Try this Vietnamese dish of minced beef, wrapped in wild betel leaves grilled over charcoal served with herbs, sauces, and chilies.


  • 1kg beef mince

  • 3 lemongrass stems, white part only, finely chopped

  • 8 spring onions, white part only, finely chopped

  • 1 bunch coriander roots, finely sliced

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 3 teaspoons salt

  • 3 teaspoons fine white pepper

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 2 bunches betel leaves


  • 1.

    Combine all ingredients except the betel in a bowl and mix well. Allow the flavours to infuse for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the individual leaves and wash in cold water. Lay the leaves flat on a cloth to dry.

  • 2.

    To form the rolls, lay two betel leaves shiny side down, on a board with the stem of the leaf pointing towards you. Spoon approximately 1 tablespoon of the beef mixture onto the bottom half of the leaf. Work it into a sausage shape, then roll the leaf from bottom to top and place the seam flat on your bench to stop the leaf unrolling, or secure it with a toothpick. Repeat this process until you have used all of the beef. The mixture should make about 40 rolls.

  • 3.

    Cook the parcels, seam first, on a char grill or barbecue hotplate over medium heat, turning to colour all over, for about 5 minutes, or until done.

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