Vietnamese Kebabs with Sugarcane skewers,dipping sauce, and lettuce cups

Sugarcane skewered adds a lot of sweetness and authentic touch, but wooden skewers make a fine stand- in – just soak them in water for 20 minutes before using.

This is a recipe I found in Martha Stewart Magazine.   You can make the kebabs any size you like.


For the Dipping Sauce


  • 1/4              cup Asian fish sauces
  • 1/4              cup water
  • 2                 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2                 tsp sugar
  • 1                 tsp rice- wine vinegar
  • 2                 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1                 tsp finely chopped Thai chile



  • 2                 slices white bread, torn into large pieces
  • 1/4              cup whole milk
  • 1 1/4           lb lean ground beef
  • 1                 tsp crushed ginger
  • 1                 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2              tsp crushed jalapino
  • 1                 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1                 large egg
  • 1                 tsp salt
  • 1/2              tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3                 tbsp finely chopped fresh lemon grass
  • 3                 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 3                 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1                 tsp finely chopped Thai chilli
  • 12               skewers (5 inch each) fresh sugar cane
  • 1                 head boston lettuce, leaves separated
  •                    Vegetable oil cooking spray



  •                     Fresh mint
  •                     Basil,
  •                     Cilantro 


  1. Make the dipping sauce:
  2. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven 450 degree, with rack in top third of oven.
  4. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Pulse bread in a food processor until medium-coarse crumbs form.
  6. Tranfer to a bowl.  Stir in the  milk; let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Gently mix together meat, bread mix,ginger, garlic and jalapeno , onion, egg, salt, ground pepper, lemongrass, basil, cilantro, and chili.
  8. Form meat into 12 narrow loaves (about 1/4 cup each), shaping each around a sugarcane skewer, leaving 1 inch exposed; transfer to baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 11 minutes.  
  10. Heat broiler.  Broil until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  11. Discard garlic from the sauce.

Place kebabs on lettuce leaves.

Garnish with herbs.

Serve with dipping sauce.


You can use ground Lamb or ground Chicken instead of ground Beef.

I have used ground chicken for these Kebabs.

Make Ahead

Uncooked kebabs can be frozen for up to 1 month (freeze on parchment paper-lined baking sheets until firm, then transfer to resealable plastic bags). Thaw in refrigerator overnight, then proceed with step 3.  

Dipping sauce can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.