Vietnamese pork balls

This recipe came from a wonderful day I shared with friends at Jamie’s Cookery School in Brighton. I thoroughly recommend their courses – full of useful cooking confidence and great fun to boot.


  • 2 baby gem lettuce
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • handful bean sprouts
  • 500g pork mince
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots
  • I large red chilli
  • 3 tsp xylitol
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 slugs fish sauce
  • S&P
  • juice of 1 lime


Wash the leaves and julienne the carrot, chop the herbs, thinly slice 1/3 of the red chilli. Put aside.

Bash the lemongrass along its length with the pestle, then chop finely with 1 clove garlic, shallots and 1/3 chilli, grind to a rough paste in the pestle and mortar.

Combine spices, 2 tsp xylitol, slug of fish sauce, and mince in a bowl. Season.

Cook a small amount and taste to check the seasoning. Add more chilli, xylitol, fish sauce etc to taste.

Shape the rest  into 12 small patties and cook in frying pan with oil until just blackened (yes, really, very dark brown).

To make the dipping sauce chop another clove garlic and drop into a pan with 300ml water. Add remaining 1/3 chilli, chopped, 1 tsp xylitol, slug of rice vinegar, slug of fish sauce. Boil for a few minutes. Adjust to taste.

To serve, place julienned carrots on top of little gem leaf and then the coriander, bean sprouts, top with the pork ball and drizzle Vietnamese dipping sauce over.

Drizzle with lime juice

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Servings: 4


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s