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I’m back, it’s been a minute! Did you miss me?
It’s almost Friday and we need a reason to celebrate right? How about a glass of wine, and a plate of beef collard green rolls? Come join my party, guys!
This recipe originally includes beef with betel leaves, a popular Vietnamese appetizer. Betel leaves are popular in Asian cuisines but rare to find here in the US. If you’re in luck, you can spot them in Asian grocery store. I wanted to keep this recipe close to its traditional roots as possible and the only substitution made is using collard green instead of betel leaves.
These rolls are tasty on their own or you can serve them with the famous dipping sauce and rice vermicelli.
What I love about this recipe are its flavors and texture. The beef mixture contrasts well tons of Asian spices: five spices, lemongrass, to name a few. You get both your proteins and greens at one in this recipe.
Some useful tips for making the perfect beef collard green rolls:
- When picking collard green, pick the ones that have larger leaves to fill and roll. Be sure to tuck all ingredients within the wrap to prevent the filling from falling out when cooked. If the leaves are large, you can fold the sides in first, then roll up from the bottom.
- Trim the collard green stem. The stem is thicker and can break the leave easily when rolling. You can also steam the leaves a bit so it’s easier to handle.
- Don’t overflow with fillings. 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons is ideal.
- When frying the rolls, don’t add too much oil. Sprinkle a little salt to prevent the oil from splattering. Also to keep the green color, we add a few tablespoons of water to the saucepan to prevent the leaves from burning so quickly.
- When picking beef, beef chuck is preferred. I buy the beef chuck and pulse it in my processor to make it ground beef.
- Adding 1 tablespoon of bacon fat is optional. It will yield a better, moist beef mixture when frying.
Fresh lemongrass will make a big difference in this recipe. It yields more texture and flavors in my opinion.
I hope you’ll love this recipe because it’s surprisingly delicious, easy to prepare and has tons of Asian flavors.
Enjoy these rolls with lettuce, by itself or be fancy like me with a glass of wine
Beef Wrapped in Collard Green
Aromatic beef with lemongrass flavors, wrapped in collard green. This recipe is a copy cat from the traditional Vietnamese dish called beef with betel leaves. Perfect as appetizers, or with vermicelli.
- 10 oz beef chuck (minced or ground)
- 1 stalk lemongrass (white part only, chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chicken powder
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
For the saucepan:
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying)
- 2 tablespoons water
Quick scallion oil:
- 2 stalk green onions (chopped)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- pinch of salt
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 chopped onion, salt and 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!