Wild betel leaf is often used in South-East Asian cuisine, and here Luke uses it in a Vietnamese beef stir-fry. It only needs a minute in the wok.






Skill level

Average: 3.6 (58 votes)


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), finely diced (peel off dry outer shell) (see note)
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 chilli, finely diced, plus 1 chilli extra, finely sliced, to serve
  • 300 g lean beef sirloin, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 15 betel leaves, roughly sliced
  • 2 coriander sprigs, to serve 
  • jasmine rice, to serve

Cook's notes

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.


In a smoking-hot frying pan or wok, add vegetable oil and lemongrass and cook until fragrant, then add garlic and chilli.

Now add beef and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Season with fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Add betel leaf and stir-fry for a further minute.

Transfer to a plate and garnish with sliced chilli and coriander. Serve with jasmine rice.


• When dicing lemongrass, always use a nice heavy sharp knife. If you have another one, use two simultaneously.  
• Do not discard the tips of a lemongrass stalk, steep it in hot water and drink it as lemongrass tea.