Grilled Lemongrass Beef

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 2h 15m

Serves 6

In Vietnamese homes, these tangy morsels of seared beef are grilled at the table over a charcoal brazier. The beef strips can be served as a main dish wrapped in rice paper with vegetables, noodles and herbs; as a topping for cold noodles; or with a plate of steamed rice.


  • 1 pound beef chuck, rump or sirloin, in one piece
  • For Marinade
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, tender heart section only, finely chopped
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh small red chili pepper, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil

  • Fish sauce and lime dipping sauce

Companion recipe: Fish Sauce and Lime Dipping Sauce Steamed Rice


Wrap the beef in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer until partially frozen, about 1 hour.

FOR MARINADE: Place the sesame seeds in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant and golden, 2-3 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a blender or mini food processor and add the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chili pepper and sugar. Process to a smooth paste. Pour the paste into a large bowl and stir in the fish sauce, black pepper, sesame oil and peanut or vegetable oil.

Cut the partially frozen beef across the grain into slices about 1/8 inch thick, 2 inches wide and 5-6 inches long. Add the slices to the lemongrass marinade and toss to coat. Let marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Prepare the dipping sauce; set aside.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill. When the coals are ash white, lay the beef slices flat on the grill rack about 4 inches above the coals. (Alternatively, preheat a ridged grill pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat until hot, and spread the beef slices over the hot grill.) Grill, turning once, until cooked through, about 30 seconds on each side.

TO SERVE: Transfer the beef slices to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.

RecID 2227

nutrition information per serving

209 calories; 7g total fat; 61mg cholesterol; 1344mg sodium; 15g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 21g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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