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Bun Cha – Vietnamese Pork Meatballs with Vermicelli Noodle Salad


For the pork meatballs

For the dipping sauce

For the noodle salad


  1. To make the meatballs, mix together the minced pork, fish sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, honey, spring onions, coriander (cilantro) and garlic. Set the mixture aside for 30-60 minutes in the fridge to let the flavours develop to allow the mixture to firm.
  2. Make the dipping sauce by dissolving the sugar in the lemon juice. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined. Set the sauce aside for about 10-15 minutes before tasting. You may need to add a bit more lemon juice, fish sauce, or even water, to get a good balance of sweet, sour and salty.
  3. Form the pork mixture into small meatballs about the size of a golf ball, and then flatten them slightly.
  4. Heat a large frying pan with some vegetable oil and cook the meatballs until they are golden and caramelised.
  5. Divide the noodles between four large bowls or plates. Add some salad, shredded carrots and herbs to each portion, and top with the meatballs. Provide each person with a bowl of dipping sauce to drizzle over the noodles and also to dip the meatballs into.

Kitchen Notes

The dipping sauce keeps well in the fridge in a sealed jar for several weeks. I often double or triple the recipe so that I always have a bottle handy in the fridge. If you are feeding young children, I tend to omit the chillies from the sauce and either serve chopped chillies or pickled chillies on the side.


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