Thit Bo Tai Chanh or as I like to refer to it, Vietnamese beef carpaccio-- is a delicious dish meant for few to gather, socialize, and drink. In Vietnamese cuisine, we have this whole genre of foods that are considered 'beer food'.
What makes something beer food? Well through my years of eating, cooking, and more eating-- I've gotten a speculation of what good beer food means:
- Enhanced with a cold beer/beverage
So, when I try to make 'beer food', it's always a goal to hit all of these different flavor elements. It's gotta be tart, sweet, savory, and spicy all at once and balanced. No pressure though haha!
- Find a good reputable butcher to get a piece of beef sirloin, wash it with cold water, and then put it into the freezer for 30-45 minutes. I find it helpful to smile and make small talk with the butcher before I ask for it. It may..or may not help you get a better piece. 50/50 chance. haha
- Pickle sliced onions by slicing them thin and immersing them into a rice vinegar/sugar/water solution. Try to leave your tears outside of the marinade. I wear chemistry lab goggles to keep my tears from falling down.
- Mince garlic and fry them until golden brown with olive oil.
- Slice your beef thinly and season with fish sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, cayenne pepper, sliced red pepper, optional: mushroom seasoning powder and sriracha. Once your meat is fully incorporated with the spices, add a nice healthy amount of lime juice. I would recommend tasting your lime to make sure it isn't bitter first. The liquid that comes from the lime will be absorbed by the meat and also 'cook' the meat. This is where the magic happens!
- Squeeze out excess liquid from your onions and season your onions lightly with salt and pepper. Add this to your beef.
- Once your garlic oil has cooled, add this to your beef and mix.
- Once incorporated and mixed sufficiently, chop some of your herbs and mix it into your beef. Make sure you don't bruise your herbs, just chop them. Not mince-- chop. You can also mix in some fried shallots at this point.
- Plate using the rest of your veggies as the base and putting your beef salad on top. I like adding more shallots and sliced red thai red peppers on top. It's optional to add crushed roasted peanuts.
- Sit around with your best buds and beers. Laugh obnoxiously loud like the dads did at the Vietnamese parties. Oh, and be sure to turn on the Karaoke machine and sing when you get that liquid confidence really saturated in your system 🙂
Yes, please follow all these steps to really enjoy this version of Thit Bo Tai Chanh or Vietnamese Beef Carpaccio! Absolutely necessary.
I opted for a Kombucha beer just because I just discovered it and like to tell myself I'm being healthy, but any beer or cold beverage will do. This is super savory, citrusy and has just the right kick! I love how the herbs, fried garlic and shallots meld together and become a great enhancer for the super tasty beef. The best bite in my opinion has a bit of all these elements (don't forget the pickled seasoned onions!) in every mouthful.
SO. FRIGKIN. DELICIOUS. Ngon muon chet luon cac ban oi. Translation: SO DELICIOUS I WANT TO DIE MY FRIEND. lol it sounds better in Vietnamese.
Everyone has slightly different taste preferences so make sure you really tailor this to what you enjoy. Leave me a comment if you're thinking about trying this out yourself!