Vietnamese Pork Balls with Fresh Herb Salad

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Vietnamese Pork Balls


This fresh herb salad makes a delicious and healthy accompaniment to chicken and fish as well as pork dishes. Remember the best mince is fresh mince, so shop for it the day you plan to cook it.

Serves: 4 – makes about 30 pork balls


Pork balls
500g (1 lb 1 oz) pork mince (ground pork)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup panko crumbs
6 makrut lime leaves, shredded
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Tbsp peeled and grated ginger
1 hot red chilli, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and chopped

4 Tbsp white vinegar
1 hot red chilli, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped shallots

Herb salad
1 cup bean sprouts, trimmed, optional
½ telegraph (tender-skinned) cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
½ cup mint leaves
2 cups micro cress or cos or iceberg lettuce leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces

Oil for frying, if required
Steamed rice
Toasted coconut flakes
Sliced red chilli
Mayonnaise, optional


1 Put mince in a large bowl, add all the other pork ball ingredients and mix until smooth (it’s best to wear disposable food gloves for this job). Shape into 30 small balls, putting them on a tray as they are done. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or longer (overnight is fine).


2 Bring pork balls to room temperature before cooking. Preheat a barbecue hot plate (griddle) on medium. Cook pork balls until golden brown and cooked through. Alternatively, drizzle with a little oil and cook over a barbecue grill, or cook in a little hot oil in a non-stick frying pan (skillet). Transfer to a plate as they are done.


3 Have the dressing ingredients mixed together in a small dish and the salad ingredients tossed together in a bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss lightly.

Vietnamese Pork Balls
Shallot and Chilli Dressing


4 Serve pork balls with steamed rice and garnish with coconut and chilli. Serve salad separately.


Recipe notes

These pork balls have plenty of flavour, but I think they are even better with a dollop or two of mayonnaise on the side, especially when eaten in a sandwich.

Vietnamese Pork Balls
God hot or cold.
Fresh herb salad
Fresh herb salad – mix it up!

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