Vietspices Search

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nem Nướng̣ - Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patties



It's hard to resist the aroma of nem nuong during the marinating process . . . the aroma of fresh garlic, the roasted rice powder, the smelly but tasty must-have fish sauce that is essential and ubiquitous in Vietnamese cuisine. Let this sizzle over a pit of charcoal and voila . . . dinner is served.



After a few times of experimenting on this nem nướng, I finally got it down. I had to determine what will produce the best taste. After trying out various types of pork, the determining factor was . . . i hate to say it but . . . it's the fat content; the more pork fat, the softer the meat and the better the flavor. 

There's a second crucial factor. At first, instead of asking the butcher to grind the ground pork just one more time, I brought it home and grind it real fine. Big mistake. The fine ground allowed the meat to lose it's fats and caused nem nướng to be real dry and chewy. I avoided this it turned out great. 


You have the recipe to nem nướng. Great! Now you need the recipe to the sauce (click here). I enjoy nem nướng with its beautiful orange sauce that they usually serve at the restaurant. I was determined to unlock the secret and spice it up a little to create my own signature sauce. I have experimented with it twice and have received mixed reviews from my family. My husband prefers the first-try, my mother-in-law likes the second attempt, and my brother thinks it would be perfect to combine the two. So for now, try this sauce recipe until I come up with a better one.
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RECIPE: Nem Nướng 

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Ingredients 


2 lbs ground pork 
2 heads garlic, finely chopped or minced into fine paste (use mortar and pestle or food processor)
2 teaspoons Alsa baking powder or any single-acting baking powder brands or 1 teaspoon regular baking power 
4 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons good fish sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
1-2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 tablespoons roasted rice powder 
1 tablespoon oil
1 drop of red color, optional 
20 wooden skewers

Accompaniments

Rice paper wrappers 
Fried rolls, optional
Lettuce 
Cucumbers, thinly sliced 
2 Granny Smith Apples
Assorted Herbs
Chives 
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Directions

Preparing Meat

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, garlic, salt, fish sauce, sugar and white pepper. Kneed the pork mixture until all the ingredients are well mixed.

In a small bowl, mix water, color if used and baking powder. Stir the mixture until it foams up. Pour baking powder mixture into the pork mixture. Knead the pork mixture until all the ingredients are well mixed. The baking powder adds firmer and bouncier texture. Color will enhance the color of pork when grilled. However, I didn't use it in my food since I just want it as natural as I can. 

Add roasted rice powder to the mixture to enhance the aroma and taste. Mix it well. 

Cover the meat mixture or place it in a large ziploc bag and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight so that flavors can develop and the meat gets firmer which makes it easier to form patties, skewers or balls. 


Rub a small amount of oil into the palm of your hands so that the meat does not stick to it. Now you can form any shape you would like.


Turn on your grill or charcoal and grill it at medium high heat until it turns golden brown.


If baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush oil on a baking tray and place the meat on it.  Place the tray on the middle rack and bake for about 20 minutes.  Switch from bake to broil and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Remove from the oven. Let it cool down and cut into pieces.

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Making Fried Rolls

Use small size of Eggroll Wrappers.  Cut egg roll wrappers into half. Roll it up but not too tightly. Use an egg wash to seal the wrapper. Heat the oil until hot, then reduce the heat to medium. Fry until golden brown, drain on a paper towel and set aside.

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Preparing Apple



Granny Smith Apples are crisp, juicy, and tart. It's great for salads. Slice apples thinly then soak in salt water for few seconds.   Strain and set aside.  This method is to prevent apple from turning brown. 
Presentation


Dip a rice paper in luke warm water. Place the rest of the accompaniments and patties on wet rice paper then roll it up. Dip it in your favorite sauce and enjoy. 


Nem Nướng can also be served in a bowl with bún (vermicelli rice noodle), roasted peanut, scallion oil, fresh vegetables, herbs, bean sprouts, and pickled carrot. However, I prefer eating Bún Nem Nướng with dipping fish sauce.


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*Raw Nem Nướng can be frozen and used later. Whenever you crave for it, just defrost frozen nem nuong the night before in the fridge.

37 comments:

  1. This recipe looks so tasty. Definitely one I will try!

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  2. Thank you for your fine post. I've been looking for several of my favorite viet recipe for a while but haven't found it until I found your blog. Your blog have saved me a lot of time from searching.

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  3. Looks good. If i were to use my oven broiler how many mins per side? About 2-3 mins? And do i place them on the top shelf in the oven?

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  4. I usually place them on the middle shelf in the oven and broil them for about 4-5 mins per side. Overcooking it can make it chewy and dry.

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  5. Hi Loan, I tried your recipe last week and it was a hit with my family and friends. I tried another recipe, but yours was hands down the winner. The taste is perfect! Thank you so much for posting. Nikki

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  6. Hi Loan,
    Your recipe sounds wonderful. I will try to make it when I have the time. By the way, what part of pork do you use for Nem Nuong? Thanks so much for sharing your recipe, and I look forward to your reply.

