Asian Barbecued Lemongrass Beef Wraps

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A delicious, light summer dinner; perfect for eating outdoors on a warm evening! Or…you could serve them as an appetizer. I made a cool, refreshing cucumber salad to go with them. Normally I serve these wraps with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce but for a change I made a peanut sauce and it was delicious too, both recipes are included here.

DSC_4240 nx2Makes 4 – 6 Main Course Servings

2 stalks lemongrass, minced
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. sirloin steak
2 heads butter lettuce
4 oz. rice vermicelli noodles
½ cup cilantro leaves
3 limes, cut in wedges

Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce (recipe below)
Peanut Sauce (recipe below)

Remove the outer 2 layers from the lemongrass stalk; smash & finely mince the lemongrass, using the light-coloured parts only. (you can freeze the remainder of the lemongrass to use in making stock for Asian noodle soups or to cook with rice, or in a curry). In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, sugar, garlic, fish sauce, sesame oil & pepper; set aside.

Cur the beef across the grain into 1/8” thick strips; it’s easier to do this if the beef is partly frozen. Add to the bowl with the marinade; stirring to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or cover and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 1 hour. You will get approximately 2 strips of meat on each skewer so just count the pieces of meat to see how many you will need.

Meanwhile, separate the lettuce into leaves & place on a large serving platter; place the vermicelli into a large bowl; pour boiling water over top & let stand for about 3 minutes or until tender but firm. Drain & arrange in the centre of the platter.

Thread the beef onto the soaked bamboo skewers; place over the coals on the barbecue (high heat); grill for approximately 3 – 5 minutes, but still pink inside. Arrange on the noodles on the platter; sprinkle with the cilantro & surround with the lime wedges.

To serve, let each person place a lettuce leaf on their plates,; top with about ¼ cup of the noodles; remove the beef from the skewers & place on top; squeeze lime juice over top & gently roll up using the sauces to dip the lettuce wrap into, or we drizzle the sauce on our wrap before rolling it up.

Nuoc Cham Sauce:

1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small Thai pepper, seeded & minced
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar or palm sugar if you have it

Whisk together all ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside until ready to serve the wraps.

Peanut Sauce:

You can use this sauce on all sorts of things, such as assorted sates.

¾ cup tinned unsweetened coconut milk
4 tsp. red curry paste
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar or palm sugar if you have it
½ cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts, ground in the food processor

Place the coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, sugar & peanuts in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat; simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Serve warm.

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