Grilled Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce

Grilled Thai Beef Rolls Sweet Chili Sauce


  • 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.


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

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