Vietnamese Smoked Beef with Dipping Sauce – Be Thui voi Tuong Cu Da

Note:   The following is an observational pictorial recipe I documented while my mom showed me how to make Be Thui. I’ll have to go back to this post to update some ingredients’ measurement later when I make this on my own. Be Thui is a specific smoked beef dish, a specialty food that I love to eat when my dad hangs out with his guy friends on the weekends when I was a kid. It’s one of those food commonly serve with beer. Be thui is smoked beef and the particular meat is from a young calf. The calf skin is included and the meat is sliced into very thin pieces. I bought the be thui meat at Tien Hung Market in Orlando, Florida in the frozen section. It’s the only Vietnamese market in the area I know that sells this smoked beef cut to make this particular dish. I’ll go back and complete this pictorial when I make this myself. It’s hard to take nice pictures when mom show me how to cook anything. There’s no pausing for pictures with mom.

  • Prep time: 30 – 40 minutes
  • Serving: Party tray for 10 – 20 people


For the Tuong Cu Da dipping sauce:

  • 3-4 lemongrass stalks (~ 3/4 cup minced lemongrass)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (~ 2 Tbsp minced garlic)
  • 1 piece ginger and / or galanga (~ 1 Tbsp minced)
  • 1 cup hot boiled water
  • 1 2/3 cup Tuong Cu Da sauce
  • 1/2 + 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lime plus 1 tsp more
  • 1 tsp homemade Thai chili paste
  • 2 – 3 chopped Thai Chilies (optional for extra spicy)

For the Be Thui:

  • 2 lbs be thui (2.2 lb for this pictorial)
  • 1 bunch or bag of Thai basil (maybe about 3 cups fresh leaves)
  • 1.5 – 2 limes
  • roasted grounded rice powder (thinh – see picture)
  • 2 small red onions
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup crushed roasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts

(insert image of all ingredients next time)


Make the dipping sauce.

Step 1: Slice the lemongrass, ginger, and galanga into thin pieces and blend it well with the garlicin a processor. The finer your blend this, the better. Then mix it with Tuong Cu Da sauce, hot boiled water, sugar, lime juice, and Thai chilies. Set aside to cool down.

Prep the Be Thui Salad:

Step 2: Rinse, dry basil leaves in colander, and chop it up coarsely. Roast and crush sesame seeds and peanuts.

Step 3: Squeeze out be thui’s blood as much as possible. (Self reminder: wear gloves)

Step 4: Squeeze in lime juice onto be thui and mix it up well. Then squeeze be thui to get the excess liquid out.

Step 5: Slice red onions as thin as possible. “Thin like paper” says my mom. Then in a large mixing bowl, mix the sliced onions with 1/2 teaspoon, 1 tablespoon sugar, and juice of half a lime.

Step 6: Mix the be thui with the onion mixture well. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. (1:30pm)

Step 7: Before heading out to the potluck party (4 pm), she mixed in the sesame seeds, basil leaves, and thinh. Lastly, top the be thui with roasted peanuts right before serving.
Eating this for the very first time? For that first bite of be thui, make sure you include a piece of smoked beef, basil leaf, and onion and remember to dip it into the Tuong Cu Da sauce. Enjoy!

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