Fresh herbs, rice noodles, and lemongrass flavored stir-fried beef are wrapped and rolled into delicious spring rolls! Easy to make and so tasty you’ll want to snack on these fresh Vietnamese rolls all the time!
In 2017, I traveled to Southeast Asia to research for my cookbook – RICE. NOODLES. YUM. (EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SOUTHEAST ASIAN DISHES). One of the countries I visited was Vietnam. I attended a cooking class there to learn more about Vietnamese cooking. That was indeed one of the highlights of my trip. Not only was it so enjoyable – I have learned so much!
I learned so much under an amazing chef who was previously a scientist, a chemist, if I recall it correctly. That’s why all his recipes were very precise – he has almost a formulaic approach to his cooking. It must work because everything I tasted during that cooking class was absolutely delicious!
Most of all he kindly shared literally hundreds of his recipes with me. I could even open a Vietnamese restaurant if I wanted to based on those! Haha.
He taught me how to make the most delicious Beef Pho – “in the entire world” – he said so himself. That is actually the Beef Pho he, to this day, serves in his restaurants.
Oh my word after tasting it, I believe (my tastebuds did!), it is surely the best in the world! I’ve tasted so many beef pho all over the US and while many of them were pretty good and decent – his was always a notch above.
It must be because he developed the perfect formula for his beef pho – yes down to the exact amount of spices to use. I’m talking like 7 cardamom pods, 9 pieces of cloves, 10 black peppercorns, etc – you get what I mean. I never dared change the formula whenever I made that beef pho – why improve on perfection?
The point of this is that I have become more confident in making any Vietnamese dish because I had the best teacher. In a nutshell, this is what he told me – never forget the “happy family” in Vietnamese cooking – sweet, salty, spicy, sour – always balance and blend these flavors together in a dish and everything would be a success. In effect, this was the best formula he ever shared with me.
These Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Lemongrass Beef showcase exactly this perfect balance of flavors. The easy dipping sauce always served with this spring rolls perfectly illustrates this, too.
Don’t these Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Lemongrass Beef look delicious?
These Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Lemongrass Beef may look complicated but they’re actually very easy and fun to make! Let your kids help you make these – my 11-year-old Sophie practically can do this all on her own – it’s that doable!
And it is such a yummy snack option and certainly as party appetizers, too.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE these Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Lemongrass Beef
For the Lemongrass Beef
- Beef – use your favorite steak cut for this
- Lemongrass stalks – available in Asian stores but have seen them in regular grocery stores in the refrigerated produce section, too
- Oyster sauce – may be replaced with fish sauce too (add flavor to the beef marinade)
- Oil – use one that can tolerate high heat (not olive oil)
For the Spring Rolls
- round rice paper or rice sheets – get the smaller 6-inch size
- lettuce leaves
- herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint (don’t replace the mint!)
- cooked rice noodle sticks (optional)
Below you can also see some of the basic ingredients to use to make the spring rolls!
Usually, the carrots and cucumber are julienned into matchstick-size slices but since I was in a hurry (my family was getting hungry and couldn’t wait until I finish!) I chose to simply shred the vegetables using a grater. You can certainly do that too and speed up the process.
Pre-shredded carrots in a bag may also be used for convenience. When I do a cooking demo, I use the store-bought ones.
For the Dipping Sauce
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed is best
- Fish sauce
- Thai red chili – this would add a little kick but won’t make the spring rolls spicy so don’t forget to add this — remember the “happy family.”
Don’t forget the dipping sauce – this is what gives life to the dish actually!
Step-by-step instructions on how to roll and wrap the spring rolls are also included in the recipe card below. Don’t worry it’s not that hard. It may take a little practice but once you get the hang of it, you’d be a pro in no time!
Don’t fancy making the spring rolls? No problem – you can also turn this into a noodle salad!
Yes, that’s correct – simply leave out the rice rolls and make a bigger batch of the cooked rice stick noodles (enough for your family) then simply mix this with the herbs and vegetables then top with the beef. Use the dipping sauce as your dressing!
Two types of meals with just one dish and one more yummy reason to make these delightful Vietnamese lemongrass beef with herbs and vegetables!
Are you hungry yet? Make these yummy Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Lemongrass Beef and impress your family and friends!
Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls with Lemongrass Beef
Fresh herbs, rice noodles and lemongrass flavored stir-fried beef are wrapped and rolled into delicious spring rolls! Easy to make and so tasty you'll want to snack on these fresh Vietnamese rolls all the time!
For the Lemongrass Beef
- 10-12 oz beef steak like sirloin or tenderloin, sliced thinly
- 3 lemongrass stalks, use only the whitish part at the bottom and remove the tough outer leaves then process/pulse in a blender or food processor until fine
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce (or fish sauce)
- 2 tbsp oil of choice
For the Rice Rolls
- 10-12 pieces of 6-inch round rice paper or sheets (banh trang), to wrap the beef and herbs in
- handful lettuce leaves, torn
- bunch fresh herbs (like mint, cilantro or basil), choose 2
- 1 cup cucumber, julienned (matchstick size)
- 1 cup carrots, julienned (matchstick size)
- 1 cup rice noodles stick, cooked previously and cooled (optional)
For the Dipping Sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1-2 red Thai chili, sliced thinly (spice level you can tolerate)
Combine the lemongrass, oyster sauce and minced garlic. Rub or coat the sliced beef with this lemongrass mixture and let rest for about one hour to allow beef to absorb the flavors.
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or wok to medium-high. Once the skillet is hot (this is important!), quickly mix the oil with the beef. Transfer the beef to the heated skillet and stir-fry for about 3-4 minutes or until done. Set aside the beef to cool.
Submerge the dried rice sheets in room temperature water briefly (about 5-7 seconds only) to soften. Place on top of a wooden cutting board (or any porous flat surface) large enough to accommodate the sheets.
Place a little of the torn salad leaves on top of the paper, a pinch or two of the beef, fresh herbs, noodles (if using) and the carrots and cucumbers - just enough to allow you to roll everything on the paper.
Roll the rice paper from the bottom and as you reach the middle part, fold the outside flaps inwards to close then continue to roll until you reach the end. Place sealed side down on a platter. Repeat until you finish all the beef.
To make the dipping sauce, simply mix together the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, water and chili in a small bowl. Serve with the lemongrass beef spring rolls. Enjoy as snacks or appetizers!