Recipe: Bò Lá Lốt

By Leluu

La Lot (Betel Leaves) with minced beef, blended lemongrass, peanuts, garlic and chilli. Getting the perfect balance of sweet, sour and salty is crucial. These are great to make in advance for a dinner party because you can roll them and only bake them 20 mins before you are ready to eat.


(For 8 – 12)

800g minced beef
50g sesame seeds

100g blended peanuts
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
6 lemongrass stalks 

4  birds-eye chillis – de seeded
4 garlic cloves

2 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp pork flavouring granules
2 or 3 packs  La Lot leaves
1 tbsp sesame oil

-Blend peanuts or cashew nuts until coarse
-Finely blend lemongrass, then add the garlic and chilli and continue to blend until all is fine grain.
-In a bowl, add lemongrass, garlic, chilli to the minced beef, nuts, honey, sugar, salt, pepper, pork granules  and sesame oil and mix well together with your hands.
-Test your mixture by frying up a mini burger. Adjust to your balance. If too salty add more sugar, if too sweet add more salt.
-Leave to marinade for 20 minutes in the fridge.
-Break the La Lot leaves off the stalks and wash thoroughly and dry.
-Spoon onto the leaves the mixture and roll – should make finger sized  rolls
some leaves will be larger or smaller than others.
-Place on a baking tray, drizzle with seasame oil and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approximately 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Peanut Sauce
4 x garlic & 4 x birds-eye chillis – blend together
4 tbsp cider/ white wine vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp blended peanuts
4 tbsp fish sauce (Three Crabs brand)

Mix all the ingredients together, if too sweet add more vinegar, too salty more sugar, too sour add more sugar – balance your sauce to your taste.

You can eat these with vermicelli and herb salads, add to summer rolls or enjoy on their own.
If you can’t get betel leaves, make patties/ burgers and have in a nice light baguette with thai basil, coriander and cucumber. It makes a delicious Banh Mi.

  • Damn they sound tasty, so tasty that I doubt that many would get around 8-12 people.

  • Wonderful – was actually planning to e-mail you asking for the recipe! We cooked them on the Vietnamese cooking course (which was excellent!), and for me these were the highlight.

    Have also started the blog that I was talking about starting (! So early in the year yet so much fun!


  • That is one great looking dish. I’m really curious about the betel leaves – do they have a distinct, strong taste? Could you substitute cabbage or some other sort of leaf, or would that make it a different dish?

  • I love these. I have never seen a recipe anywhere. Thanks so much, can’t wait to try it. BTW – where do you get the betel leaves in London, Chinatown?

  • @joshua
    They are like little meat sweets, esp with the sweet peanut sauce

    @Liam Cahill
    Really glad you started the blog, can’t wait to read every now and again.

    @The Grubworm
    If you use cabbage, it will be a different dish because of the flavours and therefore might as well use minced pork and sage instead. The betel leaves are strong enough to hold the meat together when fried or baked as well as wilt. You can eat it very easily as its not tough.

    It has a certain flavour which is distinctive but mild so that you can really taste all the flavours inside the roll.

    This is a recipe from my mum, not one you will ever taste in the restaurant – enjoy…
    I get it from Vietnamese supermarkets in Mare Street. They might have it in China Town as I heard they are also sold in Indian Supermarkets