Lemon Grass

Bo Nuong Xa



1 1/2 pounds sirloin tip, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons white sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

2 stalks lemon grass, chopped

12 leaves romaine lettuce

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, for garnish

6 leaves fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

2 green onions, thinly sliced




To Marinate: In a shallow nonporous dish or bowl combine the meat, sugar, soy sauce, pepper, garlic, lemon grass and sesame seeds. Mix together. Cover dish and refrigerate for 4 hours. During last hour, separately soak wooden skewers in water.


Preheat oven to broil OR lightly oil grill and preheat to high heat.


Remove meat and marinade from refrigerator. Thread meat onto pre-soaked skewers, accordion style. Broil or grill until done, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot from skewers or remove from skewers and place on lettuce leaves. Garnish with cilantro, mint leaves, basil and sliced green onions and serve.

Nuaoc Cham Sauce



2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons white sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

4 tablespoons fish sauce

1 cup water




In a medium bowl combine the garlic, red pepper flakes, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and water. Mix all together, adjusting to taste. Serve with grilled lemon grass beef.

Pasta with Vietnamese Pesto



1 pound dried rice noodles

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup sweet Thai basil

2 cloves garlic, halved

1/2 teaspoon minced lemon grass bulb

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 tablespoon vegetarian fish sauce

4 tablespoons chopped peanuts, unsalted

7 tablespoons canola oil

1/2 lime, cut into wedges

salt and pepper to taste




If you are using rice noodles soak them in a large bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Drain the noodles, and set them aside.


Make the pesto: In a blender or food processor combine the chopped cilantro, basil, garlic cloves, lemongrass, jalapeno peppers, imitation fish sauce or salt, and 2 tablespoons of the peanuts. Whirl just until the herbs and peanuts are coarsely chopped. While the machine is running add the oil in a thin stream. Then add the remaining peanuts and run the machine in short spurts until the peanuts are coarsely chopped.


If you are using rice noodles, put them into a large skillet with 1/2 cup water over medium-high heat. Stir until most of the water has been absorbed and the noodles are tender.


Add almost all of the pesto, and stir well, adding a few tablespoons of water if the pesto is clumping.


Taste the pasta and add more pesto, lime juice, imitation fish sauce, salt, or pepper if you like. Garnish the pasta with the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanuts, and serve right away.


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