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How to make Nem Nuong or Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patties

Hello again. I am so addicted updating my post to make it look pretty lol. This post is going to be on "How to make Nem Nuong or Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patties". Vietnamese people love to eat this. It's usually made for family gatherings, parties and other special events and always always cooked and sold at Vietnamese/Chinese New Year. My mum makes nem nuong heaps and since I have moved out of home I have been asking mum to make it for me too much so I decided to make my own >_<. It can be in a patty form, sliced or in meat balls on a skewer. It's nice in colour, moist and tastes so caramel-y savour-y and delicious! You can have these in banh mi thit, in Vietnamese salads and in salad rice paper rolls which I will be explaining how-to as well in my next post.

I went to friend's dinner party a few weeks back and this was on the menu too! It wasn't bad for her first attempt. Well this was my first attempt and it turned out pretty okay. I used curing powder (omg it has msg in it but thankfully I am not allergic to this stuff - I recommend you not to have this if you are afraid of allergic reactions) - I know it's cheating but next time I will make it the authentic way with fish sauce, salt and sugar like Wandering Chopsticks did. She has so many good posts...I have been going through her posts nearly every day :P. I recommend using her recipe since it's authentic and no short cuts lol.

This woman uses baking powder. I guess it's to make the meat moist and firm. The video is Vietnamese :P.

I have taken a few photos. Okay, here we go :D

Recipe For NEM NUONG: Makes about 35 patties (approx. 10cms in diameter and 2cm thick)

You will need:

  • 2kgs of minced pork
  • 1 pack (350g) of curing powder (you can buy this at your Asian Market like Inala lol) (update: i used Tusino Curing Powder and it contains - sugar, salt, palm oil, caramel and dun dun dun MSG 4% >_<)
  • 1 medium minced onion
  • 3 long chillis chopped/minced (use 2 if you don't want it that hot)
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 cloves of garlic minced

Got my supplies from the Asian Grocer at Inala lol. I like going to the one where the owner is Thai/Viet. I don't know but he is mixed! lol. Um don't use the whole bag of garlic lol. Use one - should be about 8-10 cloves


The method is super easy. Just put everything together and incorporate well with clean hands or with a glove. You can't do this with a big spoon it won't do it properly. Wandering Chopsticks has suggested to take a tiny piece of the mixture and microwave it until it is cooked for tasting. Taste it and adjust if it needs more pepper or salt.


When I mixed it for about 5 minutes (well maybe longer) the colour of the mixture turned pink to red. I think this is from the curing powder.

Mixture will turn this colour after incorporating the ingredients together.

After the mixture has turned to that red colour I recommend to put the mixture into the freezer for about half an hour just to marinade until firm so you can easily roll it into balls or shape them into meat patties. You can leave this in the fridge for a couple of hours so the flavour can develop deeper. The mixture felt nearly mushy when I tried to roll them into balls and when I tried to put them on bamboo skewers. So I was so disappointed. First time...first time! lol. Putting it in the freezer helps it to hold it's shape.

Okay after 30 minutes or so the mixture should be firm and can easily hold shape. I made mine into patties cause it's easier and it doesn't take a lot time to do. I just put the skewers aside for next time (make sure to soak the skewers for half an hour before putting balls on it). My patties were about 2cms thick and 10cms in diameter. You can make bigger ones if you like but it will take a bit longer to cook. No rules! I hate following recipes lol.

My patty shapes. Ugly I know. But hey you gonna eat it after :P.

Now for the fun part! Grilling them!!! Since I did not have a grill I had to fry them on a pan. Works the same way. My mum usually grills nem nuong on the barbeque! Grill for about 3 minutes each side I think? To check cut and look. That's what I do to make sure.

This is what the Nem nuong patties look like after grilling or pan frying it! So caramel-y. So you noticed I got alfoil lined on my stove top? Yeah I am lazy. I hate cleaning the stove top up every time I make a mess.

Now that you are done all you have to do is eat it! I cut mine up into strips and eat it with noodles, with salads or with rice, rice paper rolls and in bread rolls. Versatile it is!

CLICK HERE - I will show you have to serve these yummy patties!


  1. Ooh that looks really good. What's in the curing powder? Do you have a favorite brand?

  2. wow! the patties look absolutely wonderfullll

    ehm, i am a big fan of short cuts though :p

  3. 450D is a nice camera...mine is 400D, I wish I could use SD cards and big LCD and a live view...sob sob.

    by the way, i wanna sell off my 50mm f/1.8 with 3 close up filters if you're interested, email me ^_^