I hope you are all having a great week. As promised - below is my sister's recipe for Vietnamese Pork Balls. I have been having flavour flashbacks all week. As you will read, the recipe is a little time consuming - but it's the worth it, your guests will love them.
500g lean pork, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup shallots, minced
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
ground black pepper to taste
50 grams pork fat, minced
2 tablespoons roasted rice powder (see directions below)2 cups soft rice vermicelli
large handful of finely chopped mushrooms
2 tablespoons nuoc mam (fish sauce)
Method: Whisk together the shallots, garlic, fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Add pork, soft rice vermicelli, finely chopped mushrooms and coat well. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour (or up to 24) in the fridge. When you’re ready to make the balls, place the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. Using a food processor, whiz the pork fat into a paste. Add pork and process until you have a sort of pasty ball. Add the roasted rice powder and process to combine. Lightly oil a large plate and your hands, and form smaller sized pork balls. Grill over medium high heat–you’ll want to have a nice sear before turning, but once all sides are seared, lower heat a bit to cook through.
The sauce (the best part) was a basic Vietnamese dipping sauce - 10 tablespoons of fish sauce, 10 tablespoons white sugar, 7 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 crushed garlic and a large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped. Blend with freshly roasted peanuts to make it even more delicious.
*To make the roasted rice powder: Take about 1/4 cup of jasmine rice and dry roast it over medium high heat in a saute pan. You’ll need to toss it around a lot to prevent burning. The end result should be a nice golden puffy rice. Once cooled, process in a food processor or coffee/spice grinder until powdery.