Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Vietnamese Grilled Meatballs (Xiu Mai)

Vietnamese Grilled Meatballs

The smell of cooking meatballs from the kitchen is an indication of a fantastic meal. My mom would complete the meal with all the fixings - rice noodles, red lettuce, purple mint, cilantro, grilled pork (Thit Nuong) and cucumbers; a Sunday night worthy dinner on a school night. My mom shopped for groceries in Chinatown everyday, she ran her errands while the kids were in Chinese school. She purchased what was in season and what was the freshest ingredients of the day.

So, whenever I make Vietnamese meatballs I reminisce about the nights when I helped my mother in the kitchen slapping the uncooked pork (more on that later.)

My family has a few "secret" ways of making the meatballs and I am sharing them today. The meatball recipe is so good I had a guy ask me out after he tried them. No joke. Since not every one is in a relationship to try the "engagement chicken" recipe. Why not try "Get a Date" Meatball recipe?

Vietnamese Grilled Meatballs, skewers
Reminds me of the scene from The Incredibles

Vietnamese Meatball

1 pound ground pork (make sure there is some fat in the pork)
3 stalks of green onions, minced, including the *white stems and separate the white stems
**3 cloves of garlic
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 tablespoon sugar

*Saute the white stems of the scallions for a few minutes until slightly brown, cool before adding to mixture
**Run the garlic cloves through the microplane

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with hands.

Here comes the "slapping" part. Divide the pork into three sections, pick up the pork and throw it back into the bowl and continue with the rest. Repeat.

Form the meatballs into ping pong size (or your own size preference.)

Meatballs can be grilled, pan fried or baked.

Vietnamese Grilled Meatballs, carrots
House of Carrots

The meatballs are fantastic in a baguette with some pate, pickled carrots and daikon, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, and red lettuce.


with rice noodles, purple mint, mint, cilantro, fresh cucumbers, red lettuce and Nuoc Cham.

My quick nuoc cham recipe by using ratios - I use a soup spoon as my ratio measurement tool.

2 : 1 : 1 : 1/2

Water : Fish sauce : Sugar : Rice Vinegar


3-5 cloves of garlic, smashed with side of knife. Serve with wedges of lime or lemon for personal preference adjustments.

Vietnamese Grilled Meatballs

Please tell me if "Get a date" meatball worked its magic and maybe we can start a (dating) urban legend.

Vietnamese Grilled Meatballs

Delicious VietnamI am submitting this blog post to Delicious Vietnam #14 hosted by Rau Om created by Anh of A Food Lover's Journey and Kim and Hong of Ravenous Couple.


Justin said...

lol, get a date meatballs... i need these. they sound very good, by the way

Anonymous said...

are you sure this isnt nem nuong?

Bonnibella said...

@Justin I'm sure this will help you get a date ;)

@Anon Xiu Mai means meatball but it can also be nem nuong except I didn't put rice flour.

I associate nem nuong as the more sweeter, pink and the meat is more paste-like in texture than meatballs. Of course, nem nuong doesn't have to be pink

Lolia S said...

I have all the ingredients and needed a recipe for ground pork...what timing. I'll try out your meatballs this week.


Michael said...

These sound really good! Now if only I can find a date to make them for. Of course if I make them for somebody, that's already considered a "date", isn't it? :-)

Foodhoe said...

Ooh, sounds wonderful and so adaptable. Love your photos too!

Kung Food Panda said...

I'm hungry now after looking at these pics. Great cuts of carrots, BTW.

I'm loving your pics these days!

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