Total Calories: 15
1. Combine the beef, garlic, 5 teaspoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the pepper in a small bowl. Mix to a smooth paste with your hands, then saute' a small amount of the mixture in a nonstick skillet and taste for seasoning. Add fish sauce or sugar to the remaining mixture as necessary the mixture should be both salty and sweet.
2. Select 50 to 60 of the largest basil leaves rinse under cold running water, drain, and blot gently dry with paper towels. Place one leaf, underside up, on your work surface. Depending on the size of the leaf, mound up to 2 teaspoons of the beef mixture in the center of the leaf, then roll up the leaf, from the stem end, into a compact cylinder. Place the roll on a baking sheet, with the leaf tip tucked under, while you repeat the procedure with the remaining beef mixture and basil leaves. Thread the rolls crosswise on the skewers, 5 rolls to a skewer, making sure the place where the leaf ends cross are pierced first (see note).
3. Preheat the grill to high.
4. When ready to cook, oil the grill grate. Arrange the skewers on the hot grate and grill, turning with tongs, until the rolls are cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes in all. The basil will be lightly browned and the rolls very hot to the touch. Serve the rolls on the skewers with the peanuts sprinkled over them (if using).
Note: You can make the rolls to this point up to several hour ahead of time. If not planning to cook immediately, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
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