Vietnamese Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce

Serves: 6 // Prep time: 20 minutes | Grilling time: 6 to 8 minutes | Special equipment: metal or bamboo skewers (if using bamboo, soak in water for at least 30 minutes)



·         3 tablespoons granulated sugar

·         3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

·         1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions

·         1 tablespoon fish sauce

·         2 teaspoons hot chili-garlic sauce, such as Sriracha


·         1 pound ground chuck (80% lean)

·         ¼ cup finely chopped roasted peanuts

·         ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions

·         1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves

·         1 teaspoon fish sauce

·         ½ teaspoon kosher salt

·         ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

·         18 small grape leaves in brine, each 4 to 5 inches in diameter, drained

·         Vegetable oil


1.       In a small bowl mix the sauce ingredients until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and, if desired, add up to 1 tablespoon of water.

2.       In a large bowl gently combine the ingredients for the filling.

3.       Unroll and rinse the grape leaves under water. Spread out the leaves on a work surface, smooth side down, and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off and discard any protruding stems. Shape a heaping tablespoon of the filling into a small log and place near the stem end of one grape leaf. Fold the stem end of the leaf over the filling. Fold in each side of the leaf, and then roll the filling tightly toward the tip of the leaf. If necessary, cut off and discard any excess leaf at the tip. Repeat with the remaining beef filling and grape leaves.

4.       Place three rolls side by side. Push a skewer through all the rolls about 1 inch from their ends. Repeat with another skewer parallel to the first one. Double-skewer the remaining rolls. Lightly brush the rolls with oil on both sides.

5.       Fill a chimney starter to the rim with charcoal briquettes and burn the coals until they are lightly covered with ash. Spread the coals in a tightly packed, single layer across one-half to two-thirds of the charcoal grate. Put the cooking grate in place, close the lid, and let the coals burn down to medium heat (350° to 450°F). Leave all the vents open.

6.       Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the rolls over direct medium heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until the filling feels slightly firm when pressed, 6 to 8 minutes, turning and swapping their positions as needed for even cooking. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.


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