All about bo la lot: Vietnamese beef rolls with leaf pepper

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It is barely ten o’clock in the morning at the time of writing and our mouths are already watering at the thought of bo la lot. As an easy snack or as part of a more extensive evening meal: you can safely serve us this Vietnamese street food at any time of the day.

Spoiler: It’s not even that hard to make yourself.

What are bo la lot?

Simply put: bo la lot (or Bò Lá Lốt) are wild pepper leaf rolls filled with steak. Marinated steak that is. Because coming up with marinades is something the Vietnamese are experts at. Typical Vietnamese seasonings go into the marinade, such as lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, black pepper and sesame oil.

The marinated pieces of meat are then rolled in wild pepper leaf. Those rolls are in turn strung on a skewer.

Finally, the skewers are fried in oil over high heat – two minutes is enough to cook the steak. They are served on a platter as a snack, often with some crunchy toppings such as peanuts, spring onions and red pepper. This can be as a small snack, or as part of a full meal (often accompanied by rice noodles or cucumber).

About that pepper leaf

Can you already imagine something? Yes, although you may wonder what exactly is going on with that wild pepper leaf. Mai Nguyên emphasizes in her Vietnamese cookbook not to confuse it with betel leaf. The latter is not edible: at most it is chewed together with tobacco and herbs and after some time spit out again (which would satisfy the hunger, but is also addictive).

The wild pepper leaf in bo la lot, on the other hand, is edible: in terms of structure it is a lot softer. The ultimate spicy scent is fully released when you roast or bake the leaves. The aroma is smokey and peppery, which complements the flavors of the meat well. Bring it home? Look for it at the Chinese store, under the name cha plu leaf or la lot.

I want this!

You can find a good recipe for bo la lot in An An , that Vietnamese cookbook we talked about earlier. Prefer an online recipe? Check this recipe , which also explains how to fold the rolls exactly.

Would you rather taste how experienced chefs make it first? It’s on the map at Sen Viet (Amsterdam).

Source: Culy by
*The article has been translated based on the content of Culy by If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process it as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author.

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