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Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef

Servings: 4 or 6

These lettuce wraps are great served family-style, but you can also enjoy this dish in bowls over rice noodles tossed in sesame oil. To prepare the lemongrass, remove the tough outer parts and chop the core.


  • 1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
  • 5-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped lemongrass
  • 2 Tbs. plus 4 tsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. plus 1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced on the bias
  • 2 heads Bibb or romaine lettuce, leaves separated
  • 2 large carrots, sliced into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, thick stems discarded
  • 1/2 bunch fresh mint, leaves removed and stems discarded
  • 8 oz. thin rice vermicelli noodles, prepared according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 bird’s-eye chile or other small spicy red chile, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs. neutral oil, such as avocado or safflower; more as needed

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 450
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 45
  • Sodium (mg): 900
  • Carbohydrates (g): 50
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 21


  • In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the steak, lemongrass, 4 tsp. of the fish sauce, 1 tsp. of the sugar, and 2 Tbs. of the garlic. Stir well to coat the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange the cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, cilantro, and mint on a large serving platter, leaving room for the steak. Add the noodles to the platter. Put the peanuts in a bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup water with the remaining 2 Tbs. sugar; stir to dissolve. Add the lime juice, the remaining 2 Tbs. fish sauce, the remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic, and chile, and stir to combine.
  • Drain the steak from the marinade, discard the marinade, and pat the steak dry. Heat a large, heavy nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When hot, add half of the steak in an even layer in the pan. Cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the steak is browned and the juices have almost evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the steak to the serving platter and repeat with the remaining steak, adding more oil as needed. Serve immediately, with the sauce on the side.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • user-4631753 | 03/28/2020

    While the finished product was flavorful, the beef was not as tender as we would have hoped. I think it could use to be marinated in some oil and lime juice for a longer period of time. Our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Houston, Saigon Pagaloc has a similar dish and their meat is amazingly tender but it is clearly marinated differently.

  • Megann | 03/20/2020

    This was yummy, quick, and easy. My husband and I really enjoyed it!

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