Recipe: Grilled Pork Skewer - Nem nướng

By Helen Le Published: June 5, 2016

    • Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a pan, then add 1 tbsp annatto seeds. Then turn off the heat and leave 10 mins. You'll have the annatto oil.
    • Season 600 g minced pork with 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tsp chicken stock, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp corn/tapioca starch, 1 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp annatto oil. Mix well and set aside for 30 mins. Put the meat into the freezer about 30 mins before processing.
    • Dice up 100g pork fat, then soak in boiling hot water for 10 mins. Then drain well and mix with 1 tsp sugar.
    • In a food processor, blend 4 shallots finely. Take out the seasoned minced meat from the freezer and add to the food processor. Remember to have 15 secs break after every 15 secs processing.
    • Pound the meat in a mortar and pestle (this technique is called Quết). Don't forget to grease your mortar and pestle with some oil to prevent sticking. You can also put the meat in a plastic bag and keep squeezing for about 30 mins. Then you can chill the meat in the fridge while preparing other items for the dish.
    • Cut a piece of rice paper in half, then use a damp towel to wipe it. Leave it for about 30 secs, then roll it up. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan, then drop in the rice paper roll and fry until golden brown, then take them out and remove the excess oil.
    • Put green bananas and green star fruit/pineapple/green mango (peeled and thin sliced) in a bowl of water and vinegar.
    • To make the sauce: Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a pan and fry 1 tbsp minced garlic until fragrant. Then add 3 tbsp pork liver pate, 1 tbsp peanut butter and 1/2 cup water. Use a spoon to break up the chunks. Dissolve 1 tbsp glutinous rice flour and 2 tbsp cold water and add to the sauce to thicken. Season to your taste with 1 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp fish sauce, a little bit of chicken stock. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with more annatto oil ,roasted sesame seeds and chili jam.
    • Soak a bunch of bamboo skewer in water to soften or you can also boil them. Roll the upper top part over some corn/tapioca starch.
    • Take the pork out of the fridge and mix with the pork fat. Then insert into a ziplock bag and cut off the tip. Insert the skewer into the hole and continuously squeeze out the meat. Shape nicely to help the meat stick to the skewer. Repeat until you finish all the meat.
    • Arrange the pork skewer on a grilling rack. You can also use a charcoal stove or an oven (bake at 200 degree C/ 400 degree F for about 10 mins). Remember to flip them over and brush with a shiny coat of annatto oil. Grill for another 7-10 mins
    • You will need some fresh lettuce and a variety of Vietnamese herbs, the crispy fried rice paper roll, some crunchy and fresh vegetable like cucumber, green banana, green star fruit and the delicious shiny pork skewer.