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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stuffed Basil Skewers & Secret Reveals


I love summer. It's hot, humid, and sweaty, but I love it. I like to soak up the sun and fall asleep...yeah that's a bad idea. Anyway, since it's summer, my summer article in the International Examiner (IE) is published. This time I'm talking about how to make Asian food healthier this summer. Feel free to stop by. Some of you already stopped by, thanks so much!!!

Another news is....Lazaro at Lazaro Cooks will be here and I will be at his on Saturday. Our secret ingredient is rose water. Please stop by at both blogs to see what we are going to do!

Yep, it's grill time. I just realized I grilled quite a bit this summer as Lazaro thinks I'm a queen of the grill. It's just so easy and quick especially when you host an outdoor party. I will have to reveal my secret here...that...the person behind the gas grill husband, Keith! Nah, I didn't grill, myself - but I can grill..I think. Oops.

A man and a grill are like buddies right? Since I cook and prepare, he needs to learn how to grill! Fair Enough. For the beautiful grilled dishes, all credit goes to Keith. Today, I'm presenting you another fun grilled dish. It's perfect for summer. It's a smell and sweet flavor from basil wrapped around seasoned ground pork-Vietnamese Style. It's very easy to make but requires a bit of patience. All I can say is delicious.

I also am proud to tell you that I used the basil I planted in my back yard! I'm pretty excited about this because I'm so not a green thumb person. Everything I've planted in the past, has died. Seriously. However, this organic basil I got from Trader Joe's 2 months ago, a mint plant, and rosemary are still alive. I didn't use mint and rosemary in this recipe, but they will appear on this blog soon. It's my first time using my own herbs. I always get secretly jealous of Patty at Patty's Foods to have a beautiful herb garden and get to use hers on her food (another secret revealed...oops big time!)

Laz would be proud of me to use organic basil

I tweaked the recipe from the Barbecue Bible Cookbook. Just the name of the cookbook can convince you it's going to be great, can't it? It doesn't disappoint me!

Stuffed Basil Skewers with Seasoned pork-Vietnamese Style
Yield: 9 skewers with 5 pieces 

1/2 lb ground pork
5 tsp fish sauce
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili flake (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbs chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
45-50 basil leafs, approximately
10 bamboo skewers

  • Soak bamboo sticks in water for at least an hour.
  • Mix all the seasonings and pork. Set aside for 15 mins in a fridge.
  • Lay out basil leafs on a prepared area. Form a pork mixture into an oval ball and place on each leaf. The size of the ball depends on how big a basil leaf is.
  • When you have enough, start to thread them on a skewer. I put 5 of them on each skewer.
  • Please refer to photos for instruction
  • Preheat a grill to 375 F. Grill for about 8 mins. Turn halfway through.
  • Sprinkle with chopped roasted peanuts
It's surprisingly good without a dipping sauce!

That's how you roll

And thread..


A secret man is doing the work. I have some meat left so I formed it on a skewer


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denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

GORGEOUS recipe Tanantha! I love fresh basil so I MUST try this recipe. If only I had a grill, and a backyard, and a garden, and didn't live in an apartment ;)

Lazaro Cooks! said...


Fantastic recipe so packed with flavor. Another fabulous job by the grill master...Keith!

Love the use of organic basil. Keep it up. I think we are all secretly jealous of Patty's wonderful creations.

Great photos and instruction. But then again that's how you roll!

Be good

roxan said...

T, looks like you're making plentyyy at the grill, so save me a spot at the table! :)
My husband and I don't have a backyard but we've tried having little plants around the house and they ALL die, just like yours. We don't know what we're doing wrong! Lol. I do like to get those little basil plants from the market though, because they cost the same as getting a package of basil. Even if they die after a couple weeks, i'll still get more use out of it than i do from a package. But if only I could get it to live longer... =(

What did you decide to make with the cucumbers?

Norah said...

wow, that looks amazing! I might just give this a whirl this coming weekend!!

Pacheco Patty said...

Creative, unique, fun and delicious are just a few adjectives that describe your stuffed basil skewers, oh I forgot another one, inspirational! Tanantha, you and Lazaro crack me up with the jealous of my herbs comments! Thanks for mentioning my site on your post, especially in the context of being associated with sweet basil, one of my all time favorites. The secret to growing herbs,lots of sun and a little water, they like to be neglected, kind of, thanks again, Patty

Pacheco Patty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

These look delicious! My husband always gets the credit for grilled recipes too :) I'm trying to learn, but it's slow going! I'll have to show him this recipe...I think he'd love it too. Thanks for sharing!

lequan@luvtoeat said...

