Chef Way The Eric and Sophie Banh follow Vietnamese tradition and wrap their beef rolls in la lot leaves, which are similar to shiso.
Easy Way Grape leaves make an excellent replacement for la lot in these crunchy grilled beef rolls.
More Grilled Appetizers
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 fresh lemongrass stalk, tender inner white bulb only, minced
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
4 garlic cloves—1 minced, 3 very thinly sliced
1/2 pound flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick
slices, then halved crosswise
12 large grape leaves from a jar
1/2 small jicama, peeled and cut into 2-by-1/4-inch matchsticks
24 small basil leaves
2 scallions, minced
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
How to Make It
Light a grill. In a medium bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the oil with the fish sauce, lemongrass, five-spice powder, honey, minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the flank steak and toss to coat.
Using scissors, snip off the stems from the grape leaves and spread a few of the leaves out on a work surface. Place 2 slices of the garlic in the center of each leaf. Top with 2 slices of steak, 2 pieces of jicama and 2 basil leaves. Roll up the leaves into tight cylinders, tucking in the sides as you roll. Repeat with the remaining grape leaves, garlic, steak, jicama and basil. Thread the rolls onto 4 pairs of skewers, so that each pair holds 3 rolls. Lightly brush the skewered rolls with oil.
In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil until just beginning to smoke. Remove from the heat and add the scallions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Immediately pour the hot scallion oil into a ramekin.
Grill the rolls over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred outside and firm, about 8 minutes. Transfer the rolls to a platter and drizzle the scallion oil on top. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve.
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