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Lemongrass Beef Summer Rolls

The Gourmet Gourmand
Fresh and healthy Vietnamese Appetizer
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 12 Rolls

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Mandoline or Julienne Peeler (recommended, but not required)

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 pound Flank Steak

For the Marinade

  • 3 tbsp Lemongrass roughly chopped
  • 1/2 whole Shallot
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Rice Wine
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar packed

For the Assembly

  • 12 Rice Paper Wrappers
  • 4 oz Rice Vermicelli
  • 12 Small Lettuce Leaves (I used Buttercrunch lettuce)
  • 1 Under-ripe Mango Skinned and Julienned
  • 2 Medium Carrots Peeled and Julienned
  • 1 English (or other low-seed) Cucumber Peeled and Julienned
  • Generous Bunch Fresh Mint
  • Handful Fresh Cilantro
  • Handful Fresh Thai Basil

For the Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter (Ok to substitute with creamy if you prefer)
  • 4 tsp Soy Sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1-2 tsp Chili Garlic Paste (Or to taste)
  • 1 tsp Powdered Ginger
  • 2-3 tbsp Water

Instructions
 

To Prepare the Beef

  • Add all marinade ingredients into your food processor with the standard blade attachment. Process until all ingredients are finely chopped. There will be some fibrous lemongrass pieces left and that's fine.
  • Prepare the flank steak by butterflying (slicing horizontally to make the meat even thinner and provide more surface area for the marinade to penetrate). Cut into 2-3 pieces just to make it easier for handling.
  • Place beef into a ziplock bag or appropriately sized non-reactive dish and pour marinade over the beef. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat grill to high heat (about 500-550 Fahrenheit on a gas grill). Grill meat for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until done to your liking.
  • Remove from grill and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice meat across the grain into about 24 small thin strips. Set aside.

To Prepare the Noodles

  • Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add dried rice vermicelli and cook for time indicated on package. Immediately drain into colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Assembling the Summer Rolls

  • Line up all filling ingredients in an assembly line to make wrapping easier. Make sure you also have a clean cutting board available for the actually wrapping of the rolls.
  • Fill a glass pie plate with about 1/2 inch of water. Dip one of the rice paper wrappers briefly into the water (5 seconds or so). Remove while it still feels hard (don't worry, it'll quickly soften) and lay out onto your cutting board.
  • At one end of the wrapper, add a piece of lettuce, and about 1/12 of all other filling ingredients. Stuff a few fresh herbs (mint, cilantro, and basil) in the middle, to taste.
  • To wrap, gently (but tightly) stretch the rice paper around the filling and fold in the edges and roll like you would if you were wrapping a burrito.
  • To make the decorative herb garnish, line 3 leaves onto one end of the wrapper before wrapping (see Step 2 visual above for extra guidance).
  • Cover summer rolls with damp paper towel if not serving immediately to prevent drying out.

To make the Peanut Sauce

  • Combine all peanut sauce ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until warmed. Whisk everything to combine and then whisk in 2-3 tbsp of water until you achieve desired consistency.

Notes

Equipment suggestions for the recipe:
The food processor I’ve owned for years and recommend for marinades, sauces, and general preparatory needs is the Cuisinart Pro Classic.
You can also julienne by hand, but it's so much more efficient to use either a mandoline with a julienne attachment, or a simple hand-held julienne peeler.  
Keyword fresh, asian, herbs, healthy, starter