This is a apparently a very common lunch dish eaten in northern vietnam. It is light, refreshing and crunchy with that wonderful asian sweet, salty, sour combination.
You basically dunk meatballs and all into your bowl of warm broth/dipping sauce and just enjoy.
Pork Meat Balls
500g pork mince
1 large spring onion, peeled and diced
1 stalk lemongrass
2 garlic cloves
1 small red chili
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
2 cups water
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1cup shredded cabbage (or green papaya)
1 small carrot, peeled & julienne
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pack dried vermicelli
1/2 bunch mint
1/2 bunch coriander
1/2 bunch of Vietnamese basil (if you can get it)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 small chili, seeds removed and sliced
1. Finely chop lemon grass, garlic, shallots and chilies (or grind with a mortar and pestle). Mix with ground pork. Add honey, oil, fish sauce, palm sugar, salt & black pepper. Let marinate for 10-30 minutes.
2. Place rice vermicelli into a large heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water. Stand for 1-2 minutes until softened and then cool under running water.
3. Thinly slice cabbage (papaya) and carrot. Toss with salt and let stand for 5 minutes. Rinse. Divide between two large soup bowls.
4. Form meat into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and press down slightly to flatten. Put on a grill-rack or BBQ.
5. Cook meatballs over a charcoal fire (BBQ) until caramelised on the outside and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side depending on the fire.
6. Meanwhile wash lettuce, bean sprouts, mint, chilli and cilantro. Drain and set aside on a serving plate.
7. Then heat water to a boil then remove from heat. Add garlic, fish sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over the cabbage and carrot in the soup bowls and then add lime juice. Serve immediately.