Nem Noung (Meatballs)
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 20 to 23 meatballs
This Vietnamese meatball from Na Trang is traditionally grilled. It is fatty, savory and a little sweet. Here, I changed the traditional pork back fat with the more easily accessible fatty bacon that produced a nuanced smoky taste also.
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon water
  • 1 pound ground pork belly
  • ¾ cup fatty bacon cut into dice
  • ½ tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 salted anchovies
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon scallion bottoms
  • ½ large bulb of shallot (about 1 tablespoon)
  • One large bulb of minced garlic
  1. Cook the pork fat under medium-high heat until cooked through but not browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the baking powder to the water and stir.
  3. Combine the ground pork, cooked pork fat, fish sauce, anchovies, sugar baking powder mix, pepper, garlic, onions and shallots in a food processor and mix to a stiff paste. It should form paste that springs back but remains sticky to the touch. Do not over process.
  4. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  6. Form one inch meatballs and place on an oiled tray. You must work fast because of the fat content in these meatballs.
  7. Place in the oven turning after 5 minutes.
  8. Cook for an additional 4 to 7 minutes till meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. The meatballs should be firm to the touch.
Recipe by Pizza Today at