Ok, so do you ever fall in love with a dish at first sight? I did, and these Thai Beef Rolls called to me from the moment I first saw them until I had them on my plate. Heck, there are a couple still in the fridge and they just won’t be quiet! Shush now, I already ate too many of you!!
I inspired by and only very slightly adapted this recipe from Meatwave, a blog by Josh Bousel. If you read or follow Serious Eats, you might recognize him as a contributor. Of course, I made a few changes; I just can’t seem to leave anything alone anymore. I want to note that Josh has a special Sweet Chili Sauce, which is nothing like you’d buy in a bottle, so check his site out. I just use a bottled Sweet Chili Sauce as a shortcut.
About Grilled Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce:
These Grilled Thai Beef Rolls are so much fun. They’re small, so they could be an appetizer, or you could just make a bowl or a meal out them. Maybe with some rice or noodles & salad. I think they’d be fantastic with this healthy and fresh Thai Inspired Cabbage Salad and maybe drizzled with this Thai Slaw with Peanut Dressing, There’s just so many ways you can serve these beautiful Grilled Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce.
The Beef Rolls aren’t really hot or even very spicy; there are just a few simple ingredients that add a lot of flavor. I wouldn’t be worried about serving them to anyone as is, with just one or two chilis, but I did up the heat level for me with Sambal Oelek.
Watch the dipping sauce, though – that’s where the heat is since the Sriracha isn’t tamed by cooking.
Making Grilled Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce:
See how I threaded the Thai Beef Rolls onto two skewers? That’s a fun trick to keep them from rolling around on the skewer when they’re turned. It helps to hold the basil in place, too, especially since I had to use two smaller rather than one large leaf on some of them.
Skewering ground beef can be a lesson in frustration, so make the filling the evening before. That not only lets the flavors meld together beautifully, but gives the beef rolls time to firm up just a bit. The firmer rolls are a little easier to handle and to skewer. The basil wrap helps to hold them together, too and the smoky basil flavors the rolls as well as making a marvelous presentation.
Of course, you’ll want to adjust the heat level of both the rolls to suit your taste.
Basil from my garden, sweet on the left, Thai on the right.
Saving Money on Grilled Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce:
As far as basil or other herbs, grow your own, even if they have to be in a pot; the cost of a plant is about the same as the cost of a tiny little package at the store, so if you kill it off, you’re not losing anything. I picked up a small pot at the store for about $1.89 the last time I made these, then planted the remainder…sadly, my basil had succumbed to a fungus.
I have used both Italian basil and Thai and they were just fine. I think Grilled Thai Basil Rolls would be just fine with a little basil in them if you don’t have access to a LOT of basil for wrapping. You’d miss out on some of that dramatic presentation, though.
Do buy your ground beef when it’s on sale, divide into sizes your family uses if they are in large family packs, label and toss in your deep freeze. And if you are interested in saving money, do get yourself a deep freeze. There is no reason you should pay full price for ground beef when it usually drops to a low once a quarter or so.Print
Grilled Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce
- Total Time: 30 minutes + optional overnight rest
- Yield: 12 to 18 small rolls, about 4 servings 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Thai
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
- 1/2 to 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint, optional but recommended
- 1 to 2 finely minced Thai chilis or 2 teaspoons Sambal Oelek or Sriracha, or for more heat, use the chilis and either sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 18 large Thai basil leaves or more leaves if needing to use more than one per beef roll
- 6 wooden skewers, soaked for 30 minutes or 6 metal skewers
- oil, for brushing the beef rolls and the grate
- Sweet Chili Sauce
If possible, make and wrap the rolls the evening before so the flavors can meld and the beef rolls can firm up in the fridge. It makes skewering and grilling a little easier.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with green onion, mint, Thai Chiles, sugar, fish sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly, but lightly, with fingertips.
Using a 1 tablespoon scoop, portion into 18 small mounds. Form into a log shape, about 1 1/2 inches long, pressing enough so the meat mixture holds together.
Wrap each log with a large basil leaf, or if basil leaves are smaller wrap with two, overlapping the long way. Thread onto skewers. (See note.)
To grill, prepare charcoal or heat gas or indoor grill to medium-high. When heated, turn down to medium, brush the grill and the rolls with a little oil, and add the skewers, at a right angle to the grates.
Brush the top of the rolls with oil before turning and placing on a fresh area of the grill.
Grill for a total of six to eight minutes over medium heat, until the desired doneness. The rolls will be very soft at first but will firm up as cooked. If necessary, use a thin spatula to help loosen the rolls for turning and removing.
Serve with the Sweet Chili Sauce.
Note on wrapping and threading the skewers:
- This is done easily by wrapping and placing the beef rolls onto a rimmed plate, six in a row touching. (It’s a nicer presentation if the rolls are wrapped with the basil going in the same direction, shiny side out.) Place the rolls on the plate in such a manner that the basil leaf, where it meets, is halfway up the side of the roll. Putting them close together will hold the basil to the meat roll.
- Put two skewers through the rolls, taking care that the skewers run right through the basil. The rim of the plate will act as a guide; just hold the rolls in place with one hand as the skewers are run through. Separate the rolls so there is a space between them of about a half an inch.
- Calories: 199
- Sugar: 16 grams
- Sodium: 1073mg
- Fat: 12 grams
- Saturated Fat: 5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 24 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Protein: 21 g
- Cholesterol: 71 mg
Keywords: Appetizer, Asian, Bargain Meal of the Week, Beef, Green Onion, Ground Beef, Hot Peppers, rice vinegar, serious eats, sweet chili sauce, Thai, thai chiles, Vinegar
I’ll be bringing Grilled Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #187, hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Sadhna @ Herbs, Spices and Tradition. Pop by Fiesta Friday to see what everyone else is sharing and take a peek at our co-hosts blogs, too, if you have a chance.