Bò Cuốn Lá Lốt Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaves – 352 of 365

Bò Cuốn Lá Lốt

Several of our cabin crew asked me if I had yet tried bò cuốn lá lốt.  “Good for health!”  “Very delicious!”  “I like very much!”  They extolled the virtues of this dish while describing the preparation.  Now if one thing has remained constant on this food journey, it’s that if a Vietnamese person tells me in the same breath a particular food is both very delicious and good for health, chances are high I am going to be on the fence about it.

My hypothesis has once again proven correct with these rolled delights.  I mean, they aren’t bad.  They just do little to excite me and make my taste buds go wow.  A plate of rice paper accompanied a bunch of green leaves holding a minced beef mixture.  Normally this sort rice paper would receive a quick dip in water for pliability and ultimately edibility when making spring rolls.  These were just tough rice paper in the raw which I can best compare to a thin sheet of paper with some sort of laminated coating.

The rice vermicelli and herbs were a nice touch of flavor.  The brown dipping sauce obviously came from sort of fermented fish product and intrigued my western sensibilities just a bit.  Fermented is just a polite way of saying the seafood passed the spoiled phase and ended up liquefying in a vat.  Sometimes it tastes good like fish sauce mixed with sugar and spice.  Sometimes it goes horribly awry when fermented shrimp is used.  How people do not get sick from this is beyond me.

Wrapping It Up

I had to use my teeth to hold my poorly rolled wrap while exerting great force with my hands to commence the tearing process.  Troi oi!  The meat was actually quite plain with no taste at all.  Imagine a basic hamburger patty from McDonald’s and it was quite similar right down to the texture and grease squirting out.  I get it…maybe the grease is supposed to loosen up the rice paper.  Who knows?

Let the record show I am just neutral on this one.  Sure, I’d eat it again if someone plopped it down in front of me, but I don’t think going out of my way to find it tops my list of must dos before I leave Vietnam.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

One Comment on “Bò Cuốn Lá Lốt Beef Wrapped in Betel Leaves – 352 of 365”

  1. no
    November 7, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    You should try Au Pagolac on 978 Tran Hung Dao street. It’s The ONE. This restaurant serves only 1 item: Bo 7 Mon. My last visit was 2008 still lingering on my mind. Oh So GOOODD!!

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