Vietnamese Pork and Noodle salad

S E R V E S:  4       |       P R E P:  20 min       |       C O O K:  12min       |       R E A D Y:  32 min


  • 2 tbsp sugar

  • 5 tbsp water

  • 500g ground pork

  • ½ red onion, finely diced

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce

  • 1 hot red chilli, finely diced (optional)

  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Noodle Salad

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce

  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar

  • 1.5 tsp brown sugar

  • 1 cup water

  • 1⁄2 tsp. minced or grated garlic

  • 1 red Thai chilli, minced

  • ½ green papaya or green apple or green mango, cut into matchsticks

  • 350g thin rice noodles, cooked as directed

  • 1⁄2 head red leaf lettuce, torn into small pieces

  • 2 good handfuls of herbs - basil, coriander or mint just use what you have. 

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  1. Combine the sugar with 3 tablespoons of water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until a dark brown caramel form, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining water, swirling the pan. If the sugar clumps a bit just swirl the pan and it will melt again. Cool a little.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pork, red onion, fish sauce, caramel sauce, chilli, if using, and pepper. Cover and marinate in the fridge.

  3. To make the dressing, simply combine the fish sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, water, garlic, chilli and green papaya, apple or mango in a large mixing bowl. Set aside to let the flavours infuse.

  4. Remove the pork from the fridge and shape it into small balls, 20 total. Heat a pan/grill to high. Brush the meatballs with a touch of oil then cook until fully cooked and slightly charred, 4 minutes each side.

  5. While the pork balls are cooking place the rice noodles into a pot and cook as directed on the packet. 

  6. Divide the noodles among 4 bowls and spoon over some of the dressing. Place the meatballs to one side. Place the lettuce, herbs and mango to another side and serve with extra dressing on the side.