Nem Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork) with Kimchi and Sriracha Sliders

nem nuong sliders w/ kimchi and sriracha

Kim told me that the kids at the barbecue wanted “American” food, not Vietnamese food. Immediately I felt a bit irked. Our family came to America when I was about 4 years old. We were part of the wave of “boat people” (the b & w photo on the left banner is my family at a refugee camp in Thailand circa 1980-guess which one is me?) and I feel as American as anyone. I love a good classic “American” burger or hot dogs just like anyone else–but besides, if America is such a melting pot of cultures, why not make the flavors of Vietnamese food part of that Americana? Who knows, in 50 yrs something like nem nuong might rival hotdogs…

So remembering a post of nem nuong sliders by White on Rice Couple, I stubbornly I suggested we make Vietnamese style nem nuong (grilled pork patties) sliders instead…and (pray to God) they’ll love it just the same.

Looking around the fridge, I found a jar of kimchi. There wasn’t any ketchup at her mom’s house, but there were two bottles of Srircha. So why not use Sriracha,as a ketchup sauce?? Great not-too-spicy and garlic flavors match perfectly with the sweet and garlic flavors of nem nuong. You can pan fry or grill the patties, about 2-3 min per side. For the buns, we just used some sweet rolls, slightly buttered and grilled.

For a bit of crunch, I topped it with some fried shallots that I had left from the lotus root salad. So how did the kids like this Vietnamese-Korean-Thai version of American sliders? Big two thumbs up from everyone!!!!!!!!!!!


nem nuong sliders with kimchi and sriracha

Now on to the nem nuong recipe…this is a very versatile dish that can be used in several different classic Vietnamese dishes such as nem nuong cuon (spring rolls), in bun such as bun cha Hanoi or bun nem nuong, in banh mi, and as you can see, only limited by your imagination.

This is a recipe from my mom. With only pork, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic as the main ingredients it’s a snap to make and I always keep some on hand in the freezer. Recipe serves about 6.

nem nuong ingredients

Nem Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patty)
Printable Recipe

  • 2 lbs. ground pork (you may mix ground turkey or chicken to reduce fat)
  • 1-2 head of garlic (cloves, peeled; we love the intense garlic flavor but use 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 (or any single acting baking powder)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp caramel syrup or 1-2 drops red food coloring (optional and found in most asian groceries or make your own)

Using food processor, chop 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 to the mixing bowl along with caramel syrup  or red food coloring.

Vietnamese pork patties (nem nuong)

Fold the baking powder into mixture and allow meat to chill for about 30 min-1hr. The baking powder adds more firmer texture which I like. Now you’re ready to form the patties. I personally like to keep meat mixture in the fridge for a few hours to let it set and easier to handle when forming patties. Go wild and make them into balls and skewer them, mini hamburger style patties, favorite animal shapes or the way I like them, into 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. Grill until golden brown and slightly charred. If not using immediately, this stores well in the freezer for 1-2 months.

Please see our other recipes using nem nuong: Nem Nuong Cuon (Spring rolls with grilled pork patties) and Bun Nem Nuong (Vermicelli with grilled pork patties)

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12 Responses to “Nem Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork) with Kimchi and Sriracha Sliders”

  1. 1

    Lori Lynn — May 14, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

    They sound great, love the festive way you serve them too.

  2. 2

    Food, she thought. — May 19, 2009 @ 12:17 am

    Those look fantastic! I love your photos too…can’t lose with Sriracha.

  3. 3

    Ravenous Couple — May 19, 2009 @ 2:44 am

    Food, she thought: Sriracha does go great with everything!

  4. 4

    ghweiss — August 15, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

    Those look soooo tasty!

    I must admit I'm surprised the kids liked kimchi, let alone any kind of hot sauce. I love it now but I don't think I started being interested in spicy food until I was about 14.

  5. 5

    Ravenous Couple — August 16, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    ghweiss: Thank you! We like to start our nieces and nephew when they're young with all types of Vietnamese cuisine! 🙂

  6. 6

    Ann — October 28, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

    this is such a lovely blog. i am trying to make nem nuong today. i hope i dont fail lol.

  7. 7

    Ravenous Couple — October 29, 2009 @ 1:25 am

    Ann:Thank you! Good luck and do let us know how it turns out for you!

  8. 8

    Thao — June 18, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    Could you verify? You have baking powder as the ingredient, but you wrote "baking soda gives a firmer texture". It's not baking soda right? Just wanted to double check. Love your blog. I love cooking authentic VN food too.

  9. 9

    Ravenous Couple — June 18, 2010 @ 10:46 pm

    thao: yes, baking powder. we always use the alsa brand, but we guess any single acting baking powder will do.

  10. 10

    zbirdman — September 19, 2010 @ 12:14 am

    I always love nem nuong. the only time I get them is at the restaurant.
    So yesterday I enjoyed the most delicious nem nuong at my sister house. She bought it frozen from I think Brodart in Orange county. Long story short. I want to have them ship to me if I buy a bunch. No can do they said . So i think to myself how hard is it to make it. So here I am. thanks to the wonderful world wide web and you guys. I have the recipee. Thank you for sharing your wonderful an deliciuos recipee. i'll checking back for more later. Thank you thank you thank you!!!


  11. 11

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