Vietnamese beef and lettuce wraps
over 2 hours
10 to 30 mins
Try serving strips of steak on lettuce with a sharp, sweet blend of Vietnamese flavours. Use a lean cut of beef such as rump or flank steak that's packed full of flavour and low in fat.
over 2 hours
10 to 30 mins
For the marinade
- 2 rump steaks or flank steaks, around 200g each, trimmed of any fat
- 1 red chilli, sliced
- 2 sticks lemongrass, bruised and finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1-1½ tsp toasted sesame oil, to taste
For the dipping sauce
- 50-75ml/2-2½fl oz rice vinegar, to taste
- 25g-50g/1-2oz caster sugar, to taste
- 1 stick lemongrass, trimmed and very finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 lime, juice only
For the wraps
- 1 carrot, cut into fine julienne strips
- 150g/5½oz beansprouts
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 50ml/2fl oz rice vinegar
- flavourless oil (such as groundnut or sunflower oil)
- 3 sprigs mint, leaves picked and chopped
- ½ small bunch coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
- 2 heads Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated
- lime wedges, to serve
For the marinade, put the steak into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix until coated evenly. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight if possible.
When you’re ready to prepare the meal, add the dipping sauce ingredients to a small pan over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust the flavours as necessary – adding a little more sugar if it’s too sour, or more rice vinegar or lime juice if too sweet. Set aside.
For the wraps, mix the carrots, beansprouts and chilli in a bowl. Pour over the rice vinegar, mix well and set aside while you cook the steaks.
In a large heavy-based frying pan, heat a dash of oil. Shake off any excess marinade from the steaks and cook for 2-3 minutes on either side - depending on their thickness and how rare you like your steak. Remove and rest on a plate for five minutes.
Add the mint and coriander to the carrot mixture and mix to combine.
To serve, arrange the Little Gem leaves on a serving plate. Slice the rested steak, tipping any resting juices over the carrot mixture. Fill the lettuce leaves with spoonfuls of the carrot mixture. Top each leaf with a slice of steak and serve with the dipping sauce and lime wedges on the side.
Try to marinate the beef for as long as possible. It really develops the flavour and makes the meat more tender.