pan stirring occasionally. Don't over stir your beef, we want to develop those brown bits that stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped garlic, msg, and remaining sugar.
3. When the beef looks almost cooked add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sliced yellow onions. Stir and slowly add water to thicken the sauce and incorporate the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add as much or as little water as needed. If you want a saucier stir fry add more water.
4. Taste and season as needed. The stir-fry should be slightly saltier and sweeter on its own. When you have it with the fresh vegetables and jasmine rice it will balance perfectly. If your stir-fry tastes perfectly seasoned on its own, it might taste slightly bland with the veggies and rice. Don't worry about over seasoning with this dish.
5. Once cooked serve on the side of the fresh vegetables with jasmine rice and the lime pepper dipping sauce. You can dip your beef into the sauce or pour the sauce over the beef stir-fry.
Prep your vegetables
Wash and dry your vegetables. Keep the lettuce pieces whole. Slice tomatoes and layer onto the lettuce. Cut cucumbers into thin slices and place onto the tomatoes. Thinly slice red onions into half moons and sprinkle on top of the tomatoes and cucumbers.
How to make the Lime Pepper Dipping Sauce
In a small bowl juice your limes and mix with the crushed black pepper, salt, sugar, msg and a splash of water if the sauce is too intense for your taste.
2 lbs Beef (top sirloin or any cut with some fat content)
1 tbsp Cornstarch (or white flour)
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
2-3 tsp MSG
1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Oyser Sauce
1-2 cloves of Garlic
1 medium yellow Onion
2 tbsp Canola Oil
1/2 red onion
1 head of Romaine Lettuce
1/2 cup Water
Lime Pepper Dipping Sauce (Thuk Grochma Marith)
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Sugar
Pinch of MSG
Splash of Water