Luke uses fresh ingredients bought from the Old Markets to create a dish that gets everyone involved as each person rolls their own rice paper roll.
- 500 g beef sirloin fillet, trimmed
- 1 butter lettuce, leaves removed
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 handful perilla leaves
- 1 handful mint leaves
- 1 handful coriander leaves
- 100 g bean sprouts
- 200 g fresh rice vermicelli noodles
- 250 ml (1 cup) white vinegar
- 250 ml (1 cup) young coconut water
- 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
- 20 dried round rice paper wrappers (16 cm diameter)
Pineapple and anchovy sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp boiling water
- 1 tbsp fermented anchovy sauce
- 2 tbsp crushed fresh pineapple
- 1 tsp finely sliced lemongrass, white part only
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 bird's eye chilli, finely sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. For the pineapple and anchovy sauce, put the sugar in a bowl with the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool. Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and set aside.
2. Slice the beef very thinly across the grain into 2 mm-thick slices. Lay the beef flat on a large plate. Arrange the lettuce, cucumber, onion, perilla, mint, coriander, bean sprouts and cooked vermicelli noodles on a separate platter.
3. Put the vinegar, coconut water, lemongrass and 250 ml (1 cup) water in a clay pot and bring to a slow simmer over low heat.
4. To serve, fill a large bowl with warm water. Each person prepares their own rice paper by dipping it briefly in the warm water until just softened, shaking off the excess water and laying it flat on a plate.
5. Place a piece of lettuce, a few leaves of perilla, mint and coriander, along with some cucumber, onion, vermicelli and bean sprouts on top of the rice paper.
6. Each person picks up a piece of beef with chopsticks and dips it into the clay pot. Cook the beef for as long as you like. Place the beef on top of the rice paper, roll it up tightly and dip into the pineapple and anchovy sauce.
Catch Luke Nguyen on the tracks dishing up Vietnamese fare in the brand-new series, Luke Nguyen's Railway Vietnam.