Giveaway Winner and Vietnamese Wrap Wraps

I’m not going to make you read to the end to see who the winner is. Those of you who want to read this full post will, and those of you who just want to know the winner will just scroll to the end anyways haha. I used Excel randbetween to generate a random number and that number was 5. So the winner of the CSN $40 giveaway is Lisa. Lisa said, “That looks like quite a spread! I’m glad you got the chance to celebrate your dad’s birthday.
I would get a kitchen appliance, such as a hand blender.” Congrats Lisa, I have already emailed you. Please reply back within 72 hours so I can confirm that I have the right email, and give you the rest of the details. That was fun! Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway, and thank you CSN Stores for this opportunity. On with my post.

When you get back from Paris (lucky ducky) and do have time to read this, this one’s for you Valerie! As you may recall, after having the “bo la lop”  (ground beef shishkebabs wrapped in la lop/betel leaves) at Pagolac restaurant, we went unsuccessfully searching for la lop leaves at Lucky 97. Well, I saw them at T&T the other day and thought of you. My Mom also told me they have them at Lucky, but guess we missed them. Just last week we had Vietnamese wraps at my brother’s house and I knew I had to post this for you.

Here’s our recipe for beef la lop shishkebabs (without exact measurements as it depends on how much you want to make).

Note: Prior to barbecuing, soak the skewer sticks in water for about an hour.


  • ground beef (not too lean as you need the fat to keep the leaves from burning/drying)
  • la lop/betel leaves
  • vegetable broth powder
  • garlic (minced)
  • shallots (minced)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • bamboo skewers


In a big bowl, mix everything together. Form into about 2 inch logs. Wrap each roll with a la lop leaf. Skewer 5-8 logs onto a skewer and place on barbecue.

To be honest, this is just a mediocre recipe. If you want a better one, Tanantha at I Just Love My Apron has a pretty great one up here. Except she used pork rather than beef, and basil leaves rather than la lop leaves. She also has actual measurements.

So for those of you unfamiliar with Vietnamese wraps, here are some items you can include in your wraps. Fatty pork (which I never go near), cooked, deveined shrimp,

pan fried salmon, rice vermicelli, beef la lop shishkebabs, and another ground up beef ball shishkebab that’s wrapped in a layer (more like a web actually) of pig fat. Nope, I don’t go near that one either.

You’ll also need rice paper. These are the two brands my parents had. I like the brand with a rose on the front or three elephants.

You’ll need a big bowl of warm (make sure it’s not too hot) water to quickly wet your rice paper in. If the water is too hot, it’s hard to wet your rice paper as it gets limp very quickly. We also use a lot of veggies with our wraps, such as lettuce, Thai basil, mint, bean sprouts, cucumbers, and shredded carrots. 

This is the sauce my family likes ,but it’s too stinky for me lol. Tanantha, another stinky goodness that you enjoy?

My sister in-law mixed that sauce with fresh chopped up pineapple, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce (which you see in the bottom picture).

I like to use the fish sauce (left jar) which you use with deep fried spring rolls (also stinky but not as much as the sauce up top). I’d have to say, there are a lot of stinky, but good Asian foods…teehee.

Table is all set to eat. My family uses chopsticks when they eat this (other than the wrapping part of course), but not me. I’m a savage, I eat with my hands, and I think it tastes better that way anyways.

So here’s what you want to do after you’ve quickly wet the rice paper in warm water. Start with a piece of lettuce and stack everything on top in case your rice paper breaks/rips, you still have your lettuce holding things together. Fill your wrap with some vermicelli, and meat.

Then top off with some veggies. You can also put another piece of lettuce on top to encase the whole roll. I don’t, as it gets too bulky.

Roll the wrap about half way, just enough so that you can tuck the rice paper underneath to secure it. Fold both ends up and then finish rolling.


Dip in your choice of sauce and om nom nom….yummy!

Another thing I want to talk about today is MonaVie. MonaVie is a health drink packed with 19 health-promoting fruits, including the acai berry. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to sell you anything. I just want to monitor and track my progress on my blog after taking this drink.

 A while back I injured my back. It wasn’t just a one day thing, I believe it was from constantly carrying L around and partly a sports injury. I used to play tons of sports, everything from badminton, to volleyball, basketball, floor hockey, table tennis, flag football, soccer, tennis, etc. Yup, you name it, I played it. Ever since my back injury though, I haven’t even been able to carry L without pain, let alone exercise. I’ve tried acupuncture and physiotherapy. Neither of them helped and I’ve heard great results from people who have tried MonaVie. So I’m going to give this a try to see how it goes. I’m trying out the MonaVie Active, which is supposed to help joint health. If it works, I’d also like the hubby to try MonaVie Pulse, which helps maintain cholesterol levels. If anyone has heard of this product and have any comments about it (good or bad), I’d love to hear. That’s it for this week folks. Until next time friends and family.


