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Grilled lemongrass beef rice-paper rolls

Neil Perry
Neil Perry

Vietnamese wraps make a table-side choose-your-own-adventure: serve up a few fab fillings and let guests do the rest. DIY-delicious. Instead of rice paper, you can easily swap for lettuce leaves and simply fill up with beef, hoisin sauce and the herbs of your choice.

Tangy, fragrant lemongrass beef rice paper rolls.
Tangy, fragrant lemongrass beef rice paper rolls. Photo: William Meppem


14 thin lemongrass stalks

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small red birds-eye chilli, finely chopped

1/2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp fish sauce

600g good-quality rump beef, thickly minced

*200g pork mince (see tips below)

vegetable oil, for grilling

12 dried rice paper rounds

To serve

shredded carrot and cucumber

fresh herbs: eg. mint, coriander, Vietnamese mint, perilla leaves

nuoc cham dipping sauce (see rice pancake recipe)

hoisin sauce


Remove the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass. Take two stalks and finely chop the white part only. Trim the hard green tops from the remaining stalks and discard.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the chopped lemongrass, garlic, chilli, sugar and pepper. Stir in the fish sauce to create a marinade.

Place the beef, pork and marinade in a mixing bowl, then knead until all ingredients have combined well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

With wet hands, divide the mixture into 12 portions and roll each into a sausage shape. Carefully thread onto each lemongrass stalk and brush with a little oil. Heat a barbecue on medium and cook, turning every few minutes, until done (about 6-8 minutes).

Serve on a platter along with the shredded vegetables, herbs and sauces. Place a bowl of warm water in the centre of the table to soften the rice paper.

Remove the beef from the lemongrass stalks, place in the middle of a softened rice paper round, and add whatever vegetables, herbs and sauces you like to create your own roll.


• *When making the lemongrass rolls, make sure the pork mince isn't too lean - the fat adds flavour and stops the beef from drying out.

• If you use wooden or bamboo skewers instead of lemongrass stalks, remember to soak them first for an hour so they don't burn.


Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Alice Story.

Main ingredient:
Beef, Pork
Main-course, Starter/Entree, Side Dish, Finger-food
Family meals, Dinner Party, Midweek dinner, Kids' cooking

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3 comments so far

  • Neil perry needs to stop pretending he is asian cuisine chef.

    No, lemon grass rice paper rolls isn't 'viet'. It's a western attempt at viet food. it is not normal to put a fragrant dish of lemongrass beef in a rice paper roll with fresh herbs. Think of the clash. You have all these fresh herbs being overpowered by the lemongrass beef. Rice paper rolls with fresh herbs are suppose to be a colder dish with fresh herbs bring the roll to life. You then add a rich, aromatic lemongrass beef with cooked fished sauce. Then you dip it in uncooked, fish sauce?! What an idiot.

    reality is a dream
    Date and time
    February 03, 2015, 12:44PM
  • Edit: Didn't realise hoisin is also used. Even worse = more clash of flavours. Also nuoc cham virtually means dipping water i.e dipping sauce.

    reality is a dream
    Date and time
    February 03, 2015, 1:34PM
  • We Love Neil Perrys Asian recipes.The combination of fresh herbs and grilled yummy meat sounds delicious.Another one to add to our repertoire.Bring em on Neil.

    Date and time
    February 07, 2015, 4:55PM

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