Vietnamese Meatballs with Chili Sauce – This was the first post in our Meatball Series. Vietnamese Meatballs, made from pork with Asian flavors, served over rice and topped with a tangy chili sauce. You can also serve these with lettuce wraps.
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They are known as Bun Cha, the caramelized pork meatballs from the stress of Hanoi. This is traditional Vietnamese food, that can be made at home! This is an easy Vietnamese recipe that anyone can make that’s full of flavor. No need to hunt down obscure ingredients at an Asian store!
What is Bun Cha (Vietnamese Meatballs)?
Bun Cha is a traditional Vietnamese pork dish that’s a specialty of Hanoi. It is a mouthful that showcases all that is great about Vietnamese food. That perfect balance of fresh, savory, sweet, herb, citrus, tender noodles, and that juicy caramelized pork. These are very tasty Vietnamese meatballs.
How to make Vietnamese Meatballs
You’ll love how you won’t need to take a trip to an Asian grocery store for this recipe! You’ll also love how versatile this recipe actually is.
The Vietnamese meatballs are just made with pork, garlic, sugar, fish sauce*, salt, pepper, and scallions/green onions. Fish sauce is the key seasoning here, and the touch of sugar makes the surface beautifully caramelized.
The sauce is a version of Nuoc Cham, which is served with just about “everything” in Vietnamese cuisine. The sauce for Bun Cha is made with fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chili.
Ingredients – For the Meatballs
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 green onions white part finely chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- Salt & pepper to taste
For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp Asian chili sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 2 tsp lime zest
- ¼ cup sugar
- For garnish – Top with Scallion Green parts & chopped Cilantro
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine all the meat ingredients and use your hands to mix.
- Shape the meat into golf-ball-size rounds
- Arrange on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the meatballs are browned and cooked through.
- While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce
- Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Be sure the sugar is completely dissolved and not stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
- Serve the meatballs drizzled with the sauce and sprinkled with scallions, cilantro, over rice.
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If you like this recipe for Vietnamese Meatballs, check out our recipe for Instant Pot Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes
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