51 Responses to “Giveaway Winner and Vietnamese Wrap Wraps”

  1. 1 serena August 4, 2010 at 12:58 am

    Now I’ve got a craving for some vietnamese wraps 😦 I’d love to hear the reviews on MonaVie as well. Come on now, sports is another thing in common we have. :0

  2. 2 Stella August 4, 2010 at 7:12 am

    I’m a savage too, LeQuan! I prefer eating with my hands, and I recently read a few studies that show it really does make the food taste better. It has something to do with the nervous system-using one’s hands stimulates more than using a fork/chop sticks, etc. So that’s cool…!

    Your wraps (both kinds) look delicious. I have a pack of round rice paper with three ladies on the front. It’s called three ladies brand. I also have two packs of square rice paper, which is new to me. So I got some. I suppose one just makes different shapes with square rice paper. Anyway, you’ve inspired me to do something with it today!

    p.s. My only problem with Mona Vie is that it is usually very expensive and, to my knowledge, it’s not even made with organic fruits. For that kind of cash, genetically modified fruit and pesticides should not be in that pretty, little bottle (smile). Me thinks at least…
    p.s.s. If you don’t mind me asking, have you had an X-ray? I mean, do you know what is injured exactly or is it kind of a mystery? If you don’t mind me asking:)!

  3. 3 anncoo August 4, 2010 at 8:02 am

    LeQuan, What a big spread. This reminds of my grandmother who was a Vietnamese Chinese. She liked to prepare wraps with lot of ingredients for us during the weekend so the whole family can enjoy doing their own wraps. 🙂

  4. 4 Roti n Rice August 4, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I like those shishkebabs wrapped in betel leaves. I have to check the stores here to see if they carry them. Betel leaves are essential in a delicious Nyonya dish I had in Malaysia and Singapore.

    Your wraps look really delicious with all the good stuff in it. I recently had some at a picnic made by our Vietnamese friends. It was very tasty. I really should make some soon as I have wraps in the pantry waiting to be used.

    Sorry to hear about your back. It is good to live an active lifestyle but it is not without its setbacks. I have had my share. Congrats to Lisa!

  5. 5 Ameena August 4, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I think your wraps look delicious. The closest I’ve come to something like this are the Singapore Shrimp Wraps from California Pizza Kitchen, and they are amazing. Of course yours look far more authentic!

    I am familiar with betel leaves because in India they are used to wrap tobacco to make “pan.” Your use looks far more appetizing. 🙂

    I am sorry you are experiencing back problems! Have you tried yoga? It has helped me quite a bit with my back issues. But MonaVie is definitely worth a try too!

    • 6 luvtoeat August 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      Hey Ameena,

      Great suggestion! I was going to try yoga at the place I take physiotherapy. They were opening up a class geared towards people with back injuries but they canceled 😦 Looking into other sources. I want to take classes from an actual instructor first before buying any videos to make sure I’m doing it properly. But you know how hectic the life of a mother can get.

      Hope your day is getting better with the rough start!

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. 7 Light Delight with Tou Tou August 4, 2010 at 9:53 am

    That’s a very healthy wrap with betel leaves!!!! We should have thought about that at last weekend’s BBQ party! I love the Vietnamese wrap too, even though I always have a very hard time to wrap the stuff without breaking the wrap!!! haha 🙂

    Have a great day, Lequan!

  7. 8 homecookedem August 4, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Those wraps look amazing!! I want them NOOOWWWWW!! 🙂

  8. 9 MaryMoh August 4, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Congrats to Lisa!

    Wow…so much good food here! I thought my dinner was really today but looking at yours, I think mine is at Level 3 and yours is at Level 10!! I love every dish….drooling. The wraps in betel leaves look very interesting and delicious. I love anything on a stick over a grill….so fun to eat…mmm. I think I better self invite to your place 😛

  9. 10 vincent August 4, 2010 at 2:57 pm


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  10. 11 Milo Bloom August 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    LeQuan, I have a stupid question for you. (Because I’m thinking of ordering the la lop beef shishkebabs at Pagolac the next time I’m there. :)) Does one eat the la lop leaves with the beef, or do you set the leaves aside?
    Thanks in advance!

  11. 14 August 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    i really wanna try these on my bbq!!!! they totally remind me of Dolmas ❤ i hope i can find those leaves here. i may be able too and i think i may have actually seen them in the markets downtown. theres a few ethnic stores around. i really wish i could sample your plate!! the colors together look really yummy too!

    oh and i LOVED your comment on cherishing time with parents! the more time the better, at least now that we can appreciate them since im sure spending time with parent was the farthest thing from our minds at 12 or 13 hehe ❤

  12. 15 Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron August 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    LeQuan, the beef and la lop leaves are exactly what the recipe calls for. I wasn’t able to find la lop leaves and not so much on beef, so I had to figure something else out haha. I like that you put it in a wrap. What a great idea! Hands are a must in eating Vietnamese food! The food does taste better. Thanks so much for the mention!

