Earlier in the week I posted my mom’s recipe for nem nuong (grilled pork patties) and presented it as nem nuong sliders and mentioned in passing how versatile this meat dish really is. I don’t think I paid nem nuong enough respect and justice as many readers may not be familiar with some of the ways nem nuong is enjoyed in Vietnamese cuisine so i’m posting on one of my favorite ways to enjoy nem nuong, called bun nem nuong (vermicelli with grilled pork patties). Stay tuned for other ways to enjoy this.
I don’t think I could have made it through schooling without this. I always had some frozen and ready to grill on the trusty George Foreman grill when I was too lazy to cook or had a lot of studying to do. So this was my quick, go to recipe for a quick meal. The beauty of this dish is it’s flexibility. Use as much and as many fresh herbs as you like. If you have egg rolls, fry them up and put them in too. The light vermicelli and savory nem nuong goes well with just about any fresh herbs or vegetables, making this one of my favorite spring/summertime dish.
Just to recap my mom’s nem nuong recipe again:
Nem Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patties)
* 2 lbs. ground pork (you may mix ground turkey or chicken to reduce fat)
* 2 head of garlic (cloves, peeled; we love the intense garlic flavor but use more or less according to taste)
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/2 tbs salt
* 1/2 tbs pepper
* 4 tsp or 1 small package of Alsa baking powder prefered
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 drop red food coloring or 1 tsp caramel syrup (optional and found in most Asian groceries)
Using food processor, process garlic until fine puree. Combine pork, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar in mixing bowl and mix well. In separate bowl, combine baking powder and water and stir. Mixture will fluff and foam. Add drop of food coloring or caramel syrup (this adds a very nice color to the pork when grilled).
Fold the baking powder into mixture and allow meat to chill for about 30 min to 1 hr or longer. The baking powder adds more bouncier texture. Now you’re ready to form the patties. Keep meat mixture in the fridge for a few hours to let it set and easier to handle when forming patties, balls or what I prefer, mini sausages. I find that it’s easier to roll in rice paper this way. Keep a bowl of water handy and your hands wet for easy handling.
I use an indoor grill (such as George Foreman) as it’s quick, easy to clean, and makes great grill marks. Grill about 4-5 min per side.
Bun Nem Nuong (Vermicelli with Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patties)
- 1 (14 oz) bag of vermicelli noodles (serves about 4)
- Grilled nem nuong (above)
- Any combination of a variety of fresh herbs and vegetables such as fresh mint (rau thom), basil (rau que), perilla (rau tia to), coriander (rau ram), cucumber (julienned)
- Pickled carrots and daikon
- Fried Shallots
- Roasted Peanuts
- Dipping fish sauce (nuoc mam cham)
Place vermicelli in boiling water for about 6-8 min, stirring regularly so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pot. To check for doneness, take a strand and taste. Should be still slightly firm but easily breaks apart. Drain and flush with cold water to stop cooking process.
Combine in bowl with nem nuong, lots fresh herbs, pickled carrots and daikon, fried shallots, crushed roasted peanuts and dress with fish sauce vinaigrette. So easy to put together and so so delicious!!