Back in Melbourne, my family and I would religiously go to a local Vietnamese restaurant every Friday. Now that I live in Ireland, I crave those Friday nights devouring amazing Vietnamese food and being surrounded by family. Whilst I have found two great Vietnamese restaurants in Dublin, sometimes I just want to be at home with my “Irish family” trying to recreate the warmth of those nights back in Melbourne. This dish is the closest I have come to that. The flavours are amazing and incredibly moreish, and it gives a nod to Bún Nem Nướng (Vietnamese Pork meatballs and noodles), Bún chả (Vietnamese Pork and noodles) and Nước chấm (Vietnamese dipping sauce.) This can also be made with lean pork and marinate overnight. Serves 4-6.
Cooking: 20- 25mins.
- 225g Rice noodles
- 3 medium carrots, grated
- 1 Baby gem lettuce, sliced thinly
- Beansprouts or vegetables of your choice
- Fresh mint, optional
- Peanuts, optional
- 1kg pork mince (I recommend 15% fat, but you can use leaner mince.)
- 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- 3 shallots, finely minced
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 lemongrass stalks, remove tough outer leaves and finely mince
- 3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
- 3 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 60ml (1/4 cup) water
- 60ml (1/4 cup) fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped palm sugar
- 2 long fresh red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 garlic clove, crushed (optional)
- Combine pork mince and sriracha sauce, using your hands to mix well. Pinch off a piece of the pork mixture and gently roll between your hands to form 3cm meatballs. Continue shaping until all the meat is used. Will make approximately 48- 50 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a large roasting tray. Wash hands well afterwards.
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
- Spoon the marinade over the meatballs, ensuring that the marinade is evenly distributed and coats every meatball. Rest for 10-15mins in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 220C (200C fan forced.)
- Place meatballs in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked through.
- Meanwhile, to make the dipping sauce, combine the water, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, palm sugar, chilli and garlic in a jug and stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Prepare rice noodles as per packet instructions.
- Assemble; Place rice noodles in a bowl and add meatballs, grated carrot, shredded lettuce, vegetables of your choice. Serve with the dipping sauce and enjoy.
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