Vietnamese Beef Carpaccio


500 grams beef (as fresh as you can get), tenderloin or flank is good
1 Juice from large or 2 medium size lemons (about ½ cup)
2 Juice from limes (about 2 tablespoons)
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons shallots (sliced)
3 tablespoons fried shallots
3 tablespoons peanuts
1 bunch of herbs – mint, basil and coriander (shredded/chopped)
chilli flakes


Use the freshest beef you can get. And buy from a reputable source.
Partially freeze the slab of beef so that it’s hard and easier to slice.
Slice the beef VERY THINLY against the grain. That means that if the lines on the beef run horizontal, you cut vertical AGAINST the lines so that it’s more tender and easier to bite into.
Place the beef in a large bowl and squeeze the juice from the lemons and limes on to the beef.
Add 2.5 tablespoons of sugar.
Mix all the ingredients in the bowl well.
Press the beef into the lemon-lime juice solution. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and stow away in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours. The acid in the juice will cook the meat. The longer you soak the beef, the more “cooked” it gets. Stir the mixture once after an hour.
In the meantime, toast some peanuts in a dry hot pan. Careful not to burn them!
After about 2 or 3 hours, the meat would have turned a dull pink.
Drain the beef. Gently squeeze the meat to get the liquids out.
Rinse the bowl. Return the meat to the bowl.
Add 2 to 2.5 tablespoons of fish sauce. This brand of fish sauce that I use is very salty, so I used 2 tablespoons of it. Mix well together.
Prepare the rest of the garnishes. Thinly slice a bunch of fresh shallots. Shred some mint leaves and coriander with your fingers. Slice some basil leaves. And use some store bought fried shallots.
Lay the beef slices out in a single layer on a large plate.
Sprinkle the garnishes over it.
If you like the dish to have some kick.. which we do.. add some chilli flakes or crushed chillis with seeds. Or slice up some fresh chillis and throw on top.


Barnaby Dorfman's picture

Wow...this looks fantastic, can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.


My friend, Mireille made this at a dinner party and we loved it so much. I couldn’t stop eating it!

Don’t be frightened by the raw beef. You’ll be surprised how cooked it gets by the acid in the lemons. There’s no blood at all and it’s more cooked than a medium rare steak.

Try it! It’s delicious.

For a step by step tutorial on how to make this, go to -




Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 4:06pm


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