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Main Course

These Spiced Vietnamese Pork Meatballs Are Tasty Little Flavor Bombs

These spicy pork meatballs practically explode with flavor. They are the perfect balance of fresh, savory and sweet.

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These delicately spiced meatballs are served over a bed of soft rice noodles and sharp, pickled vegetables. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, this dish is easy to prepare and both the meatballs and the dipping sauce can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to cook.



  • 1 lb. free-range ground pork

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated

  • 1 Tbs. turmeric powder

  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed, white part finely chopped

  • 1 red chili, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp. plus 3 Tbs. fish sauce

  • 3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar

  • Juice of 2 large limes

  • 3 tsp. soft light brown sugar

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

  • 1 cup radishes, julienned or roughly grated

  • 2 tsp. peanut oil

  • 1 8 oz. pack rice vermicelli noodles, cooked to package directions, rinsed under cold water, and drained

  • ½ head round lettuce, shredded

  • Handful roughly chopped coriander and mint leaves for garnish

  • Sliced red chili, to taste

  • 1 large lime, quartered


  1. To make meatballs, mix ground pork, garlic, shallot, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, chili, and 2 tsp. fish sauce in medium bowl until well combined. Form mixture into flattish, tablespoon-sized meatballs, and set aside in fridge until ready to cook.
  2. To prepare vegetables and dipping sauce, combine 3 Tbs. fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. Put grated carrots and radishes in medium bowl, and pour over half of sauce. Toss to coat, and set aside to lightly pickle. Pour remaining sauce into small bowl and set aside for dipping.
  4. Heat peanut oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs, and cook 3–4 minutes per side, until brown all over and completely cooked through.
  5. Divide noodles among four serving plates. Top with meatballs and vegetables. Garnish with lettuce, herbs, and a sprinkling of chili. Serve with lime wedges and dipping sauce on the side.

Recipe adapted from The Goodness of Ginger & Turmeric by Emily Jonzen.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 600
  • Carbohydrate Content 63 g
  • Cholesterol Content 80 mg
  • Fat Content 28 g
  • Fiber Content 3 g
  • Protein Content 25 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 9 g
  • Sodium Content 1420 mg
  • Sugar Content 9 g