Saturday, September 3, 2011

Delicious Vietnam/Rice Bloghop: Vietnamese Style Grilled Lemongrass Beef in Rice Paper Spring Roll Wraps

This post is months in the making, Anh from Food Lover's Journey asked me to join her and  Ravenous Couple Delicious Vietnam initiative, as one of our favorite cuisines, outside of my Indian and Mediterranean/Israeli, is Vietnamese. This month's host is Phuoc'n Delicious.
Recently what snowballed out of Cake Love blog hop, Junia of Mis Pensamientos's  brainchild, is a monthly initiative led by Junia, with the September's theme being Rice Love. Since these photos were snapped back in July when I made these rice paper rolls, I thought what a fantastic idea to combine both initiatives into a one post. I will list all hosts of Rice Love as well as Delicious Vietnam when the complete lists are available.
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I think I mentioned in a couple of previous posts that one of my favorite cookbooks is Asian Grilling by Su-Mei Yu. This recipe is an adaptation from her book. The author doesn't have the rice noodles in the rolls and I thought it would be wonderful to have them as added texture. It is also a nice way to highlight two rice ingredients in this recipe as part of the Rice Love blog hop, one is the rice paper and the second are the rice noodles. I like to serve the noodles in the spring roll wraps or all by themselves with a Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Sauce or a Thai Style Cucumber Relish as featured in the photographs, as a salad or with flank steak strips of beef.
While my site focuses on flavors and cuisines I grew up on, it won't be a complete reflection on our tastes if I don't once in a while talk about the other dishes and cuisine we adore. These cuisines might make guest appearances here in this space. I mentioned Thai was the next cuisine I was enamored with next to Indian, the bold flavors captivated me. Then there was a recent South Asian discovery of Indonesian cuisine with Padang Fish Curry (West Sumatra, Indonesia) and the 411 on Fresh Turmeric out of James Osland's Cradle of Flavor but Vietnamese cuisine has a feel and a rhythm of its own. A sublime tone of delicious, delicate, calmly satisfying flavors, whether in their soothing Pho soup or these pretty rice paper wrap rolls.
I am heavy handed with the ingredients in the marinade and use the recipe as an inspiration. I do not really count the sprigs of cilantro and how much lettuce I use. I usually buy hearts of romaine since they are more delicate in flavor and arrange all the ingredients for self assembly on a large platter. Dipping sauces and a large deep plate with water to wet the rice papers on the side. It's interactive and fun. Some make lettuce wraps and some rice paper ones, each guest is creative according to his or her whim and fancy. It's a crowd pleaser and I usually make this for large Asian inspired BBQ gatherings. Perfect for Labor Day weekend.
Vietnamese Style Grilled Beef in Lettuce

Flank Steak Marinade:
4lbs Flank steak
7 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Stalks lemongrass, white parts, minced
2 Tablespoons sugar
6 Shallots, minced
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper or according to taste
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons fish sauce
2 Teaspoons sesame oil

Mix all ingredients of the marinade in a large rectangular Tupperware with a lid. Add flank steak to marinade and coat well. Close Tupperware with the lid and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

BBQ the next day on a grill or broil in oven to desired doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into thin slices against the grain. Arrange on a platter. If you do not wish the beef juices to seep into herbs and vegetables, you can serve the beef on a separate platter than the veggies.

Rice noodles:
A package of rice noodles

Directions on package say to soak rice noodles in cold water but this method takes way too long. I soak in warm water for about 20 minutes or longer, or soak in hot water for 5-10 minutes or longer, until the noodles are soft. Rinse with cold water and drain.

For assembly:
Sliced flank steak from above
Rice noodles from above
Large rice papers
Hearts of romaine lettuce, rinsed and dried
Sprigs of cilantro, rinsed and dried
Fresh mint leaves, rinsed and dried
6-8 Baby cucumbers, peeled, thinly sliced lengthwise
Sauces from below
Large bowl with tap water to wet rice paper so they are pliable

Dip (immerse) rice paper briefly, about two seconds into water, if you are at an outdoor BBQ shake off excess water, if not dry gently on a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Set on your plate, layer desired ingredients, beef, rice noodles, cucumber, herbs and some dipping sauce in the middle of rice paper and fold to form a spring roll. Folding: fold bottom of rice paper over layered ingredients, then fold the sides of rice paper to envelope layered ingredients.

