Sour Meat Rolls, Nem Chua is a traditional Vietnamese dish that is commonly prepared with minced pork or beef. It is studded with peppercorn, Vietnamese mint, raw garlic, and slices of chilli, and lastly wrapped with a banana leaf.
Nem Chua comes in all shapes and sizes as people from most districts have their own version of Nem Chua. Therefore, there are many variations to this dish as some add in other ingredients such as guava leaves, fig leaves, or powdered grilled rice.
Generally, Nem Chua tastes sweet, sour and spicy, and it is often eaten as a snack in Vietnam. The method to make Nem Chua is straightforward and simple with ingredients you can find in local supermarkets. Therefore, why not give this dish a try with the ingredients down below.
Recipe for Vietnamese Meat Rolls (Nem Chua)
- 500 g of sliced pork loin
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- ¼ cups (60 ml) of fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 100 g of diced pork skin
- 3 cloves of crushed garlic
- 100 g of uncooked rice, dry-roasted and ground to powder
- 10 sheets of 20cm* 20cm banana leaf, soaked in hot water to soften for wrapping
- 2 cloves of garlic sliced
- 1 finger length red chilli, sliced
- Pickle spring onion
- Grind the sliced pork with ½ of the salt and ½ of the sugar and ½ of the fish sauce to a paste-like texture in a food processor and put it aside.
- Heat the oil in a wok over low heat until hot. Stir fry the pork skin for around 5 minutes until it becomes golden brown and crispy. Remove the pork skin and drain off the oil on some paper towels.
- Reheat the oil in the wok over medium heat, stir fry the crushed garlic for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and golden brown. Add the remaining salt, sugar and fish sauce, and simmer until the sauce is thick. Remove and set it aside to cool.
- Combine the pork paste, pork skin and ground, roasted rice in a bowl and pour in the sauce and mix until well blended.
- Before wrapping the Nem Chua, wet your hands and spoon 1½ tablespoons of mixture. Shape it into a ball on a piece of banana leaf and shape it into a cube by flattening all 6 sides of the mixture with a wet spoon. Top the cube with a slice of garlic and a slice of chilli.
- Wrap by folding one end of the banana leaf over the fillings and roll it up tightly. Fold both ends inwards to form a square parcel.
- Tie the parcel securely with a string and chill it in the refrigerator for 2 days.
- Unwrap the parcel and serve it with pickled spring onion.