Food for Four – Nem Nuong – Vietnamese Grilled Pork Skewers

No matter what you do, the food of your people will call for you. I had a craving for nem nuong one day and there wasn’t a Vietnamese deli or restaurant closeby that would satiate the craving. The boo and I decided to try our hand at making nem nuong. I knew my mom wouldn’t relinquish her recipe to me, so I did the next best thing and googled it. I stumbled on the amazing food blog Food for Four that had a TON of Vietnamese recipes (some that I was familiar with, and some not so much).

We went to our local 99 Ranch market to round up the ingredients and tried it out! It isn’t exactly like mom’s, and it doesn’t have that pink tinge you may be used to seeing, but when done right, it’s juicy and delicious! The meat is super versatile, so once the meat is done, cook it how you would cook a meatloaf, meat on a stick, grilled, or whatever. We made them into patties and grilled them. Yum.

The Recipe!

Nem Nướng – Vietnamese Grilled Pork Skewers
Make about 20
We made about 8-10 patties depending on how thick you make them


  • 1 kg (2.2lbs) mince pork (use the minced twice pork if possible)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced into fine paste
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1.5 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (We used granulated sugar, and it’s been working just fine)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons roasted rice powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 20 wooden skewers (soaked in water for 20 minutes | or none if you’re not doing skewers)

What do you do now?

  1. In a small bowl, add fish sauce, sugar and white pepper. Stir the mixture until sugar almost dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the ground pork (ask your butcher to mince it twice if you can), add fish sauce mixture. Add garlic.
  3. Using your hands, knead the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined.
  4. In a separate small bowl, add the water and baking powder. Stir the mixture, it will foam up.
  5. Pour baking powder mixture into the pork mixture. Knead the meat mixture until all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Add roasted rice powder to the mixture and knead the mixture until all it is well combined. (Try not to overwork it!)
  7. Cover the meat mixture and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hour. (Pft. We didn’t have the patience. We waited just as long as it took for the grill to heat up.)
  8. Rub a very small amount of oil into the palm of your hands so that the meat does not stick to it. Form the sausage shape and put through the skewers. You can roll into balls if you like.
  9. Heat up a grill or barbeque and cook. Turning the skewers over when they are golden brown.

SO. GOOD. It hasn’t failed us yet. 


2 Comments Add yours

  1. trialsinfood says:

    looks delicious! it’s so hard to get recipe out of moms, isn’t it?

    1. tamithus says:

      It totally is! C’mon Mom, just GIVE ME THE RECIPE.

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