Food & Drink

Vietnamese-Style Beef With Watercress

Serves: 4

This recipe is adapted from "300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes," by Nancie McDermott (Robert Rose, 2007).


1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce

1½ teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

1¼ pounds boneless rib-eye steak

½ small red onion

2 medium cloves garlic

1 bunch watercress

2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar

2 tablespoons plus

1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, ½ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large resealable plastic food storage bag.

Trim and discard all visible fat from the steak and cut the meat into 1-inch chunks (there should be about 14 ounces of meat); add to the bag and seal. Shake until well coated. Set aside for 10 minutes, at room temperature.

Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with ice cubes and water. Cut the onion into thin slices, place them in the ice water and let sit for five minutes. Mince garlic and set aside. Trim the watercress stems, then wash the watercress and spin dry (there should be 2 to 3 cups).

Combine the vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the oil and the remaining sugar, pepper and salt in a bowl; add the onion and toss to evenly coat. Place watercress on top.

Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the wok or skillet. Carefully add the marinated steak and its sauce; quickly distribute the meat in a single layer and cook, without stirring, for one to two minutes, until browned. Shake the wok or skillet or use a spatula to turn the meat over and brown on the second side for two to three minutes. Scatter the garlic over the beef and cook without stirring for one minute. Then cook for one to two minutes for medium- rare, or to the desired doneness, shaking or turning as needed.

Remove from heat. Toss the watercress with the onion and dressing; divide among individual plates. Top with beef.

Per serving: 261 calories; 25 grams protein; 4 grams carbohydrates; 15 grams fat (4 saturated); 54 milligrams cholesterol; 836 milligrams sodium; 0 fiber