Vietnamese Skewered Beef

This is one of my favourite Vietnamese mains, as it is refreshing and light as well as being fun to eat. A simple Vietnamese Salad and Lettuce leaves or Rice paper sheets accompany the dish to fill and wrap the meat in. This dish can also be prepared with pork kebabs with which you use similar flavours but softened the meat with a mortar and pestle so it is almost mince like and then form them into balls with the help of ground rice to bind it.

Preparation: 20-30 minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Beef Skewers

  • 750g beef fillet, sliced into thin slices around 5mm thick and 5-8cm long and 2-3cm wide

Marinade

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon grass stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

To Serve

  • 3 tbsp of toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Table Salad
  • Handful of small lettuce leaves (iceberg
  • handful mixed herb leaves (all or two of: coriander, mint and Asian basil leaves)
  • 12-18 sheets of rice paper
  • Nuoc Cham, dipping sauce

Method

  1. Marinade: Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Tenderise the beef slightly with a meat tenderiser and place it in the marinade and leave it to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. To Cook: Thread the meat onto 12-18 skewers that have been soaked water. Heat a grill pan, barbecue or grill until hot, place the skewers on the grill pan or barbecue or on a tray under a grill.. Cook the beef for two to three minutes on each side so that they are browned and cooked. Remove the meat and serve.
  3. To Serve: Pile the beef skewers on a serving dish sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds. Serve a plate of table salad, prepared rice paper sheets (or allow your guests to dip them in warm water at the table) and individual bowls of Nuoc Cham Sauce (see recipe).Guests can help themselves to the beef skewers, and place a rice sheet on their plates with a selection of table salad and some of the beef and roll them into a spring roll shape. They can then dip their rolls into the sauce as desired.
  • Rice Paper Sheets: Dip the rice paper in a large bowl of hot water for 10-20 seconds until soft, drain them on a tea towel then place them on a serving plate. When you have prepared them all cover them with cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve. Alternatively you may wish your guests to do this at the table.