Can also make lettuce wraps or serve on top of rice noodles as a salad.

Vietnamese Sweet and Sour Sauce (I double this)
1 Garlic clove, minced
3 Tablespoons sugar
3-5 Serrano chiles, or I use jalapeno, diced or halved lengthwise and sliced. Can be cored to lower heat.
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
2 Tablespoons lime juice

Mix and let sit for 10 minutes. If not serving immediately refrigerate.

For a Thai Style Cucumber Relish: (I double this)
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon fish sauce
1/3 Cup sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Serrano chile or I use jalapeno, halved and cored if you wish to reduce heat and sliced
3 Baby cucumbers, peeled and diced or halved and sliced in half moon shape
1 Shallot, diced
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon chopped mint

Mix and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Best made few minutes ahead of serving but ok if made couple hours ahead and refrigerated.

Delicious Vietnam list is coming soon.
Please join in on the #ricelove fun by linking up any rice recipe from the month of September. Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #ricelove event. The twitter hashtag is #ricelove :).

Co-Hosted by:
Baker Street (http://bakerstreet.tv/) Anuradha
Bloc de Recetas (http://blocderecetas.blogspot.com/) Salome
Bon a Croquer (http://www.bonacroquer.com/) Valerie
Cafe Terra (http://www.cafeterrablog.com/) Terra
Chef Pandita (http://chefpandita.com/) Yuri
Daily Palette (http://thedailypalette.com/) (Annapet)
Elephant Eats  (http://elephanteats.com/)Amy
Food Wanderings (http://foodwanderings.blogspot.com/) Shulie
Hobby and More (http://hobbyandmore.blogspot.com/) Richa
Knitstamatic (http://knitstamatic.wordpress.com/) Deb
Mike's Baking  (http://www.mikesbaking.co.uk/) Mike
Mis Pensamientos (http://juniakk.blogspot.com/) Junia
Simply Reem (http://www.simplyreem.com/) (Reem)
The Professional Palate (http://professionalpalate.squarespace.com/) Regan
The Queen's Notebook (http://www.queensnotebook.com/) Elizabeth
The Spicy Rd (http://www.eastewart.com/blog/ EA



38 comments :

  1. wow, i love all the "green" in this rice spring roll! this thai cuke relish sound amazing!!! i usually eat spring rolls with peanut sauce (mix peanut butter and hoisen sauce together!) yay for #ricelove :)

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  2. The relish sounds unbelievably delicious! Gorgeous gorgeous pictures shulie!

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  3. I too adore Vietnamese food and these are quite the fresh and delicious rolls.

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  4. Those are gorgeous, they look really good and i think they're really creative!

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  5. What a lovely recipe! Those rolls look really scrumptious and fresh. I love Vietnamese food.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. These are so delicately beautiful that I dare not touch them :) eating with my eyes! i need to make me some rolls with the sweet and sour sauce.. sounds divine!

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  7. Oh these are great and I love the meat in it! Great idea of joining both iniciatives!

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  8. I'm on my way over, these look fab! :)

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  9. Love this recipe! I want to reach out on my computer and grab one right now! I haven't eaten a lot of Vietnamese food, but I do love all the contrasting flavors and textures in Vietnamese cuisine and definitely want to make these soon!

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  10. Nice to meet you and gorgeous rolls!

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  11. Beautiful!!!
    These rolls looks so fresh and delicious..
    I bet they taste divine

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  12. lovely clicks and the rolls look so fresh! have an amazing weekend.. i am loving this bloghop

    Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog
    Hobby And More on Facebook

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  13. This is fabulous, Shulie! Rice-paper rolling is not my talent portion and you just inspired me to give it another go!

