Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thai Beef Rolls

In an effort to use up my basil before the weather turns cooler for the season, I found a recipe for Thai Basil Rolls on Serious Eats. These rolls have a great Thai flavor — made tastier by a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

We had these for a light dinner, but they would make a great appetizer!

Thai Beef Rolls (makes 30-35 rolls)

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tbsp. fresh mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Thai chilies, finely chopped (for less heat, remove seeds from chilies)
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Basil (at least 35 leaves)
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

  • Combine the ground beef with the rest of the filling ingredients. Don't be afraid to use your hands to combine, but don't overwork it.
  • Roll a tablespoon of the mixture into a small log with your hands. Be sure each one is the same size so the rolls cook evenly. Repeat until the mixture is used up.
  • Wrap a basil leaf around each roll and thread onto a skewer. Some of my basil leaves were smaller, so I used two leaves for some of the rolls. I put each roll on two skewers so they would be easier to turn on the grill. (This is a great tip for grilling shrimp too.) 
  • Clean and oil the cooking grate. Grill the rolls over medium heat, turning once during cooking, until the filling is fully cooked and slightly firm, about 6 to 7 minutes total. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Sweet and Spicy Thai Dipping Sauce (makes about a cup)
Combine 3 tablespoons sugar, 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1.5 limes), 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions, 1 tablespoon fish sauce (find in the Asian foods section of your market), and 2 teaspoons Sriracha (or less if you want less heat). I also added about a tablespoon of finely chopped carrot for more color and threw in some of the Thai chili seeds so it looked spicy (because it was!).

This dipping sauce would be great for dumplings, summer rolls, etc. too!

And if you're leery about the spice-level of these recipes, just go slow with the chilies and Sriracha and add to taste. You might be surprised about how good it is! With the sauce especially, the sweetness from the sugar balances the heat nicely!


  1. WOW!! These look fabulous!! I'm gonna get Dad to make these soon...need to use up some of my basil too. You're amazing!! (I know I'm prejudiced but still)


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