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Recipe: Grilled Lamb with Wild Betel Leaves By Martin Yan

This favourite Vietnamese snack pairs perfectly with cold beer

Also, it only takes around an hour to prepare!


• 600g, lamb shoulder/chuck cubes
• ½ Lemongrass, root removed and bashed
• 1 Bird’s eye chili
• 2 sprigs of Mint leaves


• 4 Lemongrass hearts, finely minced
• 10 grams fresh Mint
• 2 teaspoons Fish sauce
• 1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
• ½ teaspoon Salt
• ¾ teaspoon Sugar
• ¾ teaspoon Black pepper
• 15 Bird’s eye chili, minced
• 1 teaspoon Corn-starch
• 2 teaspoons Sesame oil


• 20-24 large Wild betel leaves (Daun Kadok) – with long stems attached, washed and individually dried
• 1 sprig Mint leaf
• 6 small Lettuce leaves
• 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil – for brushing
•  1 teaspoon Sesame oil – for brushing


• 3 tablespoons Fish sauce
• 3 tablespoons Palm sugar
• 5 tablespoons Hot water
• 3 tablespoons fresh Lime juice
• 1 Garlic clove, minced
• 2 Red bird’s eye chilies, sliced
• 2 tablespoons Roasted peanuts, chopped (save 1 tsp for garnish)


• 200 grams white daikon, cut into thin matchstick strips
• 200 grams carrots, cut into thin matchstick strips


1. Preheat the oven at 200°C on the Conventional Cooking with Fan setting.

2. Using a food processor, mince the lamb, lemongrass, bird’s eye chili and mint leaf till smooth and evenly minced. Do not over process.

3. Transfer meat mixture to a bowl along with lemongrass, mint, fish sauce, oyster sauce, salt, sugar, black pepper, bird’s eye chili, corn starch and sesame oil. Use a fork to mash and keep mixing until well combined.

4. Leave it marinating in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5. To assemble the rolls, get about 1 tbs for a small leaf and 2 tbs for a larger leaf of the meat mixture and shape into thin logs, as wide as the leaves.

6. With the shiny side down, roll the meat in the leaves with the stem side farthest from you. When you get to the end, use a toothpick to pierce a hole in the leaf and pass the stem through to secure the roll. Repeat till the meat and leave run out.

7. Transfer the rolls to a baking tray.

8. In a bowl, combine both vegetable and sesame oil, then lightly brush the rolls the top of the rolls.

9. When the oven has reached 200°C, pop the tray in to grill for 10 minutes. However, if you have made larger sized rolls, then grill for 12 – 15 minutes, checking to make sure it does not burn.

10. To prepare the pickled vegetables, toss together daikon, carrots and salt in a non-reactive bowl. Stir continuously for a few minutes, then discard of the accumulated water in the bowl. If the vegetables are too salty, give it a quick rinse under running water, but not to completely wash off the salt.

11. To the bowl, add sugar and vinegar. Stir to dissolve, then set aside to pickle in the fridge.

12.Then, make the sauce. Dissolve the sugar in hot water. Then combine add in the lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, garlic, red chilies and chopped peanuts. Set it aside after stirring it well.

13. To serve, place a roll on top of a single lettuce leaf and serve with a side of pickled vegetables and Nuoc Cham sauce. Garnish with mint sprigs.

This recipe is provided by Asian Food Channel. For more recipes like this, visit their newly revamped website.