This beef recipe is traditionally a popular Vietnamese dish called beef with betel leaf. In this recipe, I substituted betel leaves for collard green leaves because betel leaves can be hard to find in most supermarkets.
For the beef, be sure to use beef chuck. Fresh lemon grass is also ideal for more flavors and texture. Adding bacon fat will keep the beef moist when frying. —Amy
beef chuck (minced or ground
lemongrass (white part only, chopped)
In a large mixing bowl, combine beef with all marinade ingredients and set aside for at least 15 minutes
Meanwhile, pick out the collard green leaves and wash well under cold water. Set aside to dry. Use a paring knife and carefully shave the middle stem. Just take off enough so the stem feels flat, be careful not to break the leaf. Cut off the skinny end of the leaf.
To form the rolls: Lay a large leaf on a flat surface. Place 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoon of beef mixture in the center of the leaf and wrap the leaf as you would wrap a burrito. Use a toothpick to seal. If using small leaves, you don't have to fold the sides over, just make sure the fillings are in the center and not overflowing.
To fry the collar greens rolls: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Once hot, add in the rolls and fry for about 2 minutes, turning rolls a few times to prevent the rolls from burning. After 2 minutes, add in 2 tablespoons of water. Be careful because the oil will splatter. Continue frying the rolls, turning occasionally until beef is cooked, about 5 minutes.
Prepare the scallion oil: place 2 stalks of chopped onion, pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for 25 seconds. Set aside for serving later.
Serve rolls with scallion oil, rice vermicelli or by itself as appetizers. Enjoy!