Lettuce wraps, sugarcane skewers, and add-ins such as lemongrass make tasty bundles bursting with the flavors of Southeast Asia. Sugarcane adds a hint of sweetness and an authentic touch, but wooden skewers make a fine stand-in -- just soak them in water for 20 minutes before using.
When the steaming broth is ladled into the bowl, the eye of round cooks and the onion and scallions lose their raw edge. The broth can be made up to one month ahead; remove the brisket and let the broth cool to room temperature before freezing. Wrap the brisket tightly in plastic, store it in a resealable freezer bag, and freeze it; thaw completely in the refrigerator before slicing.
We think of watermelon as the stuff of fruit salads, but it's also great in savory ones. In this Vietnamese- and Thai-inspired recipe, melon and cucumber are the cool contrast to sliced chile and grilled pork (chicken works, too).
One grilled flank steak, thinly sliced and skewered or made into banh mi sandwiches, is a delicious, economical, efficient way to feed a crowd. Guests can embellish their sandwiches with some vegetables from the summer-roll platter.