Bò Là Lôt – That’s a Wrap

The Greeks have grape leaf wrapped dolmades, but on the Asian side of the world is the Vietnamese version called bò là lôt. Just like dolmades, these are little cigar-like rolls that are stuffed with a filling. However, instead of grape leaves or cabbage leaves, bò là lôt uses wild betel leaves (also known as lolot) and is made with seasoned ground meat.

Biting into this type of roll, you will find the leaf has a bit of a chewy texture to it (similar to wet noori) and exudes this herbaceous, fragrant smell. Since the minced beef is grilled, it has a delicious smokey flavour to it with some sweetness from the meat. A standard recipe often has onions, shallots, garlic and lemongrass.

Bò là lôt can be ordered as a side, but it is great to eat mixed in dishes like bun thit nuong. The flavours can be enhanced with nuoc cham sauce (that standard dipping sauce you get with a bun thit nuong), but they are delightful on their own as well. 🙂

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