Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef Rolls

Appetizers & Snacks, Parties & Potlucks
These lemongrass spiced beef rolls were a favorite hors d’oeuvre we served when I was freelance catering cook in Melbourne, Australia. The kitchen was near Little Saigon, so we would buy these in rather than make them.
Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef Rolls


  • 1 pound ground beef (use fatty beef)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 24 large betel or Perilla leaves*
  • 8 water chestnuts, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Fish sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup scallions, sliced in rounds
  • 1/2 salted roasted peanuts, chopped fine


  1. In a medium skillet, sauté the garlic, lemongrass and ginger in oil until golden. Remove and cool in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add ground beef, water chestnuts, sugar, fish sauce and black pepper to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. To make the rolls, place a leaf on a plate so the back of the leaf is facing up. Take about 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture and roll it into a sausage shape that is not quite as wide as the widest part of the leaf. Place the meat on the leaf near the stem end of the leaf and roll the leaf around the sausage. towards the pointy tip.
  4. Place the rolls seam-side down on a sheet pan, until you are ready to cook them.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 °. Bake for 20-30 minutes until beef is cooked through.
Total time:
Yield: About 25 rolls depending on the size of the leaves


* You can buy the perilla and betel leaves in Southeast Asian grocery stores. You can also use fresh shiso leaves which you can often find in a Japanese food store.