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Vietnamese Bbq Pork Meatballs (nem Nuong)

Vietnamese Bbq Pork Meatballs (nem Nuong)

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: About 32 meatballs


  • 1 1/2 pounds fatty ground pork
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 3 tablespoons short-grain glutinous rice, such as sushi rice
  • Vegetable oil
  • 6 to 8 (8-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons Vietnamese Fish Sauce (Nuoc Nam)
  • Nuoc Cham Sauce, for serving


  • Place the rice in a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until rice is toasted, golden brown and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool. When cool, place rice in a coffee grinder and process to a fine powder. Measure 3 tablespoons of the powder and set aside. Save any remaining powder for another purpose or discard.

    In a small bowl combine the pork, shallots, fish sauce, garlic, sugar,  and chili garlic sauce. Stir to combine well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

    Add the roasted rice powder and pulse several times to combine the mixture. Do not over process or the mixture will become sticky.

  • Preheat a grill to medium-low.

    Transfer the meat mixture to a small bowl. Lightly oil your hands. Divide meat mixture into heaping 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls and roll each into a smooth ball. Re-coat your hands with oil, as necessary. Thread the meatballs onto the bamboo skewers, fitting as many as you can on each skewer.

    Coat the grill lightly with oil and grill the skewered meatballs, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature with herbs, lettuce leaves and Nuoc Cham Sauce .

Recipe Details