Betel Wrapped Beef
- 1 lb of ground beef (or you can also use a mixture such 1/2 beef and pork or 1/2 beef and chicken)
- 1/2 tablespoon of finely minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon of finely minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon of curry powder
- 2 tablespoon of chopped lemon grass
- 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cracked pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 package of fresh or frozen betel leaves (if none available, use perilla leaves. If using frozen betel leaves, allow to defrost outside and separate leaves and allow to dry slightly on paper towels before wrapping )
- 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 4 tablespoons of scallion oil (heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil, remove from heat and add finely chopped scallions)
In a large bowl, combine meat with garlic, shallots, lemongrass, curry, fish sauce, sugar, pepper and salt and mix well and set aside in fridge and prepare leaves.
To prepare the leaves, detach the leaves from their stems and roll with glossy side facing down. Place a generous 1 tablespoon full of meat near the base of the leave and shape accordingly. Roll the base over making sure that the length of the meat doesn’t exceed the width of the leaf. Secure the apex of the leaf with a tiny bit of meat mixture, using it as a paste. Use a scissor to cut of any excess ends of betel leaf.
There are multiple options when cooking Betel Wrapped Beef. In Vietnam, these are grilled over small charcoal ovens, but you have multiple great options. You can grill using skewers or a grilling basket or broil in the oven for about 6-8 minutes, turning a few times to prevent the leaves from burning.
You can also just saute these with a bit of oil in a pan, or what we did was sauteed it about 2 minutes to keep the meat moist and then quickly seared it on the grill to char the leaves. Flip once to prevent the leaves from burning.
Top with dry roasted peanuts and scallion oil and serve immediately. We served ours with cha gio (egg rolls).