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  7. I just bought ground pork from Asian store. If you get it from American Supermarket, don't get LEAN ground pork as it doesn't have fat in it and the meat won't be juicy after you grilled it.

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  8. Thanks for the sharing your secret cooking. I really appreciate that. Learning from your recipes, i can do good my cooking for my family. Can you send me your sauce recipe,my email address: huyenvan163@gmail.com
    Thanks a bunch

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  9. Hi Van, I am glad you found the sauce recipe. Enjoy cooking!

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  10. Hi Ken, to get to the Nem Nuong Sauce recipe, click on the link (click here for Nem Nướng̣ Sauce Recipe)" in this Nem Nuong post and it will take you to the Nem Nuong Sauce post.
    Please let me know how the result of your sauce.

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  11. Hi Loan,
    Do you know how to make grilled pork (thit nuong) as good as in restaurant? Thit nuong tai cac quan an rat thom va mem, mui thom quyen ru, Loan co biet cach lam khong? Would you share the secret recipes?
    Thank you in advance.
    van

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    Replies
    1. Hi Van, sorry for taking a long time to reply your comment. I just looked at this post and saw your comment. I did the grilled pork once and I can't remember it it was good :-). Will make it again sometime in Spring and if it works , I will post the recipe.

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  12. I made this for dinner tonight and my family loved it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes.

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  13. Hi can u please email me sauce recipe ? I love your recipes.. Thank you so much for sharing Vivianpham13@gmail.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Vi, the recipe for the sauce is on the blog. It's under Nuoc Cham Nem Nuong ( Vietnamese grilled pork orange dipping sauce). I tried to copy and paste the link here but my iPhone doesn't allow me to do that. If u still can't find it, shoot me an email to annettedinh@yahoo.com.
      Loan

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  14. Awesome post. Im gonna try this with a mixed egg in it. Happy eating!-Lis

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  15. Hi aunt loan! :)

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  16. Hello Loan,
    Have you ever tried to add tapioca starch into this recipe? Your recipe looks great but my guess is to add a little starch into the recipe it will help having a smoother texture.
    BTW, love your recipes! :)

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  17. Thank you for sharing, just made some and will surprise a friend this weekend.

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  18. Hi Loan, I came across your blog and wanted to thank you for sharing your recipes. I had tried your nem nuong and nuoc mam cham tonight and it was super delicious!! Will definitely be trying out your other recipes :)

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  19. I'll try your recipe. Thank you

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  20. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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  21. Made the Nem Nuong and the family loved it. Any suggestions for making it with chicken?

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  22. I love your post. If you don't mind, please share your nem nuong recipe sauce.

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    Replies
    1. Here is the link to the Nem nuong sauce. You can also add 1/4 cup of ground pork in this recipe if you like. Add it in the pot the same time with shrimps. I experimented both versions and like them all.

      http://vietspices.blogspot.com/2010/10/nuoc-cham-nem-nuong-vietnamese-grilled.html?m=1

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  23. Instead of red food dye, would using paprika also work to give it color? Or would paprika interfere with the scent/flavor of the nem?

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    Replies
    1. I like to eat as natural as possible so I usually dont add food color to my food. As for nem nuong, you don't need to add food color or paprika. Adding paprika will definitely change the taste.

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    2. Thanks! I will be trying this recipe for our camping trip this weekend. Can't wait! :)

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  24. I forgot I didn't mix the baking powder with sugar. I put everything in with the pork and knead. Will it be ok chi loan?

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    Replies
    1. You still can add baking powder and sugar, and mix it again.

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    2. You are so fast! E typed sai, y em la e quen mix baking powder with water before e Bo vao thit. E put all the dry and wet ingredients at once. Chi nghi no co Sao khong chi?

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    3. Chị nghĩ là không sao đâu.

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  25. I have made this 3 times so far. It's so easy to follow! I used 1 teaspoon of refgular baking powder instead, no red color added. Turned out great every time. Love the green apple slices , brings out the flavors and freshness of the nem nuong rolls! Thanks so much for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Helen. I just added 1 teaspoon of baking powder in the recipe.

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  26. Hello Loan,

    Tusind tak (thousand thanks) from Denmark. I am from the SF Bay Area but just moved to DK. We had guests joining us for lunch so I wanted to treat them to Vietnamese nem nuong. Your recipe is spot on..Like Helen, I used 1 teaspoon of regular baking powder and no food color. My mom, who is visiting from San Jose, can't believe how tasty the nem nuong turned out. She asked me to make it again. I may explore annatto seeds for natural color in future renditions. Thanks for sharing and enabling this Vietnamese-Californian to share some flavors with Danes!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for taking your time to leave me a comment. I am glad your family enjoyed it.
      I don't like to use food color in my cooking either. It's fine without color in this nem dish, but let me know how your experiment with annatto seeds turns out. Thanks.

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  27. I've made these probably a dozen times. the recipe is absolutely amazing. its just bursting with flavor. I made these for my sons Kindergarten grad, and they dissapeared so quickly.i could her people all around me saying they were amazing, and wives sending their husbands to get them more :) Thanks for such a great recipe!

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