Lemongrass beef skewers Vietnamese sandwich
The book I have been reading for the past couple of weeks is all about Vietnamese Street Food. What I love about the book is the fact that it has all those wonderful stories of streetvendors who build a name for themselves in this rather competitive ‘street food’ business. If you’ve never been to Vietnam or Asia for that matter, you might not realize that streetfood is part of culture there. In fact I think we’ve had most of the really memorable meals at a local tiny stall. It’s usually the ones with plastic chairs and horrible fluorescent lighting that give you the best food.
This is not the first book I have that is all about street food. It almost seems to be a trend and a lot of the times it is disappointing and the recipes bland and certainly nothing like the vibrant colors and flavors of real Asian cuisine.
This book however is totally different. Some of the recipes come from the street vendors themselves and you can tell, by reading the recipe, that it is authentic. I decided to make as a first dish from the book something simple and quick. We didn’t have a lot of time tonight but I wanted something tasty nonetheless. I chose a sandwich.
And can I just say….WOW. It’s absolutely delicious and I was sorry I only made 2 of them as we could easily have eaten two each. I had a bit of trouble making the marinade paste as my pestle and mortar is really too small, so I ended up doing it in the stick blender but it was so worth it.
This dish will definitely be on our favorite list from now on and I cannot wait to try out some of the other dishes. High on my ‘to make’ list are some of the spring rolls included. Love spring rolls!
But the book has over sixty authentic Vietnamese street food recipes, ranging from pho to prawn rice paper rolls and rice balls. For me part of the appeal of this book are the stories. Making the book not only a cookbook but also a great guide to some of the wonders of Vietnam.
And apologies for the quick snaps of the sandwich but we were quite hungry and the smells made me rush!
- 300 g rump steak
- 2 red asian shallots roughly chopped
- 3 lemongrass stems white part only, roughly chopped
- 1 red chili seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 3 baguette (or 6 small ones)
- crispy lettuce leaves separated
- 2 cucumbers peeled and sliced
- 1 handful coriander sprigs
- 1 red chili extra, sliced
Thinly slice the steak and put in a bowl. Place shallots, garlic, lemongrass and chili in a large mortar and use the pestle to grind the mixture into a fine paste. Add the sesame seeds and crush with the pestle. Spoon the paste and the fish sauce over the meat, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Soak 12 bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour to prevent them from burning during cooking.
Thread the meat onto the skewers and cook on a hot chargrill or barbecue grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Meanwhile split the baguette in half lenghtways.
Place the lettuce, cucumber, coriander sprigs and extra chili inside the baguettes.
Place two fo the cooked skewers inside each baguette. Hold onto the baguette and gently pull out the skewers
Marinating the beef in the mixture give it a lot of flavor and spice. Make sure you marinate it for at least an hour.