    Congrats to Lisa!

  13. 16 Autumn @ Good Eats Girl August 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Oh, wow. Everything looks amazing! Those kebabs and wraps look so good!

  14. 17 josh healy August 4, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    hi, hope it’s ok to contact you here. we would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: giveaway scout ( have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, josh

  15. 18 denise @ quickies on the dinner table August 5, 2010 at 1:56 am

    I love the smell of betel leaves and sometimes cook with it. Luckily, it’s quite easy to find over here. I must try your grilled skewers LeQuan!!

    Vietnamese food is so yummy, with all those wonderfully perfumed herbs they love so much – I can’t believe some people actually don’t like Vietnamese food BECAUSE it is so heavy on herbs! A friend told me she feels like a grazing cow when she eats Vietnamese LOL

    So sorry to hear about your back 😦 I had back troubles after my first delivery and it took years for the pain to end, so I can totally relate to your problem. I’ve never tried any kind of Acai berry product or Mona Vie so sorry, I can’t help you there. Hope it works for you though, and you get some kind of relief soon 🙂

  16. 19 Jessie August 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Congrats Lisa! 🙂

    Ok, now I’ll have to add la lop leaves to my ever-growing list of cool-foods-I-read-about-on-Leeq’s-blog-and-now-want-to-try. Thanks a lot, LeQuan 😛 I don’t blame you for not wanting to eat fatty pork or webs of pig fat – even typing those words give me the heebie-jeebies, urg. Oh, btw, I use the rice paper with the rose on the front! The best! … and also the only one I can find in our Asian grocery, hehe 😉 Luv your Vietnamese wrap rolls – so healthy and delicious! I’m with you on the stinky Asian foods – um, delicious fermented tofu, anyone?! Nom nom.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you think of the MonaVie. I’m sorry to hear that your back hasn’t healed at all – it’s been a really long time since you injured it 😦 It doesn’t hurt to try the drink, and I’ll cross my fingers that it offers relief! I don’t remember if I’ve asked you, but are you taking chondroitin and/or glucosamine? If you’re having joint issues, they may help.

    Jessie 🙂

    • 20 luvtoeat August 5, 2010 at 1:49 pm

      Hey Jessie,

      Did someone say fermented tofu? Mmmm :-P. I find the Rose brand doesn’t tear as easily. With the gigantic wraps my hubby makes, we need the thickest ricepaper we can find ;-).

      No I’ve never taken chondroitin and/or glucosamine, but will look into those. Thank you for the suggestions Jessie 😀

    • 21 luvtoeat August 7, 2010 at 12:17 am

      Hey Jessie,

      I just realised there actually is glucosamine in the Mona Vie Active. I’ll see if this really is as great as I’ve heard it is.

  17. 22 Twins August 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    YUM YUM Love love your post … reading it makes me so hungry and crave wraps! Loved that you shared how to make the bo la lop, another thing we can include in our dinners with the family.

  18. 24 drhardy August 5, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Great website and articles…
    I will pass your site onto my family, friends and patients…
    Dr. H

  19. 25 eatmovewrite August 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    So Mona Vie isn’t alcoholic? It looks like wine?…

  20. 27 tigerfish August 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    I have not seen betel leaves used as wrappers and being grilled before! Congrats to the winner 😀

  21. 28 Jenn @ Chinese Baba August 6, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Hi Lequan,
    your skewers look fantastic! The great thing about cooking is that precise measurements aren’t all that necessary unlike baking where it needs to be more precise. I’m sure that yours turned out amazingly 😉
    Also, your wraps look tops! I used to use hotter water to soften my rice wrappers, but I’ve also done ok with using lukewarm. It’ll take a while longer for them to soften but they don’t break as easily. Or maybe I just did a faux-pas. *gasp*. Either or, your spread looks great. And eatin with your hands ain’t savage 😉

  22. 29 Patty Price August 6, 2010 at 7:26 am

    These wraps look so delicious, some of your comments are very honest and funny, I like that! It’s nice to offer a big selection of dishes even if we don’t like everything ourselves:-)

  23. 30 Brittany August 6, 2010 at 10:30 am

    YUM! when can i come over for dinner lol!!!!

    LOOKS GREAT! thanks for sharing!

    happy friday!