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  14. The rolls are so nice and packed with flavours Shullie! Thanks for joining us :)

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  15. Seriously, every time you teach me something new, love it! I have always wanted to cook with lemongrass, it is on my list of things to do! My hubby would adore this recipe, it looks amazing:-) Love and Hugs, Terra

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  16. Beautiful photos Shulie! I love the combination of flavors in both the Thai and Vietnamese sauce/relish. Oh, and thank you. ;-)

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  17. Gorgeous post! Most amazing pictures. Good to be back home and back in the blogsphere.

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  18. Oh I love this Vietnamese fresh veggie rolls...I make this often for our family and it is so healthy and irresistable ! Wonderful of you to join us, Shulie ! Thanks for sharing this lovely post and for all your kind comments, encouraging support & friendship!

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  19. Thank you guys hugs across the world:) This is one of my son's 'Mom, can you please make it?' repertoire when he gets back home. Took a risk made it for my son's HS soccer teams's BBQ here and the guys loved it. One turns out was living in Korea when his dad was stationed there and the Asian flavors brought back memories. Needless to say it was on the menu whenever we had the team over here for team dinners for four years in a row. Those dudes can be finicky eaters SO PHEW for this spring rolls crowd pleaser.:)

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  20. This meal looks absolutely amazing - fresh, light and flavourful. Vietnamese food is awesome! And glad to discover your blog, lot of interesting recipes

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  21. Love Vietnamese rice rolls and yours look incredible. That relish...mmmm! I'm coming to visit you soon, you know that?:)

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  22. your spring rolls look great! love the flavor combo :)
    can't wait to see all the #ricelove posts. Yum!!

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  23. I'm a huge fan of Vietnamese wraps and this one looks so refreshing and delicious!

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  24. I keep blinking my eyes at these photos. OMG I could take a bite out of one of those wraps right now! They look fantastic! All the flavors on the post make my tongue sing.

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  25. gorgeous Shulie, really, really gorgeous! i love this kind of meal but honestly, just don't make at home because i assume it's difficult to pull off. since i didn't grow up eating this kind of cuisine, it's just something that wasn't familiar to me - but i LOVE it and will order dishes like these out at restaurants. you make it look easy!

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  26. wow..looks gorgeous and refreshing!

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  27. This dish looks so gorgeous, Shullie! Love all the shots here!

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  28. OOOO love this one. I tried making it once at home with a different kinda filling but somehow it got a little rubbery and chewy . What did I do wrong ?

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  29. TY & welcom @threecookies Ahaha Lora come over. TY Brian and Roxana all these RiceLove entries are fab aren't they?!TY Maureen a tough crowd like soccer guys liked it soo I was relieved. Debra, you should totally make get all the ingredients and it is super easy. As easy as any BBQ really and so much fun and inteactive. TY @mycookinghut, Emily and Pepy, means a lot you mentioning the clicks. TY Kankana what was rubbery the rice paper or the filing? What kind of filling did you use? TY all for dropping by.

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  30. These rolls look fabulous, Shulie! And you used two rice ingredients, double the #ricelove :) I love springrolls, they always look so fresh and healthy.

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  31. I'm slowly getting through all the lovely #ricelove posts and yours is DIVINE! What beautiful pictures - I don't think I've seen I've ever seen Vietnamese rolls so pretty.

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  32. Wow, your pictures just jump right out of the page and make me so hungry right now! It's great to meet you through the bloghop! :-)
    I really like rice vermicelli in my rice paper rolls, too. :D In fact, I've never had a roll without rice vermicelli.

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  33. I wish I had a grill to make proper vietnamese grilled steak - the broil method will just have to do for now.

    I love the idea of the Thai Style Cucumber Relish - sounds refreshingly lovely.

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  34. hi, my first time here, these look so interesting..can smell the aroma of crisp and freshness when looking at your great photo shoots.. wow and delicious too and i like lemon grass added flavor to your vietnamese dish.
    feel free to visit mine too :)

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  35. hi food wanderings! likewise, great to discover your site via delicious vietnam. your rolls look and sound absolutely delicious!

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  36. Hi Shulie,

    You improvise w/ rolls like a native! Sometimes lost among all the recipes for proper spring rolls and so on is that pretty much anything savory is fair game for rolling up with veggies and rice noodles.

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