Lemongrass beef skewers in baguettes (Banh mi kep bo xien sa)
( SERVES 6 )
Vendors of this popular late afternoon snack vigorously fan their braziers, not only to keep the charcoals burning but to disperse the tantalising aroma of the marinated meat among the hungry after-work crowds.
- Thinly slice the steak and place in a bowl. Place the shallots, garlic, lemongrass and chilli in a large mortar and use the pestle to grind the mixture into a fine paste.
- Add the sesame seeds and crush with the pestle.
- Spoon the paste and the fish sauce over the meat, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Soak 12 bamboo skewers in water for 1 hour to prevent them from burning during cooking.
- Thread the meat onto the skewers and cook on a hot chargrill or barbecue grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Meanwhile, split the baguettes in half lengthways. Place the lettuce, cucumber, coriander sprigs and extra chilli inside the baguettes.
- Place two of the cooked skewers inside each baguette.
- Hold onto the baguette and gently pull out the skewers.