I'm like you Tanantha, I can't keep any plant alive no matter how I try. Either I give it too much water or sun. That's the one good gene I never got from both my parents. Haha.

I love Vietnamese wrapped skewers! In fact, we're having some tonight and wrapping them with rice paper and vermicelli. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I love your recipe. And your skewers are wrapped perfectly. Have you ever tried wrapping with "lalop" leaf? I think that is my favorite. Thank you for sharing your recipe and some secrets. Teehee. And no such thing as too much grilling in the summertime ;-)

Marisa said...

I love the idea of stuffing basil leaves. This looks so so good. I don't seem to have much of a green thumb either so I know how you feel--your basil plant looks great!

Monet said...

I don't have a green thumb either...anything but! Thankfully my husband likes to garden. Your skewers look delicious and so very creative. I can only imagine how flavorful these must be! Fresh basil wrapped around meat...brilliant!

Evan @swEEts said...

Everything you make always looks fabulous! We have 2 large basil plants in our front porch garden and I think this recipe might need to be utilized soon! :)

By the way, where do you buy rose water??

Sook said...

Wow, basil is my favorite! I have to have it in my fridge at all times! :) This dish looks so unique and delicious! I can almost smell the fresh basil... :)

Cook with Madin said...

These looks great, amazing flavors you got there and you're very creative. This will be on my "must try" list. I'm actually jealous you have herb garden. I cannot plant anything, they die on me all the time.
Thank you for stopping by on my post the other day, it's true, after reading your post about matcha tea I went to "World Market", and they only have one canister left, lucky.

Julie M. said...

Tanatha, I LOVE these! What a perfect combination of flavors. Now that I've figure out my grill, I'll have to fire this one up.

Tamar1973 said...

If you want to make those rolls a bit larger, you can use sesame leaves (Japanese call them shiso).

Jennifer said...

So beautiful Tanantha :) I love the use of the basil as little packets on the skewers. Genius!
And I'm glad you were able to maintain the lives of your gorgeous herbs. I used to have herbs... I liken my thumb to be black. Oh well...
P.S. we have a grill, but my hubby does the honour of the cooking as well. We can't do everything, right? ;)

Biren said...

These sure look gorgeous. Must be tasty too. You do need patience with these unless you have super huge basil leaves.

Baking Barrister said...

this sounds great--and I have sooo much basil! saving to the recipe file.

Magic of Spice said...

This is such a fantastic recipe, and just gorgeous! I have so much basil and now I have new inspirations:)

Chef Dennis said...

what an incredible creation....who would have thought to use basil presentation of this dish is just beautiful.....
thanks so much for sharing and I will look for you on Lazaro's blog!

Foodessa said...

Tanantha...something so simple...creative and incredibly flavourful...and never crossed my mind to use my basil in this very unique way.
Fabulously inspirational.
I have to show these to Hubby.
I also, no longer have a grill...however, I will find a way ;o)

Have a fantastic weekend,

Emily said...

Hi Tanantha,

I'm loving the idea of wrapping the basil around the mince. I'm salivating by just staring at the pictures. :P

By the way, I have something for you - pls check this out

Judy said...

Mmm, these look so good! This is right up my alley! I would love to eat some of these skewers for dinner!

Your basil plant looks beautiful! I can't seem to keep any plants. I have a black thumb! :(

Stella said...

Hey Tanantha, this is so awesome and simple. I love recipes like these basil skewers, and it's nice that you guys have some real, organic herbs growing. They taste better grown at home, and the price cut is amazing! An herb garden is so worth the time.
On that note, one can drop cucumber seeds on the ground in my Mom's neighborhood in Georgia and have the best tasting cucumbers ever-so many of them too! So I'm rooting for your garden (smile)...

Spicie Foodie said...

Wow Tanantha, what a great recipe. I love the idea of using the fresh basil leaves. I'm also jealous of Patty ;) Ok and jealous of you for grilling so much , I can't have a grill in my flat.

I'm going to go read your article, I've enjoyed the others so looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

These are so cute. They will be added to my tapas collection.

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