Vietnamese Meat Ball Salad (Bún chả)

Technically, this dish isnt Bún chả. There are neither noodles (the Bún) nor a single slice of pork belly in sight. It does however, have grilled meatballs, and the dish is a low carb variation of the original, and just as delish. I’ve replaced the noodles with copious amounts of salad and herbs, and drizzled it liberally with Nước chấm, a sweet and tangy dip commonly found in Vietnamese restaurants.


Pork meatballs

  • 500g pork mince
  • 4 tsp fish sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp corn flour (for binding the meat)

For frying

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


  • Butter lettuce
  • Julienned carrots and cucumber
  • handful of Vietnamese mint, peppermint, bean sprouts or spring onion

Dipping sauce (Nuoc cham)

  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3-6 tsp caster sugar (to taste – I like my sauce on the sweeter side)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped chilli (de-seeded if you prefer it mild)
  • 2 stalks coriander, finely chopped
  • 6 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar


  1. Place all ingredients for pork meatballs in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Shape into 6 squash ball sized patties and flatten slightly
  3. Pre heat non stick pan and add oil
  4. Place patties in pan (3 at a time if your pan is small to prevent overcrowding) and cook on medium heat for 3 mins on each side
  5. Leave to rest for 5 mins before slicing into thin strips
  6. Mix all the ingredients for the dipping sauce and stir till sugar dissolves
  7. Serve meatballs with salad and nuoc cham

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