I woke up the other day craving my Mom’s food. No idea why. All I knew was that I needed a huge dose of Vietnamese fare. I combed through recipes and cookbooks, planned the week’s menu entirely on dishes of my childhood and hauled myself to the asian supermarket (that’s a post in and of itself). Luckily for you, all ingredients can be sourced at Whole Foods or at your regular supermarket, give or take a few herbs.
There is very little cooking for this recipe and more ingredient prep. Most everything can be done ahead of time, you just have to be organized. This is a great interactive meal, or you can pre-roll the beef and cover with a moist paper towel for easy transport.
I thank the good Lord above that THIS asian-y-goodness is what I am privileged to call my comfort food. Enjoy!
LEMONGRASS BEEF with RICE PAPER
- 1/3 c. lemongrass, minced (if dried is only available, soak in a few tbsp. of hot water for 20 mins.)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. veggie oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. top sirloin or london broil cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1 head red leaf lettuce
- 1 cucumber, julienned
- fresh mint
- fresh thai basil (optional)
- 1/3 lb rice vermicelli, boiled 4-5 mins, rinsed w/ cold water, drained
- 2-3 c. bean sprouts
- rice paper sheets
VIETNAMESE DIPPING SAUCE
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp. chili paste
- 1/4 c. fish sauce
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2/3 c. hot water
- Combine all marinade ingredients, let sit for 15 mins.
- Assemble the table salad on a large serving plate, rice paper sheets go on a separate plate. Place a large, deep dish of hot water on the table.
- Combine all vietnamese dipping sauce ingredients, stir until the sugar has dissolved. Separate into individual dishes.
- Preheat a large pan, wok or grill on very high. Sautee beef until just done, about 20 seconds (ish) per side.
- To make the rolls: Submerge rice paper in the hot water, allow excess water to drip off. Place on plate, lay 1/2 a piece of lettuce, 1 tbsp. of rice noodles + beans sprouts, a sprinkle of cucumber, a few mint and basil leaves and a a few slices of beef on the bottom third of rice paper. Fold the sides over and roll to enclose. Dip in sauce and ăn cơm!