  24. 31 Leah @ Why Deprive? August 6, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Those wraps look SO good! Im always too afraid to try and make things like this, because Im so impatient I wind up ruining them and getting all irritated. lol

    I hope your back gets better. I had major back problems because of some car accidents, I found that sleeping with a GOOD memory foam pillow made all the difference for me. If I switch back to a regular pillow, even for a night, the pain comes back.

  25. 34 Chef Dennis August 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    those are really great spring rolls! I saw the wraps at my local grocer today, I am going to make these for my girls when school is back in session! Thanks for he inspiration!

  26. 35 A Canadian Foodie August 7, 2010 at 3:39 am

    What a fantastic post! Thank you for the details – WE will have to make these together!!! I love how they looked off of the grill and recall the leaves tasting so delicious and they were a completely new flavour experience for me. I cannot wait to make them and THANK YOU for finding them and for this incredible post!!! Let’s book a date!
    I have made rice paper rolls before, may times and I love them… but have not made them for ages. They are the perfect summer treat! I will definitely have to make these when I get home. I apologize for not keeping up with my readings, LeQuan!!!!! As you know, we left for Paris mid July and are now currently in Belgrade. We’ll be home sometime next week – and I cannot wait to be home. I love to get away, but going home is just as exciting. And this time, In have had so many fascinating culinary experiences, that I cannot wait to practice in my kitchen at home! NOw we can make these, too!!! What are they called again? ( 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

    • 36 luvtoeat August 7, 2010 at 10:41 am

      No worries on being MIA Valerie. That’s what a true vacation should be like, not to have to worry about blogging at all. I’m surprised you actually even kept up with your posting.

      With all the goodies you bought, I’d like to come home and have an early Christmas too. Haha. Love that you learned so much on your vacation too, you’re truly an inspiration Valerie!

  27. 37 Lazaro August 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    The wraps look amazing. Love the great care you took to post many photos so one can follow along. Beautiful as always.

    Eyeing the pineapple, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce dish. Intrigued. I may have to steal that one.

    Well Done!

  28. 38 Lazaro August 7, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    By the way, hope your back heals up soon!

  29. 39 tellmetoshutup August 8, 2010 at 3:06 am

    This makes me miss home. And it’s only been a day. Hope your back gets better! Take care of yourself. Love you!

  30. 40 Lawyer Loves Lunch August 8, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    What a cool idea for a dinner party! It’s easy for the host to set up and perfect for the guests to customize their own rolls. And I’m with you on the stinky- not a huge fan! I mean, I can appreciate the necessity of things like fish sauce but I’m not willing to dip my roll in it by itself 🙂
    PS: I hope your back feels better!

  31. 41 Lindsay August 9, 2010 at 6:50 am

    I just had my first experience with rice paper. I really liked the texture!

  32. 42 Juliana August 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Wow, the wrap looks so delicious with all the goodies in it…absolutely yummie!

  33. 43 5 Star Foodie August 10, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Such a scrumptious wrap, absolutely yummy!

  34. 44 Cindy @ This Adventure, Our Life August 13, 2010 at 8:46 am

    I have always wanted to use the rice paper, I am so going to try this! Mine will be a little boring though (probably chicken with veggies, or shrimp with veggies!). Looks very good and pretty through the rice paper!!

  35. 45 Magic of Spice August 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Wow, everything looks fabulous, and what a spread…and I just love the wraps, so yummy 🙂

  36. 46 aletheiazoe August 16, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I can’t believe I’m SO behind on your life, Wonderwoman. Fear not, the blog-reading begins tonight. MUahahaha.

    Well, firstly, let me express my sincerest sympathy for your back pain!! I’ve read a bit more on your most recent posts on MonaVie, and hope it works for you… Of course, I’m skeptical as hell, but hey — if it works, it works, right? Keep us posted (I’m sure you will).

    Secondly, I CANNOT believe you actually get those rice paper wrapper babies to ROLL. IMPOSSIBLE!!! I rip them EVERY BLOODY TIME. Faiiiiiiiil. Teach me, LeQuan, TEACH MEEEEEE.

    🙂 xoxo Aletheia

    • 47 luvtoeat August 16, 2010 at 11:44 pm

      I used to always break my rice paper rolls too. I think it also has a lot to do with the brand of rice paper. I like the one with the rose in the front. Next time try that and see if it makes any difference. Another trick is to place a piece of lettuce at the bottom and pile everything on top of the lettuce, then another lettuce on top. That way if your roll breaks, you still have the two pieces of lettuce holding your roll together ;-). Hope that helps, dear.

  37. 48 Sharon Moh December 10, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Just hunting your blog for some good Vietnamese food! Can I just ask what are la lop leaves? And can you eat the leaves as well? In Malaysia we get food grilled in leaves too but we only eat whats IN them and not the leaves themselves. Looks great though, what a feast!

  1. 1 Wirral Acupuncture Trackback on August 12, 2010 at 8:03 am

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