Grilled Beef with Lemon Grass and Garlic (Bo Nuong Xa Toi)

Lisa Romerein

A classic; also works with steamed rice. Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours to marinate. Notes: You can use a grill pan or broiler instead of a grill. (Broil onions first, about 10 in. from heat, and then beef, about 6 in. from heat.)

This recipe goes with Herb Noodle Salad (Bun)

Yield: Makes 4 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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Recipe Time

Total: 2 Hours, 30 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 428
  • Calories from fat: 61%
  • Protein: 26g
  • Fat: 29g
  • Saturated fat: 7.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 16g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Sodium: 516mg
  • Cholesterol: 74mg


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (3 or 4 large cloves)
  • 1 1/2 stalks lemon grass, outer layer peeled off and inner core minced (about 3 tbsp.)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound beef tri-tip or round, sliced against the grain into 1/4-in. slices
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons and crushed unsalted dry-roasted peanuts


  1. 1. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together sugar, pepper, garlic, lemon grass, fish sauce, and 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add beef, toss to coat, and refrigerate 2 hours.
  2. 2. Rub remaining 1 tbsp. oil over onions. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium-high heat (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 in. above grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). Brush grill with vegetable oil. Thread onions onto two 8-in. metal skewers. Lay onion skewers on grill and cook (close lid on gas grill) until softened, about 15 minutes, turning skewers every 5 minutes or so.
  3. 3. When onions are cooked halfway, lay beef slices on grill and cook (close lid on gas grill), turning once, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. 4. Arrange beef and onions on a platter and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.
  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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