Need a new bar snack in your repertoire? Try these fragrant Vietnamese wraps.
- 160 g (1 cup) unsalted roasted peanuts
- 250 ml (1 cup) water combined with 1 tbsp salt
- 1 bunch betel leaves, washed
- bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 minutes to prevent them burning
- 500 g minced beef scotch fillet
- 100 g minced pork
- 4 stalks lemongrass, white part only, bruised and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 bunch coriander, stems and roots included, washed well and finely chopped
- 1 bunch spring onions, white ends thinly sliced, green ends reserved
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
Spring onion oil (Mo hanh)
- 250 ml (1 cup) grapeseed oil
- good pinch salt and freshly ground white pepper
- reserved spring onion greens, thinly 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 filling, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to combine well. Set aside at room temperature while you make the oil.
2. For the spring onion oil, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the spring onion is soft, but not coloured. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
3. Place the peanuts in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat and toast until lightly charred. Add a splash of the salted water- the water will evaporate leaving a coating of salt on the peanuts. Do this a few times, but be careful not to put too much water into the pan each time or the water will not evaporate quickly, leaving the peanuts soggy. Stand until cool, then coarsely crush.
4. To assemble the rolls, place the betel leaves, shiny side-down on a work surface. Working one at a time, place a small spoonful of the meat mixture on the betel leaf and roll up to enclose the meat. You can leave the sides open which will give the meat a smoky flavour or you can enclose the meat in the leaf which will leave it slightly juicier. Thread the small stalk through the leaf to keep it sealed, then thread 4 rolls onto each skewer.
5. Preheat a charcoal grill to medium-high. Cook the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side, brushing with the spring onion oil as they cook. Transfer to a serving plate, spoon over some of the remaining spring onion oil, scatter with the chopped peanuts and serve the remaining spring onion oil on the side.
Diana Chan is exploring the many dishes of Asia within Australia in the brand-new series, Asia Unplated with Diana Chan.