Pork rolls in wild betel leaves (Chả lá lốt)


My four-year-old may become a lawyer. I’m telling you. Yesterday, my youngest one gave me her sippy cup, so I said “Thank you, baby” to her.

Four-year-old: Mom, why do you call her baby?
Me: Well, because she’s very small.
Four-year-old: So why do you call daddy baby?
Me: Errrrr… because I love him (?!)
Four-year-old: So why didn’t you call me baby?
Me: …..

Alright, dear friends with kids, how long will this kind of conversation usually last? Should I get a law degree in the meantime?

Well, one thing for sure, he loves my Vietnamese Pork Rolls in Wild Betel Leaves (Chả Lá Lốt) without a question. Below is the recipe from the North where I came from. You could replace ground pork with ground beef, or beef slices to have the Southern version (see more information below).


Pork Rolls in Wild Betel Leaves (Chả Lá Lốt)

500g ground pork
2 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Wild betel leaves (lá lốt)
Canola oil

  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients, except the last two.
  2. To make a roll: put a leaf on work surface. Place a tablespoon pork mixture about 1/3 the length below the pointy tip. Roll it and use the little stem to seal the roll.
  3. Place skillet under medium heat, add canola oil, and fry the pork rolls.
  4. Serve with white rice.

Southern-version of Beef Rolls in Wild Betel Leaves

500g ground beef
2 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
4 spring onions (minced)
Wild betel leaves (lá lốt)

  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients except wild betel leaves together.
  2. Make a roll as instructed above, and place them on a baking tray layered with aluminum foil.
  3. Position an oven rack on the top third of the oven. Preheat to Broil.
  4. Broil for about 5 minutes, then flip the rolls and broil for another 3 minutes.