This is one of Adam Liaw's favourite Vietnamese dishes. 


  • ¼ cup peanut oil

  • 500g rump steak, sirloin or flank, very thinly sliced

  • 1 small brown onion, peeled and sliced

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tender white part only, minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 1 large red chilli, sliced diagonally

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1½ tsp sugar

  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Heat a wok over very high heat until smoking, add half the oil and fry the beef in batches until well browned all over then remove from the wok.

  • 2.

    Add the remaining oil to the wok and fry the onion, lemongrass, garlic and chilli until the onions are softened and the ingredients are fragrant and starting to brown.

  • 3.

    Return the beef to the wok and toss with the fish sauce, sugar and black pepper for about 2 minutes. Remove from the wok and allow to rest for a minute before serving.

  • Notes:

  • 1.

    If you use the woody parts of the lemongrass or don’t cut it into small enough pieces, the dish will have a gritty texture. If the lemongrass is especially woody, whizz it in a food processor instead of chopping it.

  • 2.

    Fry the beef with the lemongrass mixture for a minute before adding the fish sauce. This will help brown the meat and caramelise the lemongrass for good wok hei.

  • 3.

    Taste any wok-fried dish before you finish cooking so you can adjust seasoning to suit your tastes.

  • 4.

    Frying meat in a wok is easy, provided you follow three simple rules – cut the meat thinly, brown it well and, of course, the cardinal rule, never overcrowd the wok.

  • 5.

    As there are no vegetables to worry about, you can just focus on getting the flavour of the wok-cooked meat just right.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

  • Energy 765kj
  • Fat Total 69g
  • Saturated Fat 15g
  • Protein 27g
  • Carbohydrate 9g
  • Sugar 3g
  • Sodium 776mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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Recipe featured in Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery School

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