January 23, 2024

Adam Liaw’s lemongrass beef rice paper rolls


2 cloves garlic

1 stalk lemongrass, white inner part only

8 black peppercorns

300g very thinly sliced beef skirt (available frozen from Asian grocers), thawed

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp vegetable oil

75g dried rice vermicelli

about 12 sheets of rice paper

½ cup fried Asian shallots (available fromAsian grocers)

2 tbsp fried garlic (available from Asiangrocers)

2 cups shredded lettuce

3 cups mixed fresh herbs, such as coriander, mint, Vietnamese mint and Thai basil

Nuoc cham

75g caster sugar

75ml fish sauce

50ml white vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 bird’s eye chillies, seeds removed, minced


Step 1

Pound the garlic, lemongrass and peppercorns using a mortar and pestle. In a bowl, combine the garlic and lemongrass paste with the beef and fish sauce and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Heat a frypan over high heat and add the oil. Fry the beef until just cooked, then remove to a plate.

Step 2

For the nuoc cham, combine the ingredients in a bowl with 100ml of water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Stand for 15 minutes and stir again.

Step 3

Place the vermicelli in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes, rinse under cold water until completely cool, then drain.

Step 4

Dip the rice paper into a large bowl of lukewarm water and rotate until slightly soft but still the texture of cellophane. Spread the first sheet on a board or plate and scatter with a bit of fried shallots and garlic. Place a small amount of beef in the centre, towardsthe bottom edge, and a little vermicelli, lettuce and herbs on top. Roll to enclose the filling, folding in the sides to form a shape like a spring roll. Repeat, then serve with the nuoc cham.


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