Beef in betel leaf

Beef in betel leaf

By
From
KOTO
Photographer
Michael Fountoulakis

This dish was one of my earliest introductions to Vietnamese street food. The wonderful aroma of the betel leaf charring on the outdoor charcoal burners still holds a dear place in my culinary memory.

Though commonly known as betel leaf, this ingredient is actually not from the betel nut tree—the tree is just the host to the special vine that produces this leaf.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g beef fillet, minced
80g pork fat, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 lemongrass stem, finely chopped, white part only
3/4 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/3 teaspoon five-spice powder
1/3 teaspoon sesame oil
18 betel leaves
6 bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes
vegetable oil, for grilling

Accompaniments

Quantity Ingredient
300g rice vermicelli
1 butter lettuce, separated into cups
1 large handful coriander leaves
1 large handful mint leaves
1 handful thai basil leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
Classic dipping sauce

Method

  1. Combine the beef, pork fat, peanuts, lemongrass, sugar, fish sauce, five spice and sesame oil in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Prepare the betel leaves by removing any tough stems and wiping with a damp cloth. Use only whole leaves without tears. Place the betel leaves, smooth side down, on the bench with the point of the leaf furthest away. Divide the beef mixture equally between the leaves. The mixture should sit just below the centre of the leaf. Roll the leaf taking care to fold in the sides. Thread 3 rolled betel leaves crosswise onto a skewer. Brush the beef skewers with oil and chargrill for 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Arrange the vermicelli, lettuce cups, herbs and beef in betel leaves on a communal platter and scatter with extra peanuts. Serve with the dipping sauce.
Tags:
KOTO
Tracey
Lister
Andreas
Pohl
Vietnam
Vietnamese
Asian
Asia
South
East
Southeast
South-east
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