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Norman Van Aken, © 2007

Yield: 3 pounds of meat to make into variously sized meatballs. (about 66 medium balls)

2 pounds ground pork, (we used pork tenderloin)

9 ounces of ground fatty bacon

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 Tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced

1 ½ Tablespoons sugar

2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Nuoc Cham, (see recipe below)


Vegetable oil for you hands


In a bowl, mix the pork, pepper, garlic, sugar, corn starch fish sauce, soy

Zest of 1 lemon

Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Cook until the meatballs are deep brown and crisp on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. (If grilling, place 2 or more on bamboo skewers).

Serve the hot meatballs with the lettuce leaves, (if desired) and Nuoc Cham dipping sauce.

For the Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce

This is a Vietnamese dipping sauce that can be used for many things.

Yield: 1 ½ Cups

1 jalapeño (or Serrano) chile, seeds removed, thinly sliced

½ habanero chile, stemmed, seed and minced

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

6 Tablespoons sugar


2/3 Cup warm water

2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

5 Tablespoons Fish Sauce

½ of a carrot or so, peeled and grated

Chop the Serrano chilies, garlic and sugar together until fine.

Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.


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