Friday, February 10, 2012

Leaf - wrapped Beef Rolls

Pin It
If you like to make your own meatballs, or meatloaf, or if you enjoy those lettuce cups with chicken filling, well you would probably love these!  I made 24 of these last night, and Gianna absolutely loved them!  I first saw my friend Ginger make grape leaves stuffed with rice and ground lamb back in the late 90's or early 2000 years, and they were sooooo good...then one day I saw my mom wrap some kind of herb leaf around some beef, and grill it to delicious perfection.  Since then, I have not made enough of these! 
I got these leaves from K Oriental in the fresh produce area during the weekend when the fresh stuff comes in.  They aren't labeled, but they rang up as sesame leaf.  Some web sites say that sesame leaf, perilla, and shiso are the same or related.  Yet others disagree.  I haven't found a reliable enough source to be sure yet.  Traditionally, Vietnamese beef rolls are wrapped in wild betel leaves.  Whatever these leaves are, they worked.  If anyone knows the answer, will you let me know?  In the meantime, I'll see if I can email Anthony Bourdain or Luke Nguyen!  Or maybe my brother Huy...
Lay the leaves glossy side down, or dull side up.  Place a tablespoon of the beef mixture towards the end.  Shape into a small sausage shape.
Soak the skewers in hot water for about 30 minutes to an hour.  Skewer 4 rolls each onto the small skewers - this makes it easier to turn, and saves time.
This recipes makes 24 rolls...
Put them onto a foil lined pan for easy cleanup.  Spray them with oil - if you have the roasted garlic grape seed oil that I love, it really adds to the rolls!  But if you don't, regular canola spray is fine!  Then turn and spray the other side.  Place them onto a broiler rack next before placing in the oven to drain the fat. 
Serve with some garlic lime chili sauce, another favorite of Gianna's!
Okay, last picture!  Clearly, I'm obsessed with taking pictures of food!!  I've been reading a digital photography book that I picked up from the library.  I'm really looking forward to getting to the Photoshop instructions, too.

  • 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 packages of sesame leaf from the Asian market (each has 12)
  • 6 bamboo skewers, soaked in hot water 30 minutes to an hour
  •  garlic lime chili sauce
  • Marinate the ground beef in 2 teaspoons fish sauce, 2 teaspoons all natural turbinado sugar, 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional), 2 cloves of minced garlic.  Mix lightly without overworking the mixture, then cover and refrigerate.  Overnight is best.
  1. Wrap the beef rolls as directed above.
  2. Slide the rolls onto skewers that have been soaked for 30 minutes minimum so that they don't burn.
  3. Spray with oil on both sides.
  4. Place onto a broil pan that is set on a foil lined pan for easy cleanup.
  5. Broil 5 minutes per side.
  6. Serve with the garlic chili lime sauce above, link to recipe provided.


  1. Those look so good. I think I'll try them this weekend. :)

  2. They're so easy, and tasty too! I hope you like them!