Recipe courtesy of Luke Nguyen

Beef Tossed with Wild Betel Leaf and Lemongrass: Bo Xao La Lot

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 15 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 5 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 lemongrass stalk, dry outer shell peeled off, and white part only, finely diced*

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 chiles, finely diced, plus 1 chile, finely sliced for garnish

12 ounces lean beef sirloin, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

15 betel leaves, roughly sliced*

2 sprigs fresh coriander (cilantro), for garnish

Steamed jasmine rice, to serve

*Can be found at specialty Asian markets and online.


  1. In a smoking hot fry pan or wok, add the vegetable oil and lemongrass and cook until fragrant, then add the garlic and chiles.
  2. Now add the beef and stir fry for 2 minutes, then season with the fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the betel leaves and stir fry for a further minute.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a plate and garnish with sliced chile and coriander (cilantro).
  4. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Cook’s Note

When dicing the lemongrass, always use a nice heavy sharp knife. If you have a second knife, use the two simultaneously. Do not discard the tips of a lemon grass stalk, steep it in hot water and drink it as lemon grass tea.