A few years back, we encountered Bo Xa Dam at a Vietnamese restaurant outside of Denver. As it happens, the dish is very paleo-friendly, and while rice is no longer a staple, it goes very well on top of fresh greens to make a warm salad.

Bo Xa Dam

  • 8-10 oz lean beef
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1-2 large tomatoes or equivalent
  • Salt
  • Pepper

  • 1 TBS Ghee
  • 2 TBS Fish Sauce (Ingredients should be anchovies, water,¬†and salt only)
  • 2 TBS Aged Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 TBS White Wine


Salt and pepper the beef, and put aside for the moment.

Sliver the onions, and place in a bowl. Add the ghee, fish sauce, balsamic vinegar, and white wine to the onions.

Slice the tomatoes, and place on a serving dish.

Heat a fry pan (do not use a non-stick surface for this, although you may for the onions) over a medium-high heat. Add your high temperature oil of choice (for this I would use Lard) when the pan is hot. Sear the beef once on each side (the cooking time will vary based on your stove, but should be approximately one or two minutes on each side).

Remove the beef from the heat, and let rest before slicing it.

While the beef is resting, reduce the onion and sauce mixture over a medium heat. The goal is not to carmelize the onions (the water we’ve added would make that impossible), but cook the sauce into the onions. The sauce is ready when the onions are cooked to your preferences (some prefer them fairly firm, others softer, I tend to like them cooked soft).

Taste the resulting sauce. If you want more acid or more sweet, add additional aged balsamic vinegar. If you want more salt, or more of the savory mouth feel (umami), add more fish sauce.

Slice the beef, and then toss the sliced beef with the onions and sauce for 30 seconds, and then remove from the heat. Serve over the tomatoes, or with the tomatoes over a bed of fresh greens.