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Vietnamese Grilled Beef in Wild Betel Leaves
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Vietnamese Grilled Beef in Piper Lolot Leaves (Bo Cuon La Lot)

Vietnamese Grilled Beef in Piper Lolot Leaves (Bo Cuon La Lot or Bo Nuong La Lot) is a popular Southern dish. Flavorful rolls of beef wrapped in lolot leaves are grilled until fragrant.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizers and Side dishes, Main Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: bo la lot
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 349kcal
Author: Sophie

Ingredients

For the Beef Rolls

  • 12 oz ground beef
  • 4 oz ground pork (with high fat % preferably)
  • 2-3 tablespoons minced lemongrass, white part only (about 2 stalks)
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (and more for brushing)
  • a bunch of piper lolot leaves (la lot), about 25 leaves or more for small leaves

For the dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 bird's eye chili, seeds removed, minced (optional)

To serve, choose some of the followings:

Instructions

  • Pick the piper lolot leaves from the stalks. Discard the stalks, wash and pat dry the leaves.
  • In a mixing bowl, add ground beef, ground pork and all other ingredients for the beef rolls (minced lemongrass, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, soy sauce, fish sauce and olive oil). Mix well to combine. You may want to cook a teaspoon of filling to see if it is seasoned to your liking.
  • Lay a piper lolot leaf (or two leaves if small) on a clean working surface. Place about a tablespoon of the meat filling on the leaf, form into a small log and then wrap with the leaf.
  • Thread 2-3 beef rolls onto a toothpick, or more onto a skewer to keep the leaves stay in place.
  • Place a grill pan over medium heat (or use an outdoor grill). Lightly brush the rolls with oil and once the grill pan is hot, add the beef rolls.
    Grilling Vietnamese beef in wild betel leaves (bo cuon la lot)
  • Cook for about a minute, or until the leaves are wilted on the bottom side. Flip and cook the other side. You can remove the toothpicks (or skewers) when the leaves are wilted on both sides.
  • Grill for several minutes until the filling is cooked through. Rotate the rolls and adjust the heat as needed to avoid charring the leaves too much.
  • While grilling the rolls, add water, rice vinegar, fish sauce and honey to a small sauce pan over medium heat to make the dipping sauce. Once the sauce starts to simmer, transfer to a bowl and add minced garlic and bird's eye chili. Taste and adjust to your liking.
    Dipping sauce for Vietnamese grilled beef rolls
  • Serve the beef rolls immediately with dipping sauce, vermicelli noodles, lettuce, herbs and roasted peanuts.

Notes

It is fine to use only ground beef to make this dish. However, adding ground pork (or pork fat) will make the rolls juicier.
If the bunch of la lot has way more leaves than needed, you can mince the extra leaves and mix with the meat filling.
People often place the leaf with glossy side down and then roll because the outer of the rolls will look greener. It is okay if you want to roll with the glossy side up.
If you are not sure how to mince lemongrass, read the instructions for preparing lemongrass here.
If you don't have a grill pan or an outdoor grill, you can pan fry the rolls.

Nutrition

Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 1155mg | Potassium: 348mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 2.3mg