I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Over the weekend, I went down to LA to visit my parents, and of course, I spent the entire weekend eating. Other than all the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, I had a good amount of Vietnamese food as well. I always love the Vietnamese food in LA because it gives me endless amounts of inspiration for my blog. Before I left, I picked up a few ingredients I can’t get up here. One of those ingredients is nem nuong.
Nem nuong is a grilled pork sausage from the Khanh Hoa province in Nha Trang, Vietnam. The sausage is made with ground pork with about 1/3 of that in pork fat. It is then seasoned with shallots, fish sauce, garlic, sugar, and black pepper. I absolutely LOVE this stuff. But they are really hard to get right, so I usually buy them from a restaurant. The only place I like to get mine is Summer Rolls in LA. I’ve been going to this restaurant for years and it is hands down one of my top 5 favorite Vietnamese restaurants of all time. Their food is top notch, and if you go there around 7pm, it is packed. What makes it even more impressive is that the restaurant doesn’t have the best location and yet it is still that popular.
I haven’t found a place like Summer Rolls to get nem nuong in the Bay Area, but I have found it at places like Lee’s Sandwiches or large Asian grocery stores like 99 Ranch. I am experimenting with different combinations of ground pork and seasonings, but haven’t gotten it right yet. Stay tuned for a recipe in the future.
Nem nuong can be eaten in a variety of different ways. You can eat it by itself, in a vermicelli bowl, or in spring rolls. I would say my favorite way to eat them is definitely in spring rolls. Nem nuong is grilled on a skewer, so they are the perfect shape for spring rolls. I pair it with mint, cucumber, lettuce, and vermicelli noodles all wrapped in rice paper. My nem nuong spring rolls are on the simpler side, but you can add other ingredients like carrots, bean sprouts, or pickled daikon. My favorite thing about spring rolls is you can put as much or little of each ingredient based on your preference.
Nem Nuong Spring Rolls
- 16 pieces rice paper
- 8 nem nuong skewers
- 1 package vermicelli noodles
- mint to taste
- 1 cucumber julienned
- 1 head lettuce
- Vietnamese dipping sauce search "nuoc cham" for recipe
- Fill a large bowl with warm water.
- Dip rice paper in warm water and place it on a large plate.
- Place a small amount of lettuce, vermicelli noodles, mint, and cucumbers at one end of the spring roll. You can put as much or as little as you want based on your tastes. You can also not add one of the above ingredients.
- Use a knife to split the nem nuong down the middle along the skewer. Place half of the nem nuong on top of the lettuce, vermicelli noodles, cucumbers, and mint.
- Roll the rice paper tightly over the fillings. When you about halfway done with rolling the spring roll, fold the left and right ends of the rice paper over the roll you have already completed. This will close the left and right ends so no filling falls out. Then finish rolling the spring roll.