About this recipe: These beef skewers are marinated in a flavourful lemon grass marinade, and can be barbecued or grilled. A traditional Vietnamese dish, best if dipped in Nuaoc Cham sauce.
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What this recipe lacks is an essential ingredient. The beef is traditionally served with rice vermicelli which can be easily prepared in the following way: 1-soak the vermicelli for about one hour in cold water. Hot water ruins it. 2-have a pot of boiling hot water ready and a hand strainer full of the limp noodles. Dip in for about 30 seconds to 45 seconds and take out. While dipping use chopsticks to mix the noodles around in the striner. 3-continue with remaining noodles until all are cooked. lemongrass tip--put lemongrass stalks in food processor (add a small bit of water if dry)and freeze in small usable portions for future, saves time in the future for other dishes like the beef and or use on chicken. - 25 Feb 2001 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
As with almost every Vietnamese dish I've eaten and cooked, this is a savory and addictive, awesomely good and simple recipe, especially when the dish is served with sauteed vegetables, sesame green beans and jasmine rice (as mentioned by a previous reviewer) or vermicelli (as mentioned by another). I agree that the lemongrass must be pulverized with a mortar & pestle or in a food processor (you can also buy frozen pulverized lemongrass in little plastic cups in some Asian markets). Additionally, only the tender interior of the fresh lemongrass should be used for this as the outer leaves are too fibrous. My one comment about this dish is that it is much more authentic and tastier made with fish sauce (Vietnamese nuoc mam, Thai nam pla or even Filipino patis) instead of soy sauce, which I know can sometimes be harder to find than the readily available soy sauce. NOTE: the fish sauce I mention is *NOT* the sweetened American kind served as a dip with fried fish, but the Asian version made from fermented fish. Soy sauce makes it universal for everybody to make, and still creates a terrific dish. Thanks for sharing this great recipe! - 27 Aug 2003 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
The flavors here are awesome, but if kids will be eating this too, I'd put some of the marinade for the kids's portions in a seperate dish before adding the pepper called for in the recipe. Use most of it in the adults marinade but add just a sprinkle for the kids. Also, gently pound the lemongrass stalks with a mallet or hammer to help them release their flavor once chopped. This dish will definitely impress guests! - 17 Jul 2001 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)