Beef with betel leaves are delicious, and are even considered an aphrodisiac
BETEL PLANTS ORIGINATED
FROM Southeast Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years. High in antioxidants, their uses have included, but are not limited to, medicinal healing, stimulants and even breath fresheners. In India, it’s even consider an aphrodisiac. The betel plant is part of the pepper family and includes two varieties, piper sarmentosum and piper betle.
In Vietnamese culture, the piper betle is also called trau and is used to “begin the conversations,” in other words, helps break the ice in awkward situations among adults as these were passed around as chewing gum. Of course, this was in the days of our grandparent’s generation and not so much any more today due to the unflattering staining of teeth black when chewing these leaves with the areca nut.
Betel leaves also have symbolic meaning in traditional Vietnamese weddings where the groom would offer betel leaves, among other gifts, to the bride’s family. Hence, the Vietnamese phrase “chuyen
trau cau“meaning “matters of betel and areca,” is synonymous with marriage.
Aside from these cultural significance, the piper sarmentosum—also called la lot or wild betel leaves—are very popular in Vietnamese cuisine and they go great with cold beer or white wine.
• Beef tenderloin 300 g • Lean pork 300 g
• Betel leaves 40
• Rice vermicelli 500
• Rice paper 30 pieces
• Herbs 200g
• Shallots 3
• Sesame oil 2 tbsp
• Salt, sugar, seasoning enough • Cooking oil 2 tbsp
• Peanut butter 5 tbsp
• Chopped ginger 1 tbsp
• Brown sugar 3 tbsp
• Chili sauce 2 tbsp
• Lime juice 2 tbsp
• Garlic 1 clove
• Water 2 tbsp
• Crushed roasted peanuts handful